Spring Time Pet Safety Tips

Spring is here, and with it comes new life in the form of plants and flowers. While some people have outdoor seasonal allergies, we do not always recognize our pets adverse reactions to some plants and flowers. Cats and dogs both love to explore outside, especially around the garden area. For some pets, the garden can be potentially harmful around certain types of plants. Additionally, bringing plants in as cuttings can also create a harmful environment for your pets. An area to keep close watch after disposing of leftover plants is to monitor your pet does not get to close to the garbage. If you witness any of the following symptoms bring your pet to a Kelowna Veterinary Clinic.

Spring Flowers

Some Spring flowers could be harmful to your pet. Flowers look beautiful and smell nice to us. For your cat or dog this could mean serious trouble.


These flowers contain lycorine which triggers vomiting in animals. Ingestion of the daffodil’s bulb, plant or flower can cause severe reactions; vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain. Severe reactions can possibly cause cardiac arrhythmias or even respiratory depression.


A common springtime flower containing allergenic lactones. Even a small amount chewed or ingested can trigger irritation of the mouth and esophagus. Signs of tulip ingestion include profuse drooling, vomiting or diarrhea. While there is no specific antidote for ingesting allergenic lactones, a Kelowna Veterinary Clinic will rinse your pet’s mouth, and give anti-vomiting medication or subcutaneous fluids. Excessive intake may trigger increased heart rate or respiration.


There are two types of lilies, benign and dangerous lilies. It is important to know the difference between the two types. Peace, Peruvian and Calla lilies contain low levels of irritants and are not a true cause for concern. These types of lilies may cause drooling if ingested. The dangerous and potentially fatal lilies include Tiger, Day, Asiatic, Easter and Japanese Show lilies. These lilies are highly toxic especially for cats. Even small amounts of two or three petals can result in severe kidney failure.


Like the lily, there are two types of Crocus. The spring blooming (crocus species) and the kind that blooms in fall known as Colchium Autumnale. The spring blooming is the most common and can cause an upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhea if ingested by your pet. As for the fall blooming crocus, they are highly toxic. Fall blooming crocus can cause severe vomiting, gastrointestinal bleeding, liver and kidney damage as well as respiratory failure.

Lily of the Valley

The Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis) once ingested can cause vomiting, diarrhea, a sudden drop in heart rate, cardiac arrhythmias and in severe cases, seizures. Best to consult with your Kelowna Veterinary Clinic for a full list of flora to avoid.


If you’re about to mulch your yard, pay heed! Most types of mulch are benign, but can result in a foreign body if your dog ingests them. Mulch is typically shredded tree bark, but can also come in different forms (e.g., compost or decaying matter; cocoa mulch; etc.). Cocoa mulch (which is made up from shells or hulls from the cocoa bean) is often used for home landscaping; it’s very fragrant when first placed in the yard, and smells faintly of chocolate. As a result, dogs may be tempted to ingest it. While many Internet sites discuss the dangers of cocoa mulch, it’s relatively rare for dogs to be poisoned by it. That said, there is still a small amount of theobromine (the chemical that results in chocolate poisoning) remaining in the mulch and when ingested in large amounts, this can cause signs of chocolate poisoning.

Fertilizers and Pesticides

For your pet safety, keep them away from gardening supply products like fertilizers, weed killers, and insect repellants. Even a small amount can cause serious injuries and in some cases, could be fatal. The symptoms from ingesting or absorbing toxins from fertilizers and pesticides vary in extremes. In severe cases can result in sudden death. Signs of fertilizer or pesticide toxicity can include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, tremors, pinpoint pupils or even seizures.

Keep your pet safe this Spring, by having them avoid the substances mentioned above. If you do see any of these symptoms contact Pawsitive Veterinary Care by phone 250-862-2727.
For an emergency call 250-215-0547 or bring your pet to the nearest Kelowna Veterinary Clinic.

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