Can Eating Easter Lilies Kill Dogs?

by Betty Lewis
    It's fine for Lady to sit among the daffodils, but she shouldn't eat them.

    It's fine for Lady to sit among the daffodils, but she shouldn't eat them.

    Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

    Some pooches would prefer to stop and eat the flowers instead of merely smelling them. If you find this is the case with your girl, it's important to know which flowers are safe for Lady and which aren't. A dog-friendly garden will make your time outside together much better.

    Inside, Outside and Safe for Dogs

    Easter lilies are the flower that keeps on giving – which may explain why they're one of the most popular potted plants in the United States. Not only can you enjoy it inside, but after it blooms you can plant the bulb in a sunny spot and enjoy its flowers for years to come. After the plant is finished blooming, cut off the old flowers and plant the bulb about 6 inches below the soil. You'll see new growth the following spring. Another bonus to this bloomer is that it's safe if Lady likes to chew on its flowers or leaves. However, if you have a cat, beware: the Easter lily is toxic to cats.

    Safe Garden Care

    If you use chemicals in your garden, keep Lady in mind. For example, some pesticides can be extremely toxic to dogs and cause vomiting and diarrhea, as well as death. An ingredient known as disulfoton should be avoided; it's commonly found in fertilizers such as blood and bone meal, which can make it very appealing to Lady. Slug and snail bait can also have lethal consequences if ingested. Herbicides, such as glyphosate, can cause vomiting if they're eaten. If you use an herbicide, make sure you put any food bowls and chew toys away until the treated area is dry. Corn gluten meal is a natural herbicide and is a safe substitute if you're worried about Lady’s safety.

    The Dog-Safe Garden

    If you prefer to enjoy your flower garden with Lady by your side, it's wise to know what is safe and what is harmful for her. Though the Easter lily is safe for Lady, there are several lily flowers that aren't. According to the ASPCA's Poison Control Center, calla lily, fire lily, lily of the valley, peace lily, iris, and gloriosa lily are a few flowers you should steer clear of. Pet MD lists other common plants to avoid, including autumn crocus, azalea, daffodil and tulips. If you love lilies, there are a few that will work in your garden, such as the tiger lily. Petunias, alyssum, chickens and hens, Gerber daisy, nasturtium, petunia and bachelor's buttons are a few of the many other choices available to add some color or ground cover to your yard. The ASPCA has a comprehensive database of plants that are toxic to pets.

    If Your Dog Enjoys Flowers

    Cornell University's Department of Animal Science recommends adding bran flakes to your dog's food or using a food that's higher in vegetable fibers to discourage snacking on plants. If you suspect Lady's been into something she shouldn't, watch for symptoms that include vomiting, excessive salivation, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, abnormal urine and weakness. Of course, call your vet immediately to ensure she's safe. If she has eaten something suspicious, take a sample of the plant with you to the vet to help determine treatment options.

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    About the Author

    Betty Lewis has been writing professionally since 2000, specializing in animal care and issues, business analysis and homeland security. Lewis holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from West Virginia University as well as master’s degrees from Old Dominion University and Tulane University.

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