Summer brings pool parties, picnics, and — unfortunately for cats and dogs — poisonous plants. I experienced this firsthand two years ago, when my beloved dog, Pete, nearly died and needed weeks of treatment after apparently eating a poisonous mushroom.

We can help keep our animal companions safe from toxic substances and other dangers that lurk outdoors by keeping them indoors and allowing them outside only on a leash and harness or in a fenced area, under our constant supervision. Dogs and cats are fast — it only takes a second for them to nibble a plant that could harm or kill them while you’re taking them out for a potty break or a walk.

That’s why it’s important to regularly scour your yard and any other areas where your animals go to ensure they are free of toxic substances. Mushrooms can pop up overnight, and there are more than 700 other poisonous plants, including sago palms, lilies, azaleas, rhododendrons, and tulip and daffodil bulbs.

If you suspect that your animal has been poisoned, call your veterinarian or the Animal Poison Control Center hotline at 888-426-4435 immediately. For more ways to keep your animal companions safe, happy, and healthy, visit

Lindsay Pollard-Post

The PETA Foundation

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