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Enjoy the great outdoors with your dog – safely!

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The warm summer sun is out and your dog can’t wait to run free and snuffle in the undergrowth. Nibbling on strange things is part of the fun of exploring for your pet but do take care. There can be some tempting but unpleasant greenery hiding in the bushes or along the front of a neighbour’s flower border.

Here are some common, unsuspecting plants to look out for when enjoying the great outdoors with your dog. All are toxic, some can cause allergies or could even be fatal.

Azalea – all parts of this plant are poisonous and can prove fatal if eaten in large enough quantities.


Bracken – ingestion of this plant can to health problems including acute haemorrhagic syndrome, blindness and tumours.


Buttercups – the juice of this unassuming flower may severely damage your dog’s digestive system and could also cause dermatitis.


Clematis – The toxins in this plant can affect your dog’s gastrointestinal tract and nervous system. They can also cause dermatitis.


Cyclamen – also toxic to cats, this affects the gastrointestinal tract and can cause convulsions and paralysis.


Elderberry – Elderberries can cause nausea and vomiting.


Foxglove – this pretty plant can cause nausea and vomiting.


Oak  – both the leaves and acorns of this tree are harmful, affecting your dog’s kidneys.


Ragwort – causes irreversible kidney failure and liver damage.


Yew – ingestion of any part of the tree can be fatal although the foliage is more harmful than the berries.


What should I do if my dog eats something he shouldn’t?

If you are concerned that your dog has eaten something he shouldn’t, seek medical advice as soon as possible. If you know what plant was swallowed, tell the vet so they can quickly administer the correct treatment.

This is not a complete list of poisonous plants. If we’ve missed one off that you think dog owners need to know about, please tell us in the comments below.

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