Spring is here in the Northwest. Tulips and daffodils are showing up in the stores, ready to brighten our days. Before you grab a bunch of these beauties, remember that both are poisonous to cats and dogs. While bulbs are the worst (keep this in mind when planting in the garden if you have a dog that loves to dig), chewing on the leaves and flowers can be toxic to your furry friends as well. In fact, many common cut flowers and house plants are poisonous to our pets. The ASPCA has a comprehensive list on their website (https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants).
The good news is that several of the most popular flowers found at stores are safe for most pets. Roses, Gerber daisies, orchids, sunflowers, African violets, and true ferns such as Boston and Maidenhair are all commonly found in bouquets or as house plants and can safely be used in a pet friendly home.
You should watch your plants and flowers carefully, even with safe choices. Some pets, especially curious cats who like to counter surf, can be vigorous chewers. Any plant ingested in quantity can cause digestive upset and plant material can also be a choking hazard. Hanging your plants or covering them in a terrarium or decorative cage of some kind is your safest option in homes with naughty cats and dogs.