Dogs love to sniff and sniff in the undergrowth and it often looks like they’ll chew on absolutely anything.
But there can be hidden and unexpected dangers everywhere, from your garden to the wild outdoors, that could injure or even kill your pets.
There are a number of plants found in gardens and the countryside that are considered poisonous to dogs. They range from common garden plants such as primroses and tulips to vegetation such as foxgloves and horse chestnuts found on dog walking routes across the country. You can get more local news and other story updates by subscribing to our newsletters here.
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Most herbs cause mild side effects and would need to be consumed in large amounts to cause harm, but there are more dangerous herbs that dog owners should watch out for, and here are some of the most common…
Azaleas are flowering shrubs recognized for their renowned beauty. They come in a variety of colors, most commonly pink and red, however, the flower is also very poisonous. It contains andromedotoxins in its leaves and nectar which can cause nausea, vomiting, depression, coma and breathing difficulties in dogs. If eaten in sufficient quantity, the garden plant can be fatal.
Foxgloves are another familiar flower that is beautiful but deadly. The famous rose-purple plant grows in large quantities in the British countryside between June and September, but if eaten it can cause several health issues. Seizures, cardiac arrhythmias, and death are all possible outcomes for dogs that ingest the plant. Breeding French bulldogs and pugs ‘should be banned’ according to charity – you can read more about that here.
Daffodils, also known as narcissus, bloom mainly in spring and are often found in gardens and parks. Daffodil bulbs contain poisonous calcium oxalate crystals which can cause dermatitis, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Ingesting the bulbs can be fatal, so dog owners should exercise caution when digging up their daffodils.
Wisteria is a flowering plant in the legume family found in many gardens in the UK. The plant contains lectin and glycine glycoside, both of which are toxic to dogs. If ingested, common side effects include nausea, repeated vomiting, and stomach pain. Wisteria seed pods are even more poisonous than the plant and can cause severe diarrhea, dehydration, and sagging.
Rapeseed is a bright yellow flower found in fields and farmlands. The plant is used for the production of cooking oil and animal feed. There have been many misconceptions regarding the effects of canola on dogs. Posts on social media claimed the flower could cause blindness and damage the nervous system. The reality, however, is that most dogs remain asymptomatic after exposure to oilseed rape. In rare cases, the plant can cause gastrointestinal disturbances and skin reactions, which resemble burns, but these cases are extremely irregular.
Mistletoe growing in the garden is unlikely to be reached by your dog, but it can be problematic when used for Christmas decorations around the house. Eating mistletoe berries can upset the gastrointestinal tract and cause dermatitis. If eaten by a puppy, even just a few berries can be deadly.
Apricot kernels contain cyanide and can be fatal to dogs.
Apples, like apricots, contain cyanide in their seeds. They can cause death in the worst circumstances.
Yew foliage and berries can cause dizziness, dry mouth, abdominal cramps, drooling and vomiting. Yew can be deadly to dogs.
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All parts of the castor plant, used to produce castor oil, are lethal to dogs and humans, and even consuming small amounts can be fatal.
Eating any part of the oleander can cause heart problems, serious digestive problems, dermatitis, and sometimes death in dogs.
Tulips can be harmful if eaten in large quantities. They can cause skin allergies and itching.
Primrose leaves can cause stomach upset and even dermatitis.
Horse chestnut poisoning tends to occur within one to six hours after ingestion. Every part of the plant is toxic to dogs and can cause seizures, muscle tremors, and muscle twitches.
The little grapes that grow on the vine have enough tartaric acid to make dogs sick. If ingested in large quantities, they can cause nausea and vomiting.
Aloe Vera, often present inside the house, can also be problematic for dogs. Common side effects are mild but not uncommon, including diarrhea and upset stomach.
Onions, if eaten by dogs, can cause anemia. They should not be given to dogs in any form.
The stem, leaves and unripe green fruits of tomatoes can cause gastronomic problems.
Toxic. It can cause severe bullous dermatitis if it comes into contact with your dog’s skin.
The foliage and acorns of the oak tree affect the kidneys if eaten. Symptoms are delayed and appear after several days.
Where to find out more…
dog confidence ‘list of poisonous plants, garden and household substances’ includes a comprehensive list of over 200 plants that are poisonous to dogs. – You can find it here.
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