Fears for pets as autumn approaches

A warning has been issued to keep pets safe this autumn
A warning has been issued to keep pets safe this autumn

Falling leaves, conkers, and mushrooms may look very autumnal but can be deadly for cats and dogs.

Dogs in particular face a heightened risk of poisoning when walked in Derbyshire’s many forests and parks.

However, it’s not just woodlands where wild mushrooms prosper at this time of year. Household gardens can also be fertile land for toxic fungi, making Britain’s green and pleasant backyards an even more perilous place for pets than usual.

According to findings from insurance company More Th>n, over three quarters , 78 per cent of Britain’s gardens contain plants that are toxic to cats and dogs. With such a large proportion containing toxic plants it’s perhaps no surprise that almost 10 per cent of cats and dogs have fallen ill after ingesting the dangerous plant life. Of those, 43 per cent subsequently needed urgent veterinary care, while 15 per cent died.

For cats and dogs there are lots of dangerous things in the garden ranging from aloe vera and bluebells right through to garlic, privet hedges and tulip bulbs all of which are poisonous to pets.

Now More Th>n have formed the Pet Safe campaign, designed to raise awareness of this issue.

John Ellenger, head of pet insurance at More Th>n, said: “The Pet Safe Campaign allows us to raise awareness of the dangers of plants that are poisonous to cats and dogs. The campaign is 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.”

General symptoms of poisoning include, oral or skin irritation, upset stomach, weakness, rapid breathing, or fever.

If you believe your pet has ingested something toxic contact your vet immediately and if possible take a sample of the plant with you.