Plants that are dangerous for dogs

by Amy Cooper
Dog sat in flowers

Since we are in the summer now, and spending more time outside, it’s worth knowing what common plants could be harmful for your dogs. So, in this blog I will be going over ten common summer plants (in the UK) that are dangerous for dogs and what to do if your dog comes into contact with or eats these plants.

1. Azalea flower


All parts of the azalea if eaten can cause nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing and even a coma. They can also be fatal if eaten in large quantities. If you think your dog has eaten any azalea you should get a sample of the plant and go to your vets immediately. Once at the vets they will confirm if the plant is azalea and treat accordingly. 

2. Jimson weed

Jimson weed

Eating any part of the jimson weed can cause extreme thirst, distorted vision, delirium, incoherence, coma and even death. If you think your dog has eaten any jimson weed, you should get a sample of the plant but be careful especially if you have any cuts. Remove any plant residue from your dogs mouth and go to your vets immediately. Once at the vets they will confirm if the plant is jimson weed and treat accordingly. 

3. Ragwort


All parts of this plant are poisonous, and even small doses can be fatal if ingested. Dogs can be poisoned by ragwort either by eating lots at once or eating small amounts regularly over time. This can mean that knowing if your dog has ragwort poisoning more difficult. So, if your dog shows any signs or symptoms of poisoning you should take them to a vet straight away. It’s also important that you tell the vet if your dog has been seen eating any foliage recently. 

4. Wild cherry

Wild cherry

The sticks and leaves of a wild cherry tree can be fatal if ingested. Cherry trees and the fruits pits contain cyanide which can be lethal to dogs. So, if your dog has eaten either of these it’s important to get to the vets very quickly. Make sure you let the vet know roughly how much was consumed and how long ago.

5. Yew


Yew berries and foliage can cause dizziness, abdominal cramps, salivation and vomiting if ingested. It can also be fatal even without any prior symptoms. As with most ingestions of poisonous plant if your dog has consumed yew, it’s important to go to the vets straight away with a sample if possible. 

6. Elder


All parts of the elder are poisonous to dogs if ingested including the berries. Elder also contains cyanide so as with the cherry you should get to the vets very quickly. Make sure you let the vet know roughly how much was consumed and how long ago.

7. Foxglove


The leaves and seeds contain a toxin that can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, heart problems, fits and collapsing. Since foxglove is extremely toxic to dogs if you suspect your dog may have ingested it you should contact your vets straight away!

8. Geranium


All parts of the geranium are poisonous. However, most cases of geranium poisoning do not require treatmentas there are only very low levels of dangerous chemicals found in them. So, if your dog has eaten geraniums, you should keep a close eye on them. If they deteriorate or you’re worried about them then take them to your vets. 

9. Hydrangea


All parts of the hydrangea are poisonous if consumed as it contains cyanide. Most symptoms are mild but, the sooner you get veterinary help the higher the chance of a full recovery. So, despite the mild symptoms it is important to see a vet immediately. 

10. Rhubarb


All parts of the rhubarb plant contain calcium oxalate, but it is much more concentrated in the leaves. This can cause pain, irritation and renal failure. So, if your dog consumes any part of the rhubarb especially the leaves your dog will require emergency veterinary treatment

As I’m sure you have all noticed by now the overriding theme here is to take your dog to the vets or contact the vets as soon as possible if you suspect your dog has consumed any poisonous plant or is showing signs of poisoning. 

Finally, I have only mentioned a very few of the plants that are poisonous to dogs. So, if you want a more conclusive link dogs trust have a great resource – linked here!

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