One of the first things I do when starting puppy training with a new client is a walk around the house and garden, so we can look at the space your new dog will be spending their time in, and identify any potential hazards. Most clients are aware of the common hazards – valuables are out of reach, escape routes out of the garden are blocked etc, but almost everyone I meet never has a moment’s thought for the plants in the garden.
Many plants are dangerous for dogs, some fatal. Dogs, puppies especially, love to explore the world with their mouths. Many are also very greedy individuals, and anything that they perceive as vaguely edible can be eaten in a moment. This means that everything within reach in your house and garden could be eaten in a moment.
Unless you are very green-fingered, you might not even know what the plants in your garden are. But if you have a dog on the way, or already in your home, knowing what plants are in your garden and their toxicity to dogs is vitally important for your dog’s well-being.
Here is a list of the most common plants found in your garden which are poisonous to dogs. This isn’t a complete list, but it should cover most gardens in the UK.
• Deadly nightshade, Atropa belladonna
• Castor bean, Ricinus communis
• Poison hemlock, Conium maculatum
• Elephant ears, Bergenia
• Wild cherry, Prunus avium
• Grapevines, Vitis
• Yew, Taxus baccata
• Jessamines, Cestrum
• Jimson weed, Datura
• Larkspur, Delphinium
If you suspect your dog has eaten any of these please call your vet immediately. They will be able to advise you on the severity of the plant’s danger to your dog, and tell you what to do next.