Toxic fall plants that can harm your livestock and pets.

Ridley's Wreckage
"Moonshine" Nigerian DwarfS.Finch-Gerner

It’s that time of year, apples are being picked, last minute details are being finished on Halloween costumes, leaves are falling to the ground creating that crunchy sound we all love under our feet. The autumn by far is my favorite season as well as my dogs. The air is crisp for our walks, the colors are exploding in the trees and below our feet. Everywhere you look is magical with the rustic blooms of fall. Let’s take a minute and review a list of common fall plants and whether or not they’re harmful to our furry besties!

  1. Mums (Chrysanthemum spp.) These plants come in a rainbow of fall colors and it seems everyone has at least one pot of mums on the front porch. You find them everywhere from your local grocery store to your neighbors farm stand. Hard to believe but this most popular fall flower is considered toxic to dogs, cats and livestock. All parts of the Chrysanthemum plant contain pyrethrin, which is toxic. If ingested, symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, hypersalivation, incoordination and in the cases of livestock in particular goats - possible death.
  2. Red Maple (Acer rubrum) These trees are beautifully vibrant during fall and are considered non-toxic to dogs and cats. However, these tree’s leaves are toxic to horses and goats especially when wilted. If consumed, symptoms can include anemia, weakness, dark urine, difficulty breathing, abortion and possibly death.
  3. Ginkgo Trees (Ginkgo biloba) produce gorgeous yellow foliage in the fall. Males are considered non-toxic to pets, but the female trees have seeds that contain ginkgotoxin which is considered toxic. If ingested, there is a potential for vomiting, irritability and seizures. The easiest way to tell the male and female trees apart is by the fruit. The female tree’s fruit carries an incredibly unpleasant smell, which undoubtedly Fido would decide to roll in!
  4. Fountain Grass (Pennisetum setaceum) are beautiful in bloom and are considered non-toxic to pets so, plant away!
  5. ‘Karl Foerster’ Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis acutiflora) while this grass is great to grow in your yard and non-toxic to pets, it does have sharp points, so be careful!
  6. Asters (Callistephus chinensis) are typically sold around the same time as mums, but unlike mums, these plants are considered non-toxic to dogs, cats and horses. This is a great plant to have on display if your worried about your mums.
  7. Rayless Goldenrod (Haplopappus heterophyllus) isn’t considered toxic to dogs and cats but this yellow plant is toxic to horses and goats. Horses eating one to ten percent of their body weight in the plant can have potentially deadly effects. Onset of signs can occur after two days or up to three weeks and includes: incoordination, muscle weakness and tremors, elevated heart rate, cardiac arrhythmias, fluid accumulation and swelling of the nervous system, profuse sweating and inability to swallow.
  8. Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) is a purple plant considered non-toxic to pets! Another great option in place of mums! A personal favorite of mine!
  9. Caryopteris (Caryopteris clandonenis), another purple plant, is considered non-toxic to pets so feel free to add it into your garden this fall!
  10. Pansies (Viola tricolor var. hortensis) are also considered non-toxic to pets and can even show some love through a little frost! Add these pet-safe plants to bring gorgeous fall colors to your yard!

While considered “non-toxic,” all plant material consumed by pets and livestock may cause mild gastrointestinal upset. If you suspect your pet has been exposed to any poisonous substances or potentially toxic plants, contact your veterinarian or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.

(2022, October 19) Fall Plants: Hazardous or Harmless? [Blog post] October 19,2022 [blogpost]

(2022 October, 7) Can Goats Eat Mums [Blog post] October 7, 2022 [blogpost

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Hello! Freelance blogger and videographer here! I love to refurbish furniture, show my creative side with cooking and crafts, and love to talk about my homestead and hobby farm. Follow me for flipping furniture inspiration and techniques, DIY craft projects, homestyle cooking with easy to follow recipes and some great gardening and animal husbandry tips!

Red Creek, NY

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