4 Warm Weather Plants Poisonous to Dogs

plants-dogsDogs are particularly inquisitive, so when the hotter months arrive it’s important that owners are aware of the vegetation around their houses. Through the Spring and Summer dogs enjoy spending more time outside and there are few things more stimulating than smelling and possibly sampling every kind of grass, flower or shrub within reach. Regrettably this can often bring about an upset stomach, a visit to the veterinarian or even worse. Consequently dog owners must keep vigilant to keep their four legged friends away from trouble. Though there are lots of plants which are regarded as hazardous to dogs, let’s examine 4 warm weather plants harmful to dogs.

Azaleas and Rhododendrons

These multi-colored, blooming shrubs are a favorite of backyard gardeners in the spring months and are frequently seen in gardens throughout the United States. An attractive shrub commonly used by homeowners as parts of their landscaping, few realize that this shrub is toxic to their dog. Unfortunately, the consumption of only a few leaves can cause an array of problems, including: vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, drooling and in extreme cases, even coma and death. The results of ingestion normally occur within a few hours and there is no specific treatment for this type of poisoning. General treatment should include the removal of the plant material (induction of vomiting, etc) and therapy for the symptoms. Without severe complications, the prognosis of recovery should be good.

Tulip and Daffodil Bulbs

Tulips and Daffodils are colorful blooming plants that are a springtime favorite and often attract the interest of curious dogs. It’s normal for dogs to burrow in dirt since this activity is inherent in many breeds and it’s often pursued for exercise, enjoyment, monotony, or another reason. Generally the flowers planted in your yard ought to be of the greatest worry, since bulbs are what contain the material toxic to dogs. Signs of ingestion consist of gastrointestinal irritation, drooling, decrease in appetite, depression of the central nervous system, convulsions and heart abnormalities. There are no specific treatments for poisoning from Tulip and Daffodil bulbs, but some symptoms can be treated by rinsing out the dog’s mouth, supplying intravenous fluids and giving your dog medication to stop vomiting. In short, the simplest way to avoid this sort of situation is to dig up the bulbs and store them for planting during the next season.


Many gardeners enjoy the chance to grow summer Rhubarb, but few recognize that the leaves of this plant are toxic to dogs. The toxin in rhubarb is oxalate, which is connected with death in dogs that have consumed a quantity of oxalate rich materials. Typically, a large amount of Rhubarb leaves would need to be ingested to risk death; a dog weighing 35 pounds would have to eat about 2.75 pounds of leaves to obtain a fatal dose. Although consuming this amount isn’t likely, eating as little as 6 ounces of Rhubarb leaves will make the same dog ill. Symptoms of oxalate poisoning include weakness, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, burning sensations, labored breathing, convulsions and even death. Treatment should be administered by a vet and could include inducing the dog to vomit and administration of activated charcoal, IV fluids and medications as needed. Naturally, if you have Rhubarb in your yard, fence off the area during the entire growing season.

Fruit Trees

Many people enjoy having fruit trees around their property, but often what’s suitable for humans is not always good for dogs. Apple, cherry, peach and apricot trees contain harmful compounds that can create problems for your dog. Although the toxicity can differ based on the type of tree, it’s wise to keep your dog away from these types of trees. The stems, leaves and seeds contain cyanogenic glycosides which convert into the poison cyanide when combined with the acid in a dog’s stomach, so be certain to keep your pet away from this temptation. Depending on the dose, symptoms can include gastrointestinal upset, poor coordination, breathlessness as well as shock, coma and death.

Dogs are enjoyable and inquisitive companions that frequently seem to get into mischief. By becoming conscious of the varieties of plants that may create a hazard to your pet, you can be ready to help in the event they become sick.

Regina T. Roby is a enthusiastic pet owner that has lived through countless canine crises with her inquisitive Labrador Retriever Paco and energetic Yorkie Bob. For that reason, she’s found dog insurance invaluable in limiting big veterinary costs and believes that every pet owner should by a pet insurance policy.


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