Pets in the Classroom: Safety Considerations

There are some serious considerations to be given before making the decision to include pets in the classroom, perhaps more than you may have realized. This video gives a nice overview of what those considerations are, and how to address the many concerns that will arise.

Dangerous Plants for Cats and Dogs

Avoid having any of the following plants near your pets.

Grayanotoxin plants include rhododendrons, azaleas, laurels and Japanese pieris. These plants can cause vomiting, seizures and cardiac arrest.

Sago Palms are common outdoor ornamental plants in warm climates and indoor plants in cool climates. Once ingested, pets may suffer liver failure, seizures and death. The entire plant is toxic; the seeds are the most toxic part of the plant. Sago palms have a mortality rate of about 30%.

Cardiac Glycoside plants include oleander, foxglove and lily of the valley. Once ingested, the glycosides in the plant can slow down heartbeat and even stop it. Generally, these plants are outdoor plants, but lily of the valley is commonly used in bouquets.

 dog-in-garden

Japanese Yews stay green year-round, which is why they’re commonly used as landscaping plants. Yews contain toxins that can cause irregular heartbeat or stop the heart. All parts of the plant are toxic except for the ripe berry. Death can occur within hours of ingesting the plant.

Castor Bean contains ricin which can be very toxic to pets. Ricin can cause multiple organ failure; there is about a 9% mortality rate once ingested. Ricin is found throughout the plant, but it is most concentrated in the seeds. If the seed is ingested, the dog may not die or experience ill-effects as long as the seed coating isn’t damaged.

Autumn Crocus contains chemo-like compounds that attack rapidly dividing cells. If ingested, pets may experience vomiting, diarrhea, weakness and even death. Autumn crocus looks similar to the spring crocus, but the spring crocus is not toxic.

Hops are used in brewing beer. If ingested by pets, the body temperature can skyrocket and within hours, dogs may become agitated and start painting. The body temperature can rise enough to cause death.

Lilies can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. Cats will vomit within hours of ingestion and may stop producing urine within 72 hours. Cats who receive treatment early typically have good prognosis.