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Toxic Plants - Protect Your Pets

Toxic Plants -Protect Your Pets

When thinking of keeping your pets safe in you garden, you may just think about them getting out of the garden, falling in a pond, get stuck somewhere or maybe even someone getting in and taking them.

Often, little thought is given to plants that may cause harm to your pet if they eat them or brush against them.

Over the next few weeks, my blog will discuss plants that are halmful and plants that are safe and symptoms to look out for if you think your pet has eaten something they should not have in the garden or even while out and about.


Helitropium arborescens 'Marine' (Heliotrope)

Photo Credit: RHS

All parts of the plant are toxic.

Your dog may eat small parts of this plant and appears OK but you must stop them nibbling, the toxin will be building up in their body and eventually they will suffer liver failure.

The plant has Pyrrolizidine alkaloids in all parts (flowers, leaves, stem, roots). 

Symptoms of liver failure, vomitting, lethargy, diarrhea, jaundice and weakness. 

If your dog has eaten any part of the plant, take them to the vet immediately.

It is best to avoid putting this plant in your garden or remove it if you already have it especially if your dogs likes to nibble leaves and flowers.


Plant you could use instead...


Lavender angustifolia 'Beechwood Blue'

Photo Credit: RHS

Lavender smells lovely and the oils that make the smell will deter your dog from munching it. If they do, they shouldn't suffer any ill effects.

Generally the size of the dog can make a difference to how much they can eat before harm. How often and over what period of time will also effect how much toxin is building up in their body. So if your dog likes to munch, check first if the plant may be toxic or safe. 


Written by K Hook BSc Horticulture MCIHort