Cyclamen (Image credit: Paul Maguire/Getty Images)
Some of the best winter plants for pots and borders, cyclamen are grown from tempting bite-sized corms. While cyclamens are beautiful and delicate to look at, they can cause serious sickness and even death in dogs.
Sitting near or slightly proud of the soil’s surface they can become a source of curiosity and even a morsel of leaf, stem or flower can result in a stomach upset. It’s the corms or tubers that have the highest concentration of toxic terpenoid saponins and can be really harmful, but most canines will need to devour a large quantity of these spring and fall blooming beauties to be fatal.
Yew (Image credit: Alamy)
Recognizable for its fine, dark green foliage and juicy red fruits yew can be widely found growing wild, as topiary and is grown as privacy hedging.
A long-lived evergreen, the needles and seeds – contained with the bright red berry-like covering – are hugely lethal to pets, animals and humans. Containing a poisonous alkaloid, the taxanes, that are particularly concentrated in the tips of the leaves, disrupt the division of cells within the body leading to disruption of blood pressure, heart rate and breathing difficulties.
The effects are so powerful and reliable that scientists have explored these effects further and successfully used these toxins to treat prostrate and breast cancers.
Lily of the valley (Image credit: Unsplash; Oceane George)
Growing widely in USDA Zone 2-9, the delicate nodding white bells of Lily-of-the-valley are a frequent sight in the wild and gardens. These plants make some of the best shade plants – provided they have enough moisture – and can spread rapidly too. These fragrant beauties are not feline-friendly however, and cat parents should be aware.
Containing over 38 cardenolides, all parts of the plant are toxic to most animals and cause severe heart irregularities and gastro irritation even if the tiniest part is digested.
FirstVet (opens in new tab) advises that ‘if you suspect that your pet may have ingested lily of the valley in part or in whole, see a veterinarian immediately, as your pet’s life may be in danger. Prognosis depends on the size and health status of the pet, the amount consumed, and the part of the plant that was eaten. Although all parts are toxic, consumption of the bulb may lead to death within a couple of hours.’
11 Plants To Avoid Keeping If You Have Pets
Although beautiful to look at, many of our favorites are poisonous plants for dogs and are best avoided. Puppies and young dogs are particularly curious and love to nibble, so stay well clear of any accidents by knowing which plants pose a real threat.
Like many animals, dogs tend to learn and explore with their mouths. Licking, chewing and chomping on plant material and other items found in their immediate surroundings all comes naturally, but unfortunately this can cause stomach upsets, infections or more serious health issues, even death.
While most dogs learn from experience or develop an instinctive wariness for strong-smelling plants or those that are high in toxins, there are some poisonous plants for dogs that are persistent, so take a close look at your yard and swap the prime plants culprits for safer varieties.
From shrubs with stunning foliage to delicate seasonal beauties such as narcissus, tulips and cyclamen, poisonous plants are not always obvious, so we’ve put together a guide to the most popular, so you and your pooch can enjoy home life outside stress free.