There are some common garden plants that end up indoors for the winter that are not your pet's best friend!
As a matter of fact, these plants pose a health risk to your dogs, if they happen to eat them.
Even if your dog isn't a plant nosher, you should still be vigilant about the plants that enter your home during the fall season.
Many dogs are less active during cold weather making them prone to boredom, which can lead to a curious pallet.
The boxwood topiary in the living room suddenly looks like a lollipop to an undiscerning dog and he may take a bite!
I teamed up with animal behavior expert, Laura Nativo on the "Home & Family" show recently to discuss common poisonous plants that are brought indoors for the winter that pet owners should be aware of.
Laura addressed the animal behavior component while I delved into the specific plants and an indoor design strategy to keep pet and plant away from each other.
COMMON POISONOUS PLANTS BROUGHT INDOORS FOR WINTER
Some plants that can be harmful to pets include:
This popular tropical plant must be brought indoors in cold winter areas in order to survive the season.
All parts of the Sago palm are poisonous if eaten, but the seeds contain the most toxins.
The Sago palm is responsible for hundreds of pet poisonings every year, keep it away from your dog!
All varieties of the Hedera helix family of plants are toxic to pets.
These draping plants are a popular holiday plant and their cascading form brings them dangerously close to your dog.
Tell me it isn't so!
Chrysanthemums, or "mums," are a classic autumn plant.
Did you know that mums produce a naturally occurring insecticide called, "pyrethrins?"
This chemical targets insects but it can also harm your dog.
Another quintessential fall and holiday plant to keep away from your dog is holly.
Holly leaves and berries contain natural caffeine and saponins which create a foamy, soap-like substance.
And by the way, have you noticed the sharp points in the leaves?
If you have, you still have your eyes intact.
Make sure your dog does too, keep them away from holly!
The colorful flowers of this popular gift plant is a welcome sight in winter, just keep it out of your dog's mouth.
Kalanchoe produces a natural steroid hormone that affects the cardiovascular system, if eaten.
Take a look at some more toxic plants you may have in your backyard: "Common Poisonous Plants: Protect Kids and Pets!"
Visit ASPCA.org for extensive list of toxic plants for dogs and cats.
CREATING PHYSICAL BARRIERS BETWEEN DOGS AND PLANTS
If you want to avoid any accidental plant ingestion, don't bring any plants indoors.
Another option is to select one room in the house that can supply both bright light as well as darker light in same room.
Consolidate your over-wintering plants onto a table and place it behind a dog "X-pen" or gate so the dog can't enter the plant area.
You can fit many plants in a small space if you use the walls and other levels.
Hang plants from the wall or ceiling or place inside bird cages to isolate from your pet.
The plants will look beautiful and your pet won't be able to get to them!
BEHIND THE SCENES HOME AND FAMILY SHOW
Cristina Ferrare and Laura Nativo hold Chihuahua puppies in foreground, Shirley Bovshow and Suzanne Browning in the background.
These puppies are available for adoption!
How do you keep your plants and pets away from each other?
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Watch my weekly garden segments on the Emmy nominated, "Home & Family" show on the Hallmark channel, weekdays at 10 am pst/ct.