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Could a Deadly Toxin be Lurking in Your Garden?

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Dogs are inquisitive by nature. This makes them adorable and sometimes amusing. But their normal curiosity could mean trouble, too, especially when paired with their ravenous appetite and unselective taste buds. The last thing you would ever want is for your four-legged pet to get poisoned by any of the many household items and chemicals in your yard, including toxic plants.

Keep in mind that sometimes, all it takes is just for Fido to get a little bite at those devious leaves, stems, flowers or fruits to require an urgent trip to the vet.

Below are among the most toxic plants that can put your dog’s life in grave danger:


1. Grapes. It used to be an urban legend, but it has been proven that the grape is poisonous to pets. In fact, even just a small serving of this tasty berry can lead to vomiting and diarrhea. With large amounts, kidney failure can be expected.

2. Mushrooms. Despite the fact that there are actually many delicious, safe mushroom species out there, pooches just don’t appear to be capable enough to identify which one is edible and which one is not. Unless you are absolutely sure what kind of mushroom you are giving your pooch, never allow him to eat any of it. The Amanita, Galerina, and Lepiota species are particularly dangerous due to its toxins that can cause a series of worsening warning signs, from simple vomiting to brain swelling.

3. Marijuana. A couple of states have just legalized the use of certain amounts of marijuana in humans. Pets gaining access to this herb used to be very low. But regardless of your personal view of this substance’s safety for people, or its use as a treatment for dogs, once ingested, your dog can experience signs like drooling, slow heart rate, disorientation, lack of coordination, and tremors, which can persist for as long as three days.


4. Lilies. While certain types of lilies are known to be poisonous to our feline friends, some varieties are very toxic to pooches as well. Calla lily, peace lilly, lily of the valley, amaryllis, autumn crocus, and the palm lily are all considered to be lethal to dogs. Ingestion of this plant can result in depression, gastrointestinal upset, anorexia, and tremors.

5. Black walnuts. The nuts that drop from its trees have nothing that can harm Fido. But the moment they start decomposing, they grow molds that can lead to tremor and seizure.

6. Sago palm. This plant has seed pods that are usually tempting to dogs. Unluckily, the entire plant, including its seeds contain a powerful toxin known as cycasin which could be very deadly to our pets, even if your pooch just eats one seed.


7. Azalea. Commonly used as an ornamental flowering shrub in most US landscapes, this plant actually belongs to the widely poisonous genus rhododendron. Ingestion of Azalea can trigger serious symptoms like drooling, digestive upset, weakness, loss of appetite, and even leg paralysis. In worst cases, this plant can cause coma or death.


8. Castor bean. Often used as an ornamental tropical plant, this herb contains the toxic protein known as ricin. At the least, ingesting castor bean can burn Fido’s mouth and throat, as well as lead to too much thirst, vomiting, and diarrhea.

9. Daffodils. Although this makes a cheerful addition to your garden especially during springtime, these beautiful flowers have poisonous alkaloids that can result in vomiting, diarrhea, excessive salivation, tremors, convulsions, and heart problems. Its bulb is the most dangerous part, though.

10. Dumb cane. A perfect houseplant that can serve as a natural air purifier, dumb canes or dieffenbachias have broad variegated leaves that can make a good air freshener in your place. Nevertheless, once eaten, this plant can result in mouth and throat burns and even esophagus swelling which is something serious as it can potentially block Fido’s airway.

For a complete list of toxic plants, check this full list with photos at ASPCA.org.

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