Many common plants are poisonous to pets, but bamboo is not one of them. Bamboo is non-toxic to dogs, cats or horses. If your pet encounters a poisonous plant, through ingestion or topical contact, you should be prepared with an emergency kit to treat potential serious effects.
Bamboo is a woody, tree-like, fast-growing plant that some people plant outside or keep in pots in the home. Additionally, bamboo is found in flooring, furniture, baskets and toys, among other products. When grown outside, bamboo can spread quickly. It may appear invasive, like weeds. Your curious pet may chew or eat the bamboo plant if there's a lot of it in your yard; however, no bamboo species will harm your pet.
Other types of plants are poisonous to pets. Plants that are toxic to dogs and cats include aloe, amaryllis, holly, asparagus fern, azalea, baby’s breath, begonia, bird of paradise, calla lily, chrysanthemum, daffodil, dahlia, geranium, hibiscus, hosta, hydrangea, iris, lily of the valley, philodendron, poinsettia, rhododendron, tulip and yew, among others. If you have a question about a particular plant, contact a nursery, your vet or the SPCA poison hotline at 888-426-4435.
Treating Poisonous Contact
When your pet encounters a poisonous plant or substance, remain calm so your pet does not sense your fear. Remove the poisonous substance and place into a jar or plastic baggie to bring to your vet if needed. If possible, seek emergency vet care immediately. You may first want to induce vomiting using hydrogen peroxide if poisonous object was ingested and wash skin with mild dish soap for any topical contact. Watch your pet for adverse effects, as they may not occur until hours after contact.
Pet Emergency Kit
Emergencies with your pet, such as contact with a poisonous plant, may occur even with the best prevention steps. Assembling an emergency kit for your pet is useful in an emergent situation without immediate vet access. Include the following items in your emergency kit: 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, syringe, saline solution, liquid dish soap, eye flushing lubricant and a muzzle and pet carrier for stabilization and transportation.
Francine Richards is a licensed multi-state insurance agent with years of human resources and insurance industry experience. Her work has appeared on Blue Cross Blue Shield websites and newsletters, the Houston Chronicle and The Nest. Richards holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Maryland.