Spring and Summer are wonderful times of year, but it does come with its fair share of dangers for pets. So keep an eye out for these poisonous substances to keep your pet’s health in tip top condition.
1. ChocolateChocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic for dogs – the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is. If your dog has eaten chocolate you may see symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, increased breathing and heart rate and even seizures. So keep those Easter eggs safely out of reach.
2. RaisinsWe all love a hot cross bun at this time of year, but the raisins they contain are toxic for dogs, although nobody really knows why. Some dogs are more sensitive than others – just one raisin can lead to vomiting, diarrhoea, anorexia and even renal failure.
3. BluebellsSpring is the perfect time to take your dog out for a nice long walk. But keep an eye out for bluebells – all parts of this flower are poisonous to dogs. Most dogs won’t eat them, but puppies can chew on the leaves. If your dog eats a large quantity, they could experience vomiting, diarrhoea and heart irregularity.
4. DaffodilsThese spring flowers contain lycorine, which can cause severe vomiting and abdominal pain. You should also watch out for the bulbs – these could irritate your dog and lead to drooling.
5. LiliesOne for the cats to avoid, certain varieties of lily are extremely poisonous. Although cats are unlikely to eat a lily flower, they can transfer pollen onto their fur, which they then lick off whilst grooming. If ingested, lily pollen can lead to life-threatening kidney disease.
6. IrisThe bulbs and stems of the iris plant are an irritant, and can result in drooling, vomiting and diarrhoea if eaten.
7. SnowdropsAlthough they’re not too poisonous, snowdrop bulbs are a mild irritant and can cause vomiting and diarrhoea.
8. Slug pelletsSince we’ve had a mild, wet winter, slugs will be out in force this spring. Make sure you only use pellets that are marked as safe for pets. Otherwise your dog could eat metaldehyde, which can lead to seizures and hyperthermia.
9. ToadsToads are coming out of hibernation at the moment – inquisitive dogs and cats may try and play with them. None of the toads in the UK are extremely poisonous, but they do excrete a poison that could lead to extreme drooling.
10. AddersAdders only live in certain areas of the UK and will only bite if provoked. However, the bites can be severe, leading to an ulcerative lesion, which can cause muscle loss. If you’re walking your dog in an area with adders, keep them on the lead.
If you suspect your dog or cat may have eaten something poisonous, contact your vet immediately. Take the substance with you, if possible, and make a note of the time it was eaten. That way, the vet can treat your pet as quickly as possible.