For most pet parents, dog walking means getting out into the great outdoors and exploring all Mother Nature offers. Whether taking your dog to the dog park or hiking up a mountainous track surrounded by gorgeous vistas, plants, and trees, outdoor adventures, and dogs go hand in hand or rather paw in paw!
And because dog walking is an essential part of good physical and mental well-being for hounds, it's something pet parents and their furry friends engage in regularly. However, we wonder if you've ever considered the dangers lurking in Mother Nature, aka 'those beautiful plants and flowers'?
Did you know that certain plants can be toxic to hounds?
If, like most pet parents, you were blissfully unaware, don't panic; we've collated a list of 5 toxic plants you should avoid to keep your furry friend safe on their outdoor adventures.
5 Toxic Plants to Avoid When Dog Walking
These can be found in many areas across the US. They contain an alkaloid called lycorine which can cause vomiting and diarrhea if ingested by dogs.
Native to regions along the West Coast, these shrubs contain poisons that can cause gastrointestinal irritation, abnormal heart function, and even death if ingested by dogs.
These bell-shaped flowers contain digitalis glycosides which can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and irregular heartbeat in dogs.
Found throughout the United States, these shrubs produce toxins that can lead to abdominal pain and depression in dogs.
Lilies of the Valley
Native to the East Coast of the US, these plants contain cardiac glycosides, which can cause seizures or coma if ingested by a dog.
Symptoms of Plant Poisoning in Dogs
If you suspect your pup has eaten any of these plants, look for one or more of the following signs:
- Excessive Drooling
- Difficulty Breathing/Swallowing
Eating toxic plants causes irritation to your hound's digestive tract (mouth, throat, and stomach); as a result, excessive drooling is usually the first sign of poisoning. While some plants cause mild symptoms, others can have more serious side effects like seizures or heart failure!
When to Take Your Dog to the Vet
If you suspect or see your hound has snacked on a toxic plant, wondering when to take your dog to the vet if they are not displaying symptoms could be a matter of life or death! Instead, don't wait for signs of poisoning to appear; head straight to the vet to avoid being told they can't save your hound. With toxic plants, the sooner you get help, the better.
Vet Treatments Used for Poisoning
The vet will likely treat your pet with one of three treatments depending on the type of plant they ate and your hound's condition.
- Activated charcoal- binds (absorbs) toxins in the stomach and intestines.
- Emetics - induce vomiting to clear out toxins from your hound's system.
- Gastric lavage - a tube is inserted down your dog's throat to remove substances in the stomach.
** If you cannot get to the vet, contact ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center – they offer telephone consultations (fees apply) for poisoning emergencies.
Tips for Keeping Dogs Safe When Dog Walking
We believe the best way to keep your hound safe from plant poisoning is to prevent it in the first place. That means keeping poisonous plants out of your yard and home.
Other top tips include:
- Always be vigilant when dog walking. This Adventure Bungee Leash is a great way to keep your hound happily adventuring and away from plants they shouldn't snack on!
- Avoid areas where toxic plants are abundant and stick to paved trails and sidewalks instead.
- When bringing new plants into the house for decoration, ensure they don't feature on the poisonous list!
- Always keep your pup away from plants you don't recognize or are suspicious of.
Keeping your hound clear of poisonous plants can be challenging when gallivanting in the great outdoors. Unfortunately, hounds will be hounds (even when on a leash) and take a cheeky bite of anything that looks vaguely tasty! That said, taking your dog to the dog park shouldn't be crossed off the list; instead, being vigilant is key, and remember, prevention is always better than cure!