Petunias are popular in gardens around the world. They have a reputation among gardeners as one of the most resilient flowers around. They are also notable for their long-lasting flowers. Not to mention, they are extremely easy to care for and come in a wide range of vibrant colors. Having a pet such as a dog or a cat, however, raises the question of whether these plants are poisonous to our furry friends. Are petunias poisonous to dogs or cats? Keep reading to find out!
For pet-friendly gardeners, petunias are an excellent choice of flower. The petunia plant is not toxic to cats or dogs, making it a safe option for households with several pets. But this doesn’t make them a food option for your pets. You should discourage your dogs and cat from eating houseplants whether they are toxic or not. But if your pet accidentally eats petunias, you have nothing to worry about. Non-toxic species of petunias include Grandiflora, Multiflora, and Milli flora.
Should You Let Your Pet Eat Petunias?
You shouldn’t let your cat or dog eat petunias. Although petunias are safe for dogs to eat, overeating them can lead to stomach upset. Dogs and cats are not herbivores, so it’s inappropriate for them to eat plants. We recommend growing petunias in hanging baskets or window boxes if you have a dog that likes to dig in the garden or chew on plants.
Poisonous plants are known to many dogs because of their instincts; however, the lure of flowers can be too much for certain dogs! Petunias aren’t hazardous to dogs, cats, or other animals, but many other plants are. Training your dog to avoid all flowers reduces the risk of your dog devouring a hazardous plant in the future. Too much foraging is also bad for a dog’s digestive system.
What Happens If Your Pet Overeats Petunias?
While petunias are not inherently poisonous to dogs or cats, eating a little too much can cause your pet to vomit. Apart from vomiting, some other symptoms that your pet has eaten too much of these flowering plants are:
- Excessive urination
- Excessive hunger
You should keep an eye on your pet if they vomit after going out in the garden and you notice some flower heads missing. If your dog continues to be sick for an extended period, you should seek the advice of a veterinarian.
Why Do Cats and Dogs Eat Petunias?
Dogs generally eat petunias because they’re bored or because they don’t know better. If your dog eats just one or two petunia blooms, you shouldn’t have to nurse them from any nasty side effects. Six blooms, however, are considered a little too much. Additionally, there are several reports of dogs eating plants and medical reports show that these cases are peculiar to pets who lack fiber in their diet or suffer from pica.
Likewise, cats with a deficiency in fiber can pick up a habit of eating plants like petunias. Besides, if a cat can’t pass a hairball, the first thing it does is eat grass to assist in the process of expulsion, as any cat owner knows. The biologically appropriate diet for cats and dogs is meat, so eating petunias is not ideal for your pets.
Some plants are toxic or even lethal to pets. Toxic symptoms can include anything from vomiting and diarrhea to organ failure and convulsions. Dog and cat owners who plant petunias need not be concerned about their pet nibbling on the plant, but excessive chewing can cause some side effects, not to mention destroy the beauty of your garden.
We know petunias aren’t toxic to dogs or cats. However, if your dog is a renowned digger and plant-eater, or your cat ventures outside, it may be best to use a window box or hanging basket instead. Thankfully, petunia flowers bloom beautifully in baskets, boxes, and patio urns!
The photo featured at the top of this post is © nadia_if/Shutterstock.com
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