As a family we love our garden and are spending a lot of time this year trying to transform it from a jungle into somewhere safe for us all to play. We have always been aware that some plants are not suitable for animals- when we used to have rabbits we knew that rhubarb plants were very dangerous for them but we had never considered that any of the plants might be dangerous to our neighbour’s cat or Luke’s best friend’s gorgeous puppy. We have spent a lot of time planting vegetables recently and have been really pleased with our efforts so imagine our surprise to learn that tomato plants are poisonous to dogs and cats. MORE TH>N have asked for our help spreading the word about the dangers in our gardens for cats and dogs- read on for their press release, I am sure there will be something that will surprise you, perhaps it is time for all of us to reconsider how best to protect our four legged friends.
HIDDEN GARDEN DANGERS FOR CATS AND DOGS
·78% of British gardens contain plants that are toxic to cats and dogs.
·One in three pet owners (31%) admit they have no idea if the plants and flowers in their gardens are toxic to pets.
·Charlie Dimmock supports MORE TH>N Pet Safe campaign with launch of the world’s most dangerous garden to cats and dogs.
Millions of British gardens are potential death traps to cats and dogs. That’s according to new findings from MORE TH>N, which reveals that over three quarters (78%) of the nation’s gardens contain plants that are toxic to our furry friends.
With four in every five household gardens containing toxic plants, it’s no surprise that almost 10% of cats and dogs have ingested poisonous plants or flowers. Of those, 43% subsequently needed urgent veterinary care, while 15% sadly passed away.
Furthermore, according to the research, the most dangerous gardens are to be found in London and the South East (83%), followed by Wales (80%), the South West (79%), East Anglia (78%) and the West Midlands (77%).
Despite the clear and present dangers, there is a widespread ignorance of the perils gardens pose to animals, with one in every three pet owners (31%) admitting they have no idea if the plants and flowers in their gardens are toxic. The same number were unaware that plants could be poisonous to pets, while 71% of all pet owners cannot identify any of the symptoms of poisoning in their cat or dog.
The findings come as MORE TH>N launches a new Pet Safecampaign to raise awareness of the issue of cats and dogs being poisoned by common household plants and flowers – particularly timely given that pets are likely to spend more time outdoors over the next few months due to improving weather.
To kick start the campaign, MORE TH>N has commission RHS Gold medal winner, Ian Drummond to create the world’s most dangerous garden to cats and dogs. Launched at the Horniman Museum and Gardens in London at the beginning of June, the garden will be taken to different locations throughout the capital by the charity Core Landscapes.
Far from being rare and exotic botanical specimens, all of the plants and flowers can be found in any home garden, public park or horticultural centre in Britain. A few of the plants on show include: Begonia, Buxus Pyramiden, Chrysanthemum, Clematis, Cordyline, Daisy, Dahlia, Elderberry, Foxglove, Grape plant, Hydrangea, Hedera Ivy, Lilies (variety), Cherry Laurel, Marigold, Nerium Oleander, Paeonia mix, Papaver Poppy, Tomato plant and Wisteria.
According to vet and consultant on the garden, Robert White-Adams, “As a nation of animal lovers we’ll do anything to not put our pets at harm. What this campaign reveals is the hidden dangers many of us wouldn’t even be aware of. Each plant has been chosen to show just how many common varieties can make our pets ill, or worse still, die if not treated immediately by a vet.”
In addition to raising general awareness of this issue, MORE TH>N is directly campaigning for plant producers, manufacturers of garden products and retailers to provide clearer labelling to help pet owners easily identify if items are safe or harmful to cats and dogs – something that 86% of cat and dog owners would like to see. For more information on the campaign petition please visit www.morethan.com/pet-insurance/news/most-poisonous-garden.
John Ellenger, Head of Pet Insurance at MORE TH>N, commented: “The MORE TH>N Pet Safe Campaign allows us to raise awareness of the dangers of plants that are poisonous to cats and dogs in an imaginative and memorable way. However, our new campaign is also about taking direct and immediate action – by both urging suppliers and retailers of garden plants and flowers to provide clear ‘pet safe’ labelling, while also better educating pet owners on the issue.
“Through this campaign we’ll be arming pet owners with the practical advice and information they need to identify safe and dangerous plants, to recognise the symptoms of poisoning – and what to do in that eventuality – and above all to reduce the likelihood of their beloved pets becoming ill in the first place.”
*It is recommended you consult your vet immediately if you see signs of distress in you animal.
It’s not just plants and flowers you need to consider when planning a safe garden for your cat or dog, the following can also prove hazardous:
· ACORNS AND CONKERS: Toxic if eaten.
· ALGAE: Toxic freshwater algae (usually blue-green in colour, but sometimes colourless) has been known to poisonanimals.
· BEE AND WASP STINGS: These can be especially problematic if they sting inside the mouth.
· COCOA MULCH: Made of cocoa bean shell – a by-product of the chocolate industry – and like chocolate can beharmful if eaten by dogs.
· FERTILISER, INSECTICIDES AND PESTICIDES: If consumed, fertiliser can give your cat or dog a stomach upset andmay result in life-threatening gastrointestinal obstruction. Read instructions carefully and make sure you allow anappropriate time from use before allowing your animal in the garden.
· GARDEN TOOLS: Unattended garden tools may seem like no big deal, but rakes, tillers, hoes and trowels can behazardous to pets and cause trauma to paws, noses or other parts of a curious pet’s body.
Contact your vet immediately if you think your pet has eaten any toxic plants, flowers, or in fact any toxic items orsubstances. Take along samples of the plant to the vet – or preferably any identification label, tag or pot informationyou may still have for the plant that has been eaten.
General symptoms of poisoning:
· Oral or skin irritation
· Upset stomach / Vomiting / Diarrhoea
· Rapid breathing
· Heart failure
· Excitability or lethargy
· Tremors / Seizures / Fitting
· Increased Thirst
· Dilated Pupils
· Dizziness / Loss of Balance
Hopefully you have also learnt something new from this information- I am sure you will agree that it is very informative and very useful. We will certainly be reconsidering our garden and will definitely be signing the petition for clearer labeling on plants and hope you will do so too –
Beautiful to look at but could be fatal to your precious pets
1.Research conducted with OnePoll on behalf of MORE TH>N Insurance with 2,000 British homeowners that also have a garden. 78% of those polled had one or more of the plant varieties at The MORE TH>N Poisonous Pawtanical Garden in their own gardens.
2.Research conducted by OnePoll on behalf of MORE TH>N Insurance with 2,000 cat and dog owners.
Written by Luke’s Mum after (long and in depth!) discussion with Luke, with thanks to MORE TH>N for providing the information and for sending Luke and Lottie some pet friendly seeds to enjoy planting