More Summer Safety Tips from Upstate Veterinary Specialties Emergency/Critical Care Specialist Dr. Danielle Berube

Summer_Pet_Toxins ASPCAUVS Criticalist Dr. Danielle Berube shares more summertime advice for your pets:

During the warmer summer months, many of us will be enjoying outdoor activities with our furry friends. There are some summer hazards such as toxic plants and garden products that are important to be aware of.




  • Flowers and plants: Although spring and summer plants can add much beauty and happiness to our home, many plants can be very dangerous if ingested by our pets.  
    • The degree of toxicity of plants varies: some plants are not toxic to our pets at all, some will cause only mild irritation (oral ulcers/irritation or vomiting/diarrhea) while others can cause organ failure and death.
    • If you suspect that your pet ingested part of a toxic plant Upstate Veterinary Specialties recommends calling the ASPCA 24-hour emergency poison hotline directly at  1-888-426-4435. (Please note that a consultation fee may be applied to your credit card.)
    •  The toxicology specialists will be able to provide you with recommendations regarding treatment. If they recommend seeking veterinary care please remember to bring your case number so that that emergency veterinarian at Upstate Veterinary Specialties can consult with the toxicologist.
    • The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center and the Pet Poison Helpline have web pages that list of toxic and nontoxic plants. The list can be searched by scientific name of the plant (often provided on the information tag when the plant is purchased) and also contains a list of toxic vs. nontoxic plants for dogs, cats and horses.


  • Yard products: Many common yard products can be toxic to our canine friends.
    • summer pet toxins graphicDifferent fertilizers, compost, herbicides, mulch and pesticides can cause a wide range of symptoms depending on the active ingredient and amount ingested.
    • Because there are such a large number of products available we recommend keeping the label information for reference in case of ingestion/exposure.



If you are concerned that your pet ingested any yard product or plant please call the ASPCA animal poison control center 1-888-426-4435 for further advice. (Remember to keep the case number provided.)


Stay tuned for Dr. Berube’s future blogs about summertime pet safety.


If you have any questions or concerns regarding your pet, Upstate Veterinary Specialties Emergency Service is available 24/7 at (518) 783-3198.