Toxic plants for dogs: what you need to know


Perhaps this article should have been titled “Garden Etiquette for Your Dog.” This article is about what dogs do in the garden! No one knows exactly why “a dog eats plants” and everything else that smells and tastes good. Maybe it’s for fun, you can’t resist something that smells or tastes good or even boring, but it will always be the destruction of your most precious plants, invariably! However, there are things in your garden that can kill your beloved dog that they seem drawn to. Wandering Jew, ground cover, is one example. If your dog eats a wandering Jew, it can make him sick. Eat enough and it could kill your dog. Other toxic plants that are harmful to your dog are Hippeastrum bulbs, rhubarb leaves, jasmine, lantana to name a few, but there are others. Some symptoms to look out for may be nausea, shortness of breath, weakness, restlessness, and seizures. In any case, if you think your dog has ingested toxic plants, take him to the vet immediately.

Mulch, fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides can be another thing your dog loves to eat in your yard. Eating fresh blood and bone fertilizer and chicken manure will attract your dog, but in most cases it will be harmless. Dogs are exposed by digging in your yard, chewing on granules, and sniffing right after insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides have been applied. Needless to say, keep all of these well stored out of the reach of pets and children. Veterinarians see cases every year of dogs that have eaten snail pellets and the treatment is not pleasant, so be careful.

One of our favorite indulgences, chocolate can be fatal to your dog. This is why Cocoa Mulch can be lethal to dogs (and cats) if it contains an ingredient called ‘The Obromine’. Smells like chocolate and really attracts dogs. If they ingest this mulch, it can again be fatal.

However, it is okay for your dog to eat walnut grass and other long blades of grass to aid digestion or to vomit. It’s their natural way of dealing with an upset stomach.

No matter how well fed your dog is, be careful, puppies, nibbles, and purebreds cannot distinguish a good toxic smell or taste while drilling in the garden.

So keep your dog safe and away from toxic plants in your garden.

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