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Dangerous Plants for your Pooch

Dangerous Plants for your Pooch

As spring brings the blooming of flora and fauna throughout the country, with beauty comes danger for our four-legged friends. Venturing out for walks is always a pleasurable experience with our dogs but the countryside, and even our gardens, can pose threats with plants that can be poisonous if ingested by our best friends. 

Exploring their surroundings, primarily with their noses and mouths, and often eating plants, understanding potential dangers can help prevent trips to the vet and ensure your pet stays safe and healthy during adventures outdoors this spring. With Cornwall home to vast acres of countryside and wondrous woodland, we have created a list of plants to be cautious of when you and your dog are out on a walk. 

Small dog running in a field


As one of the most popular plants during the season of spring, these yellow headed flowers can cause severe problems for your furry friend if ingested or even touched. Containing high levels of dangerous toxins, the bulbs are the most dangerous part for our canine companions. However, the flowers and even water from a vase filled with daffodils can cause levels reactions in your dog. 

The toxins produced by the daffodil can induce severely upset stomachs leading to vomiting and diarrhoea and even in severe cases heart and respiratory problems. Keeping your dogs away from these yellow flowers is the best option as even contact with the flowers can lead to skin irritations. If you believe your dog has ingested any part of the daffodil, or worse the bulb, seek veterinary advice immediately, but like everything prevention is better than cure so keeping these flowers in far reach from your pooch is the best way possible to avoid any problems. 

Field of daffodils

Deadly Nightshade 

Named for its negative effectives in both humans and animals, the Deadly Nightshade plant, or Atropha Belladonna, is a particularly poisonous plant found across Europe and Asia. A member of the Nightshade family, the plant family responsible for tomatoes and peppers, this problematic plant can cause real problems if your pooch comes into contact with it. 

Found in shrubs and woodland areas, this lush looking plant hides its ferocity below the surface. With highly toxic flowers, bulbs, leaves and berries, Deadly Nightshade can cause severe toxicity to our furry friends and should be avoided at all costs. Symptoms may include anything from mouth dryness to paralysis so if you notice your dog acting unusually after being around what you may think was Deadly Nightshade seek veterinary advice. 

Deadly Nightshade flowers

Dumb Cane

This frequently used decorative plant comes from the Dieffenbachia family and is popular around our Cornish countryside. With toxic crystals embedded within its leaves, this adored house plant can cause irritation and problems to your pet’s mouth if ingested. Its large leaves that are often dark green with lighter (and sometimes speckled centres) are one of the most common houseplants and particularly found in holiday rentals as a showplant. 

If eaten, this problematic plant can cause great irritation to your dog’s mouth and also cause intestinal issues such as diarrhea. In rare cases Dumb Cane can have severe side effects such as tremors and seizures in our four-legged friends so better be safe than sorry and visit a vet if you suspect your pooch has come into contact with this poisonous plant. 

Dumb cane plant, birds eye view of leaves

Blue-Green Algae 

Although not classified as a plant, we felt it necessary to include this harmful organism in our list of outdoor dangers. With weather warming and more of us heading outdoors to enjoy the sunshine, taking our pets to cool down in streams, rivers, lakes and the sea seems like a fun day out for the family. However, with reports of this specific algae on our Cornish coast, being vigilant can really be the difference between life and death. 

Often found in non-flowing water such as lakes and ponds, this bacteria forms green or blue flakes in the water. If ingested this toxic organism can cause liver failure and even cause life-threatening problems 15 minutes after exposure meaning spotting the signs of blue-green algae is better than attempting to deal with after-effects of ingestion. 

When the algae blooms, it can give look like a blue-green scum has appeared on the surface of the water and can look a bit like pea soup. Blooms of this organism can build up around the edges of non-flowing water, and may have the appearance of foam.

It is important when exposing your pet to any body of water that you check its safety before entry. We only recommend swimming or letting you and your dog near water that is lifeguarded or safe to do so. Rivers and streams can hide fatal problems for both of you so staying safe is what's best when it comes to enjoying our wonderful waters. 

Blue green algae on surface of a pond

With the bloom of spring just moments away, keep an eye on potential dangers when out and about with your four-legged friend because what makes days out the most enjoyable is when fun is safe and secure.

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