Coneflowers are beautiful, low-maintenance additions to any garden. Coneflowers also provide numerous benefits and are even edible. However, do these benefits extend to your pets or livestock? This article will explain whether coneflowers are toxic to dogs, pets, and other animals.
Are Coneflowers Toxic to Dogs, Pets, and Other Animals?
Coneflowers (Echinacea spp.) aren’t toxic to dogs, cats, or livestock animals like horses. Most animals can safely consume coneflowers in small quantities without any adverse effects.
However, coneflowers contain several compounds that have medicinal uses in humans. These compounds may react with any medication that your pet is on. Fortunately, this is only an issue if your pet consumes large quantities of coneflowers.
Mature coneflowers are deer-resistant but are vulnerable to rabbits. Coneflowers are not toxic to either of these species. If wild animals threaten your coneflowers, it’s best to protect them.
Are Coneflowers Toxic to Humans?
Coneflowers are not toxic to humans. In fact, coneflower leaves, flower buds, stems, and roots are all edible. Coneflower leaves and flower buds can be eaten raw but work best when dried and used to make echinacea tea.
Coneflowers were used extensively as medicinal plants by many Native American societies. Modern research has shown that coneflowers are rich in antioxidants. They may also boost our immune systems and alleviate symptoms of colds and flu. Coneflowers may also alleviate skin problems like acne or eczema.
What to Do if Your Pet Consumes a Coneflower
Although coneflowers shouldn’t cause any problems for your pet, it’s best to monitor them. If your pet consumes some coneflowers, check whether they experience any diarrhea or vomiting. Excessive consumption may cause some stomach discomfort.
If your pet receives medication and consumes some coneflowers, their medication may be affected. If your pet does eat some coneflowers, check with your vet to see if it’ll impact their medication.
How to Keep Pets Away from Coneflowers
Even though coneflowers won’t harm your pets, it’s best to keep them away. If your pet eats too many of your coneflowers, your garden display might be ruined. Coneflowers are perennials, which means they take a while to grow back.
One of the easiest ways to keep your pets away from coneflowers is to protect your plants using a barrier. Chicken wire or wood fencing works well. Tall fences also protect your coneflowers from deer.
By growing companion plants nearby, you can also deter your pets from investigating coneflowers. Companion plants like citronella, thyme, and other herbs have strong scents. This also protects your coneflowers against rabbits.
You can also get repellent sprays that protect pets and wild animals from plants like coneflowers.
Coneflowers are not classed as toxic to dogs, cats, or livestock animals like horses or sheep. Even if your pet does consume a few coneflowers, they shouldn’t experience any health problems. That said, coneflowers could interfere with your pet’s medication, so check this with your veterinarian.
For more, see our in-depth guide on how to grow coneflowers.
Edd is a budding content writer and gardener living in the United Kingdom. He has a bachelor's degree in Creative and Professional Writing and has written for several gardening publications online. He is passionate about nature and sustainability with a focus on gardening and wildlife.
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