It goes without saying that our pets are nothing less than family members, and when let them outside in our yards or take them out on hikes with us, many of us may be unaware of some of the most simple, yet dangerous plants that reside in our local environments. Many plants that are available for purchase at the residential scale can be very toxic to pets. I always tell my landscape clients to keep an eye on puppies especially because they don’t think before acting and like their mouths on everything!

Here we will identify the 5 most common toxic landscaping plants specifically for dogs. If you have a dog that likes to chew and eat random new things please inform us during our consultation so we can avoid planting certain plants.

1. Daffodils, Tulips and Hyacinth. The bulbs is the most toxic and will cause vomiting, possibly diarrhea and in the worst cases shutting down of the nervous system.

2. Hosta. Your dog will most likely leave this one alone, or cushion themselves in between a few in the shady spot of your yard. If ingested, can lead to vomiting, diarrhea and depression.

3. Azalea. If ingested, this can cause serious gastrointestinal issues. Overconsumption can be fatal.

4. English Ivy. There are so many reasons to never install this plant, and here is another! The leaves are the most toxic of the plant and most easily accessible part of. Ingesting can cause abdominal pain, difficulty breathing and skin irritations.

5. Yew. Most of the time, if you have an existing yew in your yard, it’s probably at the mature stage and doing a great job screening something like an A/C or gas meter. It has been a very common plant for builders around the foundation of a house. They are difficult plants to work around when large and especially time consuming to remove because of their root systems. Dogs will most likely ignore this plant because of the size. However, never buy a young yew that is low to the ground if you are concerned about your dog chewing. Any part of this plant can lead to extreme heart problems and death.

Unlike our children, we rarely supervise our dogs when we let them outside.  Knowing your dogs tendencies and plant species in your backyard is key for prevention. Paying attention to changes in behavior can make the difference in severity of the case and catching the problem early can save your pet’s life. Your local veterinarian knows how to safely treat your pet if a reaction should occur.

We can help you remove and install beautiful, safe landscape designs if your dog is a factor. From personal experience, my dog has never ingested a plant but we’ve had several dark chocolate episodes that led to a scary trip to the veterinarian!