This first weekend in May has been quite warm, and George and I have been spending a lot more time outside soaking up the rays. It’s rare for George to start eating flowers on his walks and in the backyard, but I have caught him more than once sampling a few bushes in our front yard along with the Bermuda grass (Cynodon Dactylon). I was curious if this was harmful for his digestive tract, thankfully it isn’t harmful at all. However I learned that there are over 700 plants that have been found to be poisonous to dogs and cats. I went through the list and pulled out 10 of the plants I recognized and know are in my yard. How many of these are in your yard too?
Azaleas (Rhododendron ponticum) — A very common garden plant that grows as a large hedge/shrub. They can vary in color from pink-purple. Azaleas are toxic to dogs, cats, goats, horses, and sheep. Only a few leaves of this flower can cause major problems, such as upset stomach, diarrhea, excessive drooling, loss of appetite, weakness, stupor, weak heart rate and leg paralysis.
Begonias (Begonia semperflorens)— Most begonias are used as container plants, (planters or pots) however some people do put them into their garden. Thankfully just the tubers (roots) are being the most toxic portion. They are toxic to both cats and dogs and symptoms include, intense burning in the mouth (tongue and lips), excessive drooling, vomiting, and swelling of the tongue.
Boxwood (Buxus)— Boxwood are the hedging plants that most people keep lining pathways or sometimes in the garden. Every part of this plant is toxic to dogs, ingestion can result in vomiting, diarrhea, and severe gas.
Daffodil (Narcissus) — They are spring time flowers, but their bulbs are often planted in the late winter so they bloom around the same time as tulips. Unfortunately these sunny plants are very dangerous, especially the bulbs which dogs can easily dig up and eat. They are most dangerous to dogs and the symptoms include, severe gastrointestinal irritation, drooling, loss of appetite, convulsions, and cardiac abnormalities.
English Ivy (Hedera helix) — Ivy in general is a nasty invasive plant that can smother and kill trees, it also is hazards to dogs it can cause diarrhea, gas and vomiting.
Hydrangea/Hortensia — I love hydrangeas and once they start blooming, I almost always have them around me. Unfortunately they are quite bad for dogs and cats, also horses. Symptoms can include vomiting, upset stomach and diarrhea.
Milkweed (Asclepias) — One of the reason why people plant milkweed is it encourages monarch butterflies to visit their garden. It is toxic to both cats and dogs, symptoms can include weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, respiratory issues, weak pulse, dilated pupils.
Rhododendron — Azaleas come from rhododendrons, so all the same facts apply to the common rhododendron. Animals only need to ingest just a few leaves before they start experiencing symptoms like, upset stomach, diarrhea, excessive drooling, loss of appetite, weakness, stupor, weak heart rate and leg paralysis.
Wisteria (Wisteria frutescens) — The pods and seeds are the poisonous part to your dog, they are also bad for humans too. They contain lectin which is found in most types of beans. The symptoms from ingestion including vomiting with blood and diarrhea.
Yew (Taxus baccata) — All parts of the yew tree are toxic, execpt for the the flesh of the berries. Suprisingly horses have the least tolerance to the yew. Symptoms can include gastrointestinal irritation, centrail nervous system problems such as trembling and difficulty breathing.