If you are decorating your home for Fall, you might want to think twice about what flowers you will be planting.

Here in the Hudson Valley we love autumn. As leaves change their colors to gold and red and homes are filled with the smell of apple pie, local residents tend to celebrate the change of seasons a little more than most other places.

Stop by any supermarket or home improvement store and you'll find rows and rows of different colored fall plants for sale. The most popular, by far, is the chrysanthemum. Known simply as mums, these hearty plants can withstand cold, fall evenings while supplying huge blooms in a rainbow of colors that can brighten any home.

Jen Theordore/Unsplash
Jen Theordore/Unsplash

These beautiful plants, however, can actually be quite dangerous. According to the ASPCA, mums can be deadly to cats, dogs and even horses. If you have a pet that gets into plants, you may want to avoid mums. After ingesting the plants your dog or cat may experience a variety of symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, hypersalivation, incoordination and dermatitis.

PetMD.com lists mums as one of the top 10 common poisonous plants to dogs. It's also one of the 17 plants that can kill your cat.  While we don't want pet owners to panic, it's important to be aware that mums can be quite dangerous. Even humans can have a reaction to mums. While they're not deadly to people, they can be highly irritating to your skin. Those who are susceptive to dermatitis should not handle mums.

So, if you didn't know that mums are toxic to pets, it's important to be more vigilant when letting your cat or dog out into the yard. With some extra precautions, you can still enjoy mums and all of the beautiful fall colors they bring to the Hudson Valley this time of year while keeping your pets safe.

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