Who doesn’t love flowers around the house, or plants in the garden? They look beautiful, but it’s worth being aware that a number of plants and flowers are dangerous when it comes to our furry favourites. Read through our article to discover which plants might be poisonous and should be kept away from your dog.
As bright and happy as they are, when it comes to dogs, daffodils can be toxic. This is often the case when a dog has ingested the bulb, but can also be the case after they’ve ingested the flower heads. If your dog comes into contact with daffodils this way, they can cause bouts of vomiting, diarrhoea, and even lethargy, which, if it’s a severe case, might result in dehydration, tremors or convulsions. Look out for these dog poisoning symptoms from 15 minutes to 24 hours after they’ve been ingested. Other flowers seen in spring, like crocuses and tulips, can be less toxic, but we would still recommended veterinary advice if you are concerned your pet has ingested them.
Dogs that ingest ivy (sometimes known as hedera helix) commonly develop symptoms such as dribbling, vomiting, or suffer from diarrhoea. In the most severe cases, you may detect blood in their vomit or faeces. Contact with ivy can might also result in skin reactions, conjunctivitis, itchiness, and rashes. Be aware that ‘poison ivy’ (sometimes known as rhus radicans) is a different plant.
Even though they’re one of the nation’s most loved wildflowers, every single part of a bluebell is toxic to dogs. This type of poisoning can reveal symptoms to the stomach, intestine, and heart function, from vomiting and diarrhoea to abdominal discomfort. A risk of heartbeat irregularity (arrhythmia) can be a serious concern if a large quantity is ingested.
While more serious cases of poisoning are rare, if your pet ingests a conker, it can cause marked gastrointestinal signs, from retching, vomiting and diarrhoea, to drooling and abdominal pain. Conker shells also pose a risk, causing intestinal blockage in some instances. In most cases, dogs will vomit any ingested conkers quickly, but this can mean treatment to control their vomiting might be necessary.
Oaks and acorns
During autumn and winter months, your dog’s exposure to acorns is common. It’s believed the toxic ingredient is tannic acid, which might cause damage to dogs’ livers and kidneys. Signs to look out for are vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, lethargy of loss of appetite. If you dog ingests an acorn, it can also cause an intestinal blockage.
One of the most common causes of poisoning is by the death cap mushroom, also known as ‘amanita phalloides’. They are hugely toxic when consumed and ingested by dogs. Signs to watch out for are mild vomiting or diarrhoea, but these can lead to more serios digestive problems, brain and nerve disorders and even liver disease.
Originally from Mexico, poinsettias are most common in December when they reach full bloom. If your dog eats one, it can result in drooling, oral pain or vomiting, but this is usually only the case if they ingest larger amounts. One upside is that the plant contains an irritant sap, meaning it’s unlikely your dog will eat enough to cause severe harm as the taste and irritation puts them off.
Most popular around Christmas, amaryllis can flower for up to two months. Their stalks, flowers and bulbs contain phenanthridine alkaloids, elements that are toxic to dogs. The bulbs contain the greater quantities. If you dog eats amaryllis, it can cause vomiting, a change in blood pressure, tremors and even seizures.
One of the most toxic and poisonous plants to dogs, Mistletoe can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, laboured breathing and shock if eaten. In the most severe cases, it can cause death from cardiovascular collapse.
We all know that holly berries are an essential food source for birds during the winter, but it’s worth remembering that they are incredibly toxic to dogs. Many holly berries include saponins, and these can cause serious cases of vomiting and diarrhoea when ingested. The prickly leaves can also cause injuries to your dog’s face, eyes and paws.
A favourite for many, lilies can be extremely poisonous to pets, particularly cats. They can contain toxic substances, with even the vase water being a serious risk. Lilies aren’t as dangerous for dogs, but they can still cause a severe reaction and so you should contact your vet if you suspect they’ve consumed them. Most lilies are dangerous to dogs, including the calla lily, peace lily, lily of the valley and the palm lily.
Sometimes known as the black hellebore, these plants have been renamed Christmas roses despite rarely flowering in December. These plants contain poisonous cardiotoxins, causing diarrhoea, colic, lethargy, drooling, and abdominal pain if eaten by dogs. The whole plant is poison, from the roots to the stem to the flowers.
Low toxicity plants
Other plants and flowers, such as fuchsia plants, honeysuckle, pyracantha plants, rowan trees and Christmas cacti aren’t as likely to be toxic, but can still be dangerous, sometimes causing gastrointestinal issues, and so should still be avoided.