Dogs love a good sniff and snuffle around in the undergrowth and it often seems like they will have a chew on absolutely anything.
But there may be hidden and unexpected dangers everywhere from your back garden to the wild outdoors that could harm or even kill you pets.
There are a number of plants found in gardens and the countryside which 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 plants cause mild side effects and would need to be eaten in large quantities to cause harm, but there are some more dangerous plants dog owners should look out for, and here are a few of the more common ones…
Azaleas are flowering shrubs noted for their renowned beauty. They come in a variety of colors, most commonly pink and red, however, the flower is also highly toxic. It contains andromedotoxins in its leaves and nectar which can cause nausea, vomiting, depression, coma and breathing difficulties in dogs. If eaten in large enough quantities, the garden plant can be fatal.
Foxgloves are another familiar flower that are beautiful but deadly. The well-known purple-pink plant grows in large quantities across the British countryside between June and September, but if consumed, can cause several health problems. Seizures, cardiac arrhythmias, and death are all possible outcomes for canines that ingest the plant. French bulldog and pug breeding ‘should be banned’ according to a welfare charity – you can read more about that here.
Daffodils, also known as narcissus, flower in the spring and are often found in gardens and parks. Daffodil bulbs contain poisonous calcium oxalate crystals which can cause dermatitis, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Ingestion of the bulbs can be fatal, so dog owners should remain cautious when digging up their daffodils.
Wisterias are a flowering plant from the vegetable family, found in many gardens in the United Kingdom. The plant contains lectin and wisterin glycoside, which are both toxic to dogs. If eaten, common side-effects include nausea, repeated vomiting, and stomach pains. Wisteria seed pods are even more toxic than the plant and can cause severe diarrhea, dehydration, and collapse.
Rapeseed is a bright-yellow flower found in fields and farmlands. The plant is used for cooking oil production and animal feed. There have been a lot of misconceptions surrounding the effects rapeseed has on dogs. Posts emerging on social media have made claims that the flower can cause blindness and nervous damaged systems. The reality, however, is that most dogs remain asymptomatic after exposure to rapeseed. In rare cases, the plant has can cause gastrointestinal upset and skin reactions, which resemble burns, but these cases are extremely irregular.
It is unlikely that your dog would reach mistletoe growing in the garden, but it can be problematic when used for Christmas decorations in the house. Eating mistletoe berries can upset the gastrointestinal tract and cause dermatitis. If eaten by a puppy, even only a few berries can be fatal.
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, a dry mouth, abdominal cramps, salivation, and vomiting. Yew can be fatal to dogs.
All parts of the beaver bean plant, used for producing beaver oil, are lethal to dogs and humans, and even consuming small amounts can be fatal.
Eating any part of oleander can cause heart problems, severe digestive problems, dermatitis and sometimes death to dogs.
Tulips can be harmful if eaten in quantity. They may cause skin allergies and itchy rashes.
Primrose leaves can cause an upset stomach and even dermatitis.
Poisoning from the horse chestnut tree tends to occur within one to six hours after ingestion. Every part of the plant is poisonous to dogs and can cause seizures, and muscle tremors and twitching.
Small grapes that are developing on the vine have enough tartaric acid left to make dogs sick. If ingested in large quantities, they can cause nausea and vomiting.
Aloe Vera, often found inside the house can also be problematic for dogs. Common side effects are mild but not uncommon, including, diarrhea and an upset stomach.
Onions, if eaten by dogs can cause anaemia. They should not be fed to dogs in any form.
The stem, leaves, and unripe green fruit of tomatoes can cause gastronomic issues.
Poisonous. It can cause severe blistering dermatitis if it comes into contact with your dog’s skin.
The foliage and acorns of the oak tree affect the kidneys if consumed. Symptoms are delayed and appear after several days.
Where to find out more…
The Dogs Trust ‘list of poisonous plants, garden, and household substances’ includes a comprehensive list of over 200 plants which are poisonous to dogs.- You can find it here.
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