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Puppy-friendly plants

As a recent pet mom, it is always a challenge to keep my puppy away from all things green and chewable. If you own a dog, I know you can relate to my situation.

In the past, it was common knowledge to keep the pup away from frogs and rats when in the garden; however, a recent horror story was related to me where the owner’s pup died from the constant chewing of one common garden plant. For many just like myself, pets are like family, and we must ensure their safety.

It is without doubt that any chemical, either herbicide or pesticide, when sprayed onto plants must never touch your dog’s fur or skin. This can cause severe sickness and even death due to chemical poisoning if they inhale or ingest the substance. Hence, the first rule of spraying in the garden is to keep the pups away from the plants for a minimum of 24 hours.

With respect to the garden plants, the poisoning levels range from mild to fatal, depending on the type and quantity of plant consumed.

Some common plants poisonous to dogs include Sago Palms, Poinsettia, Lilies, Lantanas, Bird-of-paradise, Ivy vines, Oleanders, Lemon Grass, Desert Rose, Buttercups and even Hibiscus.

As for the dogs who reside indoors, common houseplants to keep them away from include Philodendrons, Dieffenbachia, Azaleas, Begonias, Peace Lily and Pothos (Devil’s ivy).

If you are a garden enthusiast and love your pup, you can fill the garden with the following puppy-friendly plants:

  • Gerber daisies
  • Orchids
  • Roses
  • Sunflowers
  • African violets
  • Spider plants
  • Boston ferns

Dwarf date palms/Pygmy date palms

  • Pot marigolds
  • Impatiens

While there is no definitive answer as to why dogs graze on greens, a common theory is that dogs eat plants, especially grass, to help soothe an upset stomach or induce vomiting. Another is that grazing signals that a dog’s diet lacks fibre or another nutrient. Still another supposes that dogs simply like the tastes of the garden.

Whatever the reason, eating plants might be a difficult habit for your dog to break. The most effective way to keep your pup from eating toxic plants is by avoiding them completely.

Symptoms – keep pups away from:

  • Aloe vera – vomiting, diarrhea
  • Azalea – even just a few leaves can cause vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, coma, and death
  • Kalanchoe – this flowering succulent can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and heart arrhythmias
  • Oleander – the leaves and flowers can cause severe vomiting, slow heart rate and even death
  • Lily of the Valley – vomiting, diarrhea, slow heart rate and possible seizures
  • Sago Palm – leaves can cause vomiting, bloody stools, damage to the stomach lining, liver failure and even death
  • Tulips and Hyacinths – the bulbs are the most toxic, but the plant parts are also poisonous, and both can cause excessive drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, slow heart rate and respiratory function.

Send questions to: rayannaboodram@hotmail.com