Our family is so excited to be adding another member soon: a puppy! We can’t wait, but in the meantime, I have been researching plants unsafe for dogs. It’s been six years since our previous dog passed away, and we are ready for another puppy! Our last dog, Chance, was a Chesapeake Bay Retriever and the new puppy will be that breed too! Since it’s been quite a few years since we’ve had a puppy, I’ve been brushing up on the do’s and don’ts of being a dog owner and teaching my boys about this new responsibility.
The full list of plants that are toxic to dogs is pretty extensive and was a little bit of a botanical lesson for me! The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) and the Humane Society have very thorough lists that are good to print off and keep as references. I am just going to highlight a couple common plants unsafe for dogs:
- Apples: Yup, even crabapples can give dogs some very adverse effects. The cyanide in the seeds, stem, and leaves can cause brick red mucous membranes, dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, panting, and shock.
- Daisies: These are common on our walks in Minnesota so we need to watch out because they can cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression, anorexia, hypersalivation and wobbly gait.
- Garlic: I wouldn’t want to give my dog garlic anyways, but I might be tempted to give him food scraps, which could contain garlic. Garlic can cause vomiting, breakdown of red blood cells (hemolytic anemia, Heinz body anemia), blood in urine, weakness, high heart rate, and panting.
- Aloe: This is a common houseplant, which can be helpful for healing people, but not dogs. It could cause vomiting and change urine color.
- Poinsettia: We just got rid of our poinsettias, but I’ll have to remember for next Christmas that this can no longer be part of our “natural” decor because they cause “ irritation to the mouth and stomach, and sometimes causes vomiting.”
In general, it looks like most flowering plants don’t agree with dogs, and you don’t want your puppy digging in your garden anyways! Also, many foods and spices that people eat do not agree with dogs, which is why it’s important to let your dog eat his own food and not give them table scraps. But what about grass? Interestingly, it’s ok for dogs to eat grass! According to the American Kennel Club, they probably just do it because they like the taste.
What common plants have you experienced a dog should avoid? I’d like to hear your advice!