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A dog dream of spring? 10 toxic spring plants that you need to know about

It's spring outside! Flowers are blooming, the sun shines, and it's time to enjoy a walk with your dog in nature. However, if you do not know which flowers are toxic to your dog, it is time for some homework. Check out our blog post to make sure you know them all.

Dogs licking a rose bush
Puppies explore the world with their mouth, so they're especially at risk of nibbling on toxic plants.

Not all about spring is a reason to rejoice if you suffer from hay fever or have a dog, for that matter. We are here to tell you all about the dark side of spring. Sometimes it's not the whole plant but just elements of it that can upset your dog's gastrointestinal system, irritate the respiratory system, or cause irregular heartbeats leading to fatality.

As it gets warmer, we tend to spend more time outdoors, which means we need to be mindful that some of the beautiful flowers and plants we enjoy in our gardens or homes for aesthetics can be toxic to our pets.

Here are ten beautiful spring plants or parts of spring plants that you should avoid and protect your pet from.

1. Daffodils toxic to dogs?

These yellow or white flowers stand out immediately and can attract curious puppies with their bright colours and easy accessibility. But unfortunately, daffodils contain an alkaloid called lycorine which, if ingested, causes nausea, gastrointestinal issues and even cardiac and respiratory problems.

Depending on the dosage, effects can show 30 mins after being chewed on or eaten. Although the bulbs are the most toxic as the lycorine has the highest concentration here, stem, leaves, and flowers contain this alkaloid. Daffodils are also harmful to horses and cats.

The symptoms to look out for are the below:

  • Diarrhoea

  • Vomiting

  • Abdominal pain

  • Hyperventilation

  • Arrhythmia.

Even inhaling the dust can already lead to serious respiratory problems.

Can Daffodils kill dogs? Yes, they can, although it's uncommon. If your dog has eaten a Daffodil, call the vet immediately. They will induce vomiting and probably use activated charcoal tablets to bind the toxins so they don't get absorbed by the body.

2. Is Foxglove toxic to dogs?

Foxglove may look innocent, but you can’t get too close! This beautiful blossom is toxic to humans and animals alike. Interestingly, foxglove is also called “dead man’s bells” because its white or purple blooms resemble the shape of a bell that hangs around dead people’s necks in old paintings.

Dogs and cats should stay clear. The toxins of the plant affect the heart and contain cardiac glycoside toxins. It always depends on what amount has been consumed by your pet and the body weight but once chewed on or eaten, the following symptoms are likely:

  • Weakness

  • Collapse

  • Drooling

  • Nausea

  • Abdominal pain

  • Seizures.

Foxglove can be fatal if ingested in more significant amounts, and you should contact your vet asap if you suspect your dog or cat has eaten any.

Foxglove: Beautiful but can be fatal if eaten in more significant amounts by your cat or dog.

3. Cyclamen toxic to dogs?

The cyclamen is a beautiful houseplant commonly seen in supermarkets. It can be red, white or pink. Unfortunately, this plant contains irritating saponin and is also toxic to pets. When dogs or cats chew on any part of the plant, the saponins can cause them to be drooling, vomit, and have diarrhoea. Leaves and flowers will only cause mild symptoms that should subside after 24 hrs.

The roots are the hazardous bit and are mostly why deadly symptoms can occur. Read this, dog owners: if your pup has a habit of digging, they could cross paths with the roots. If the seeds are chewed on and ingested, the following symptoms will occur:

  • Abnormal heartbeat

  • Seizures, which can be ultimately fatal

The root in the cyclamen plant has the highest toxicity concentration

4. Tulips toxic to dogs?

Tulips contain a toxic that we have encountered before. Its glycosides (again) are tulipalin A, tulipalin B and tuliposide A. The flower has these to protect itself against fungal infections.

Most toxins are concentrated in the bulb. But every part of the flower has some level of toxicity. However, the symptoms of eating the bulb versus nibbling on a leaf will be very different in their severity. In most cases, the symptoms will be mild when chewing the leaves.

Severe symptoms can be the below: