Every spring, my family has a weekend ritual that takes us deep into rural Pennsylvania to visit our favorite garden nursery. As with every outing, my dog, Tucker was included in the trip. Something that I didn’t think much of until Tucker jumped out of the open car window when we left him in the car with my Dad. Running after my mom and I, Tucker stopped short of us to sniff a few tulips nearby and the nursery attendant loudly shouted, “NO!” Needless to say, the three of us were pretty surprised at the attendant’s outburst. She went on to explain that she had lost a pet after he became sick after eating tulips.
That made me wonder, what other plants in my garden could be dangerous to my fuzzy best friend?
Even though they may seem harmless, tulips bulbs are one of more than 700 plants deemed toxic to pets. While your trained pooch might know better than to nose through Mom’s garden, puppies still in the chewing stage might be tempted to press their luck. Even well-trained dogs might investigate an unknown leaf they encounter on a walk.
The bottom line is that your dog doesn’t know which plants are going to give him a treacherous punishment. It’s your job to know which plants to keep out of reach. So whether you enjoy gardening, going on long walks, decorating with house plants or busting out the Christmas Holly — you need to ensure that you’re keeping an eye out for breeds that will keep your furry ones happy and healthy.
Below are ten types of common plants that are toxic to your dog, as well as their symptoms and what to do if you suspect your dog has been munching on them.
While an aloe plant is handy for treating human burns, it is dangerous to dogs and needs to be kept out of their reach. Aloe plants contain anthraquinone glycosides. If ingested, these toxins can result in vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, tremors or changes in urine color for your beloved pup.
Who doesn’t love this sweet filler in their flower bouquets? Your dog sure won’t if he fills his tummy with it. Getting his chops on baby’s breath can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
These common beauties are another one to keep out of your dog’s reach, as ingesting them may cause gastrointestinal distress and dermatitis for your pup.
The fragrance of this popular plant may lure your dog in. But consuming any part of the plant may result in depression and loss of coordination for your pup. Other symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, hypersalivation and dermatitis — and potentially even death.
Cyclamen is a beautiful flowering plant for your garden, but is a particularly dangerous plant for dogs. While most toxic plants cause irritations in the pet’s gastrointestinal tract — which dogs usually rid themselves of through vomiting — this plant’s tubers, which are located at the root, may cause heart rhythm abnormalities, seizures and even death. If your dog likes to dig for his food, avoid this plant altogether.
The bulbs of garden hyacinths are particularly worrisome, as they contain the highest amount of toxins in the plant. They cause vomiting, diarrhea, dermatitis and allergic reactions.
Some holiday plants, such as mistletoe, rosemary and holly berries can be toxic to your dog. Varieties of holly contain toxic saponins which can cause vomiting and diarrhea if ingested. Dogs tend to smack their lips, drool and shake their heads excessively if they’ve ingested the spiny leaves.
Dogs typically don’t bother these perennial favorites, but they are toxic to pups and may cause vomiting, diarrhea and depression if ingested. If your dog is the curious type, replace your hostas with butterfly ginger — another bright and showy flower. Keep in mind when you’re shopping around that hostas are also known as plantation lilies and funkia.
Narcissus or tulip bulbs contain lycorine, an alkaloid that triggers vomiting. Crystals on the outer layer of the bulbs are especially harmful, causing tissue irritation and secondary drooling. Symptoms of ingestion include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, drooling, possible cardiac abnormalities and depression, and can result in even more severe symptoms.
While not the worst amongst the bunch, tomato plants can bring great discomfort to your dog. The ripened tomato is considered non-toxic, but the green parts of the plant contain solanine, a poisonous compound that may cause gastrointestinal distress if eaten in large quantities. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and weakness.
Poisonous plants rank in the top five toxins for dogs. If you know your dog has gotten into something dangerous, check inside their mouth for sores or excessive drooling. Running water into their mouth can help rinse out any toxins. Your next step is to call your veterinarian or the Animal Poison Control 24-hour emergency poison hotline directly at 1-888-426-4435.
The good news is that most toxic plants taste bitter, so dogs are unlikely to eat large quantities of them. Play it safe by keeping toxic plants out of reach and only planting those that you know are safe for dogs. Even the best-trained dogs can turn into pesky pups every now and then by getting into something unsafe. Make sure you do your part to protect your furry friend!