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Dangerous Spring and Summer Plants for Dogs

It’s no surprise that dogs have a fascination with flowers, especially during the nice spring and early summer walks they get to enjoy. However, just because these plants and flowers are pretty to smell and look at, doesn’t mean they are safe for your curious dog. There are many outdoor plants and flowers that may only cause mild symptoms, however, others may be very toxic. Before planting your new spring garden, take a look at what may be harmful to your furry friends.

Popular Spring and Summer Plants Harmful to Dogs

The most dangerous spring and summer plants for dogs during the months of June through August include:

  • Flowers/Houseplants – aloe vera, daffodil, foxglove, autumn crocus and lily
  • Vines – clematis, English and Boston ivy, wisteria and morning glory
  • Shrubs – azalea, hydrangea, oleander and sago palm

Keep in mind, the above-mentioned plants/flowers, vines and shrubs are among the most dangerous, and there are many other listed plants that may cause mild symptoms if ingested. Also, in some cases, the entire plant is toxic, but in other cases it may just be the seed, leaf or bulb that is poisonous. You need to be familiar with these plants prior to planting them in your garden, or exposing your pets to them. 

Symptoms of Toxic Ingestion

The level of danger and symptoms may vary depending on type of plant, amount that’s been ingested, as well as the size of your pet. Some plants may only cause mild symptoms, while other plants may warrant immediate veterinarian care. Some common signs to look for are:

  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive Drooling
  • Coughing
  • Panting
  • Body Tremors/Seizures
  • Loss of Appetite

What Should You Do If a Dog Ingests Toxic Plants or Flowers?

If you suspect your dog has ingested a toxic plant or flower, contact your veterinarian immediately and do not induce vomiting, unless your veterinarian has instructed you to do so. If possible, collect a sample of the plant to take to your veterinarian, as this can help them evaluate the seriousness of the ingestion and determine the best course of care. 

Be prepared to share such information with your vet regarding your dog’s symptoms, when the plant was ingested, and how much was ingested (if known). If possible, you can collect some of the vomit in a small bag so your vet can evaluate this as well.

Another resource to use is the Pet Poison Hotline, which is manned 24 hours per day by experts in veterinary toxicology. They can provide both pet owners as well as veterinarians with instant advice regarding toxic doses and recommended treatments. The Pet Poison Hotline number is 855-289-0358.

Keeping Your Dog Safe

It is up to you, as the dog owner, to keep your dog safe and away from harmful plants. Research any plants you are unsure about and always assume these plants can be dangerous if you are not certain, and be sure to make these plants inaccessible to your pets as much as possible. 

Offer a stern “no” to your pup if you catch him trying to nibble on a plant, and remove him from the area. Keep in mind, when bored, many dogs will try to chew plants, so offering them something which is “dog safe”, for example a long-lasting beef rawhide or chew, is the appropriate action to take. Enjoy a long walk with him to release some of his boredom, however, just keep him away from the pretty flowers and plants!

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