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Protecting Your Pet from Springtime Pet Toxins


Although we are fortunate to enjoy mild winters here in Round Rock, spring nevertheless brings out the urge to spruce up our lawns and gardens. Many of us consider our yards an extension of our homes, and appreciate our time spent enjoying nature and great weather with our families and pets.

Because many common ornamental plants and lawn care products are pet toxins, caution must be used to ensure that your pet will stay safe as you exercise your green thumb this spring. Your team at Heart of Texas is happy to offer you our top tips for pet safe gardening and lawn care!

Pet Safe Landscaping

Your neighbor’s hyacinths and tulips look beautiful this time of year, but did you know that both plants are toxic to pets if ingested?

Other common toxic blooms and greenery include:

  • Sago palm
  • Daffodils
  • Lilies of any kind (extremely toxic to cats)
  • Hyacinth
  • Chives
  • Clematis
  • Ivy
  • Grapes
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Hops
  • Iris
  • Lupine
  • Poppy

A Word About Mountain Laurel

Mountain laurel is of particular concern in our area when it comes to pet poisoning. This hardy, drought-resistant evergreen is a popular ornamental, but the leaves and flowers are poisonous to animals and people. Symptoms of mountain laurel toxicity include:

  • Excessive salivation
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Staggering
  • Convulsions

Avoiding Pet Toxins in the Yard and Garden

Each year we treat pets who have been exposed to hazardous lawn and garden chemicals. The following products should be kept in a locked cupboard out of your pet’s reach (or not used at all):

  • Pesticides
  • Weed killer and other herbicides
  • Fertilizers
  • Cocoa mulch (which contains the toxin theobromine)
  • Blood meal

Protecting Your Pet

Besides keeping chemicals out of your pet’s reach and making sure to plant pet-safe flowers and greenery, there are a variety of ways to keep your your furry friend safe:

  • Pets love fresh dirt, and many will happily dig up anything you have just planted. To avoid this temptation, simply keep pets indoors or remove them from the area during planting.
  • Keep toxic plants in areas where pets don’t spend time, such as the front yard or in a fenced-off spot.
  • Cover bulbs with mulch for the winter.
  • Keep compost bins tightly covered to limit your pet’s access to moldy food, peach pits, corn cobs, or other items that may result in choking or poisoning.

’Tis the Season

Toxic plants often make their way inside during the Easter season. Easter lilies (and other lily varieties), hyacinth, daffodil, and tulips are beautiful, but can be disastrous for your pet’s health. Please check the ASPCA’s poisonous plants list before you allow any flowers into your home this season.

If you know or suspect that your pet has ingested a poisonous plant or substance, please call us or bring your pet in immediately.

Contact Us

Heart of Texas Veterinary Specialty Center & 24 Hour Emergency Center


115 E Old Settlers Blvd Round Rock, TX 78664

Clinic Hours

24 Hour Emergency Center