I've been posting about my garden a lot lately and I was recently contacted by MORE TH>N about their Pet Safe Campaign.
Delicious but deadly (to pets)
Did you know that tomato plants can be poisonous to cats and dogs?
Me neither, but they're just one of a list of common plants found in 78% of British gardens*
Like one in three pet owners, I wasn't aware of what plants were and weren't safe for my cat to eat, which is pretty shocking really, but I figured that if something was poisonous to pets there'd surely be a warning label right?
Keeping more of an eye on this chap when I'm out on my balcony in the future
Millions of British gardens are potential death traps to cats and dogs. That’s according to new findings from MORE TH>N, which reveals that over three quarters (78%) of the nation’s gardens contain plants that are toxic to our furry friends.
With four in every five household gardens containing toxic plants, it’s no surprise that almost 10% of cats and dogs have ingested poisonous plants or flowers. Of those, 43% subsequently needed urgent veterinary care, while 15% sadly passed away.
Furthermore, according to the research, the most dangerous gardens are to be found in London and the South East (83%), followed by Wales (80%), the South West (79%), East Anglia (78%) and the West Midlands (77%).
Despite the clear and present dangers, there is a widespread ignorance of the perils gardens pose to animals, with one in every three pet owners (31%) admitting they have no idea if the plants and flowers in their gardens are toxic. The same number were unaware that plants could be poisonous to pets, while 71% of all pet owners cannot identify any of the symptoms of poisoning in their cat or dog.
The findings come as MORE TH>N launches a new Pet Safe campaign to raise awareness of the issue of cats and dogs being poisoned by common household plants and flowers – particularly timely given that pets are likely to spend more time outdoors over the next few months due to improving weather.
To kick start the campaign, MORE TH>N has commission RHS Gold medal winner, Ian Drummond to create the world’s most dangerous garden to cats and dogs. Launched at the Horniman Museum and Gardens in London at the beginning of June, the garden will be taken to different locations throughout the capital by the charity Core Landscapes.
Far from being rare and exotic botanical specimens, all of the plants and flowers can be found in any home garden, public park or horticultural centre in Britain. A few of the plants on show include: Begonia, Buxus Pyramiden, Chrysanthemum, Clematis, Cordyline, Daisy, Dahlia, Elderberry, Foxglove, Grape plant, Hydrangea, Hedera Ivy, Lilies (variety), Cherry Laurel, Marigold, Nerium Oleander, Paeonia mix, Papaver Poppy, Tomato plant and Wisteria.
According to vet and consultant on the garden, Robert White-Adams, “As a nation of animal lovers we’ll do anything to not put our pets at harm. What this campaign reveals is the hidden dangers many of us wouldn’t even be aware of. Each plant has been chosen to show just how many common varieties can make our pets ill, or worse still, die if not treated immediately by a vet.”
In addition to raising general awareness of this issue, MORE TH>N is directly campaigning for plant producers, manufacturers of garden products and retailers to provide clearer labelling to help pet owners easily identify if items are safe or harmful to cats and dogs – something that 86% of cat and dog owners would like to see. For more information on the campaign petition please visit www.morethan.com/pet-insurance/news/most-poisonous-garden
John Ellenger, Head of Pet Insurance at MORE TH>N, commented: “The MORE TH>N Pet Safe Campaign allows us to raise awareness of the dangers of plants that are poisonous to cats and dogs in an imaginative and memorable way. However, our new campaign is also 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.”
Pet owners can also win free pet friendly flower seeds via MORE TH>N’s social channels; www.facebook.com/morethan and www.twitter.com/morethan.
I personally won't be getting rid of my tomato plants, but now that I know they're poisonous to pets I will be keeping a much closer eye Stirfry when I'm out on the balcony watering the plants and I'm letting my grandma know so she can keep a closer eye on Lily (ironically named after plant that is deadly to cats) when she is out gallivanting in the garden.
I'm 100% behind the campaign for better labelling, we label a ridiculous amount of things as toxic or non toxic to humans, so it seems like common sense to me that plants should be clearly labelled as toxic or non toxic to our pets.
I really hope you'll all get on board with this too, plant safe and give your pets a hug from me :)
* Research conducted with OnePoll on behalf of MORE TH>N Insurance with 2,000 British homeowners that also have a garden. 78% of those polled had one or more of the plant varieties at The MORE TH>N Poisonous Pawtanical Garden in their own gardens.