Garden plants you should keep your dog away from this summer

June 11, 2024
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As the warmer weather arrives, many of us are eager to refresh our outdoor spaces and spend more time in our gardens. 

However, for the more than a third of UK households that have a dog, it’s important to be cautious about which plants you introduce to your garden. 

Some common garden plants can cause serious harm to your furry friends.

Johanna Buitelaar-Warden, an expert at Lords and Labradors, shared crucial advice for dog owners on which plants to avoid and what to do if your dog shows signs of poisoning. 

“Understanding which plants can pose risks to our canine companions is essential for ensuring their well-being,” said Johanna.

“Whether causing minor digestive discomfort or presenting grave hazards, the range of toxicity among plants is vast and varied. By being informed, we can take proactive steps to safeguard our dogs from potential harm.”

Common toxic plants to avoid include Daffodil Bulbs, which, while a springtime favourite, contain toxic substances that can cause severe vomiting, diarrhoea, and even heart problems in dogs. 

Bluebells, beautiful flowers common in UK gardens, can induce symptoms like vomiting, diarrhoea, and abdominal discomfort if ingested by dogs. 

Yew is extremely toxic, and all parts of the Yew plant, especially the berries, can be fatal to dogs if consumed. 

Ivy can lead to drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain in dogs, while Delphinium, also known as larkspur, can cause neuromuscular effects such as stiffness, weakness, and trembling. 

Foxgloves, known for their tall, beautiful spikes of flowers, contain digitalis, which can cause severe heart problems in dogs.

Beyond these common culprits, there are several other plants that pose significant risks to dogs, including Aconitum (Monkshood), which is highly toxic and can cause severe gastrointestinal issues, heart problems, and neurological symptoms. 

Azalea ingestion can lead to vomiting, diarrhoea, drooling, and, in severe cases, coma or death. 

Rhododendron, similar to Azaleas, can cause serious gastrointestinal distress and heart issues.

Despite your best efforts, accidents can happen. 

If you suspect your dog has ingested a toxic plant, stay calm, identify the plant, contact your vet immediately, and provide them with as much information as possible, including the type of plant and the symptoms your dog is exhibiting. 

Follow your vet’s instructions, as they may advise you to bring your dog in for treatment or to administer first aid at home.

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