Plants dogs are allergic

Humans with allergies dread the spring season. They suffer from stuffed noses, breathing difficulties, headaches, and worse symptoms from the pollen-inundated air. Dogs also suffer from allergies, but the symptoms of allergic reactions in dogs aren’t necessarily as obvious as they are in humans.

To help you prevent and identify allergic reactions in your dog, we offer these five facts about dogs and their allergies. Here’s what you need to know

Dogs Can Be Exposed to Allergens Anywhere

As with humans, individual dogs and puppies exhibit allergic reactions to a variety of environmental stimuli. These stimuli can cause reactions after being inhaled, injected, eaten, or brushed against their coat or skin.

Some dogs are allergic to a variety of materials, while other dogs are only allergic to one specific food or chemical. Dogs can be affected by allergens anywhere they go, including in stores, friends’ homes, and the inside of your car.

Allergens in homes include:

  • Houseplants
  • Mold and mildew
  • Carpet fibers
  • Cigarette or cigar smoke
  • Dust and pollen
  • Detergents and cleaning products
  • Shampoo
  • Foods including poultry or fish
  • Coatings, sealants, and household sprays
  • Human medications and supplements

Your yard or garage may contain plants, building materials, and insects that cause allergic reactions in your dog. Lawn treatments and plastic products can also cause problems with sensitive dogs.

In your neighborhood, allergens can be lurking along the route that you and your dog walk every day. Your dog may exhibit an allergic reaction to:

  • Pollen and dust
  • Garden herbicides and pesticides
  • Sidewalk sprays and road coatings
  • Driveway sealants
  • Trash, discarded food, and debris
  • Plants and grass clippings
  • Insect bites
  • Standing water

Allergens are everywhere. However, when you know how to identify and avoid common allergens, you can lower your dog’s risk of suffering from an allergic reaction. As you and your dog enjoy trips around the block or playtime in the park, be aware of potential allergens. If you suspect these allergens may be affecting your pet, redirect your dog away from areas known to contain them.

Common Plants Cause Allergic Reactions in Some Dogs

Plants in residential and commercial landscapes can cause allergic reactions in some pets. Dogs can also suffer from allergies to common wild plants found at the edges of hiking trails.

When planning your garden, reject plants that are toxic or allergy-triggering to your dog. Problematic landscape plants to avoid if you have a sensitive dog include:

  • Male juniper shrubs
  • Acacia shrubs
  • Mulberry trees
  • Oak trees
  • Evening and garden primrose
  • Daylilies
  • Oleander
  • Sago palm
  • Bottlebrush
  • Bermuda grass

Some of these plants, like the male juniper, create abundant pollen that affects dogs. Others, including oleander, may induce an allergic reaction when touched or eaten because they are toxic to dogs.

Indoor house plants can also cause canine allergic reactions. Houseplants to avoid when you own a sensitive dog include:

  • Spiderwort
  • Cut-leaf philodendron
  • Begonia
  • Aloe
  • Eucalyptus
  • Cyclamen
  • Dieffenbachia

A wide array of attractive plants are safe to plant around dogs. Choose these plants when creating your gardens and indoor plant displays. African violets, celosia, false aralia, and many of the succulents are safe for most dogs.

When out in nature, you may want to keep your dog from blooming bulbs including daffodils and narcissus. Spurge, crown of thorns, yew tree, and poison oak should also be avoided when outside with your dog.

Of course, if your dog appears perfectly healthy even when around these plants, there is no need to have your pet avoid them unless they are known to be toxic to pets.

Bites From Stinging Animals Cause Allergies

Tick and flea saliva cause allergies in dogs. These allergic reactions become more noticeable in flea and tick season. Allergies to mites may cause allergy symptoms year-round.

Bees, hornets, and wasps induce moderate to severe allergic reactions in some dogs. When you know that your dog has been bitten or stung by an insect, monitor your dog closely for the next few days to ensure there are no life-threatening reactions.

Allergy Symptoms Follow Three Patterns in Dogs

Dogs have three types of allergic reactions, which include:

  1. Urticaria — itchy or non-itchy hives, bumps, or rash
  2. Angiodema — moderately or severely swollen face
  3. Anaphylaxis — severe reaction that may be deadly

Symptoms of anaphylactic shock include gastrointestinal upset, cold paws, white or pale gums, respiratory distress, weak pulse, seizures, or shivering. If you suspect your dog is having this type of reaction, your pet needs immediate medical intervention.

Most dogs exhibit urticaria and the resulting scratching as a result of their allergies. However, dogs may only chew at their paws or the bases of their tails, so owners don’t suspect allergies. Other often unexpected signs that your dog has allergies include:

  • Snoring
  • Scabby, moist, or reddened skin
  • Itchy or smelly ears

Pay attention to the subtle signs of your dog’s discomfort to spot allergies before they become serious.

Help is Available for Dogs Suffering With Allergies

Your veterinarian has a variety of tests to help diagnose your dog’s allergy triggers. Treatments include medications, topical preparations, and shampoos. Your veterinarian will also advise you on preventative methods to reduce allergy risks.

Proper flea-and-tick treatments help prevent allergic reactions to insect bites. Your dog may also be prescribed an epi-pen if they suffer from a severe allergy.

Contact 1st Pet Veterinary Centers to have your dog professionally tested for allergies. We work with you and your pet to prevent, diagnose, and treat canine allergies and allergic reactions.

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The backyard can be fun and full of surprises for our canine friends to enjoy. But don’t let one of those surprises be a trip to the veterinarian. Keep your yard and garden safe for dogs by avoiding these plants, flowers, shrubs, and trees that could make them very sick. Or, at the very least, plant them with caution and always supervise your pet.

***WARNING: This list is meant for general information purposes only, including the toxicity scale. It is by no means to be replaced for qualified veterinary advice. If your pet could have possibly ingested any of these plants, you should call your vet immediately.

While this list covers many of the common garden plants that can be dangerous for our pets, it does not list wildlife, or household plants. For even more information on dangerous plants for pets, our friends at Rover built a dangerous plants database for dogs and cats.

Full List of Dangerous Garden Plants for Dogs

Herbs, Vegetables, & Edible Plants

  • Chamomile
  • Chives
  • Garlic
  • Hops
  • Leeks
  • Marijuana
  • Onions & Shallots
  • Rhubarb
  • Tomato Plants

Flowers, Vines, & Ferns

  • Amaryllis
  • Asparagus Fern
  • Autumn Crocus
  • Begonia
  • Laceflower
  • Bleeding Heart
  • Buttercup
  • Castor Bean
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Clematis
  • Cyclamen
  • Daffodil
  • Foxglove
  • Geranium
  • Gladiola
  • Hosta
  • Iris
  • Ivy
  • Larkspur
  • Lily
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Monkshood
  • Morning Glory
  • Periwinkle
  • Primrose
  • Star of Bethlehem
  • Sweet Pea
  • Tulip/Narcissus
  • Wisteria
  • Yarrow

Trees & Shrubs

  • Apple Tree
  • Apricot Tree
  • Bead Tree
  • Burning Bush
  • Cherry Tree
  • Hydrangea
  • Oleander
  • Peach Tree
  • Plum Tree
  • Winterberry Holly
  • Yew

Herbs, Vegetables, and other Edible Plants That Are Dangerous for Dogs

1. Chamomile

Scientific name: Anthemis nobilis

A lovely herb often used in teas and in aromatherapy for soothing and calming nerves, the chamomile plant is toxic to dogs. While chamomile is safe in products for dogs, you want to avoid your dog’s contact with the actual plant.

Possible symptoms: Contact dermatitis, vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, allergic reactions, bleeding tendencies (long-term use). Source.

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2. Chives

Scientific name: Allium schoenoprasum

Chives, along with others in the Allium family, such as onions and garlic, can be quite harmful to dogs when ingested. While they can tolerate low doses (as you’ll find some flavouring in pet treats), it is best to avoid these plentiful herbs whenever possible.

Possible symptoms: Drooling, nausea, oral irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, elevated heart rate and respiratory rate, weakness, exercise intolerance, collapse, pale gums Source.

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3. Garlic

Scientific name: Allium sativum

A member of the Allium family, just like chives, garlic is delicious, but can be mildly to moderately dangerous for dogs. Once again, dogs can tolerate some garlic, but many love the taste and may desire more than they can handle. Keep under close watch, as garlic is about 5 times as toxic as onions.

Possible symptoms: Drooling, nausea, oral irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, elevated heart rate and respiratory rate, weakness, exercise intolerance, collapse, pale gums Source.

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4. Hops

Scientific name: Humulus Lupulus

With home-brewing on the rise, you may need to watch out for hops growing in backyards. The plants are enormous climbing vines, so they should be easy to spot. The effects can be quite severe, with dried hops being the most toxic form. Keep any home-brewing materials and leftovers safely contained – hops can be hazardous whether fresh, dried, or cooked (spent hops).

Possible symptoms: panting, high body temperature, seizures, death. Source.

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5. Leeks

Scientific name: Allium ampeloprasum

Another, slightly less popular member of the Allium family, leeks make a delicious addition to soups and many other dishes. However, just don’t feed them to your dog. Like other members of the onion family, they can cause some very uncomfortable symptoms for dogs.

Possible symptoms: Drooling, nausea, oral irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, elevated heart rate and respiratory rate, weakness, exercise intolerance, collapse, pale gums Source.

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6. Marijuana

Scientific name: Cannabis genus

With marijuana legalization a hot topic, and the prevalence of medical use, you should take precaution that your dog does not come across the live marijuana plant or dried cannabis in any form. Symptoms can be mild to moderate, and even include death.

Possible symptoms: Prolonged depression, vomiting, incoordination, sleepiness or excitation, hypersalivaton, dilated pupils, low blood pressure, low body temperature, seizure, coma, death (rare) Source.

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7. Onions and Shallots

Scientific name: Allium cepa (var. aggregatum – shallots)

A popular seasoning vegetable, onions (and the less common shallots) are a staple for many gardens. However, extra caution if you have dogs (or cats, who are even more susceptible to toxic effects).

Possible symptoms: Drooling, nausea, oral irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, elevated heart rate and respiratory rate, weakness, exercise intolerance, collapse, pale gums Source.

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8. Rhubarb

Scientific name: Rheum rhabarbarum

An early spring perennial, rhubarb is delicious when added to pies, crips, and other baked treats. However, the leaves (and less so, stalks) contain oxalate crystals, which can wreak havoc with your dog’s urinary tract. They’re also poisonous to people, so always be careful when handling.

Possible symptoms: Drooling, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, weakness, tremors, blood in urine, changes to thirst and urination Source.

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9. Tomato Plants

Scientific name: Solanum lycopersicum

Tomatoes are a vegetable garden favourite, but grower beware. A member of the nightshade family, tomato vines and leaves can cause some worrying symptoms in pets (and people, too).

Possible symptoms: Hypersalivation, inappetence, severe gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea, drowsiness, CNS depression, confusion, behavioral change, weakness, dilated pupils, slow heart rate Source.

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Flowers, Vines, and Ferns That Are Dangerous for Dogs

10. Amaryllis

Scientific name: Amaryllis belladonna (or other species), or Hippeastrum

Sometimes also called the Narcissus, these Lily-family bulb plants can be dangerous to both dogs and cats, but is not as dangerous as true lilies. Toxins can be found in the leaves and stems, and are most concentrated in the bulbs.

Possible symptoms: Drooling, vomiting, hypotension, respiratory depression, abdominal discomfort Source.

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11. Asparagus Fern

Scientific name: Asparagus densiflorus cv. Sprengeri

Usually found indoors as an ornamental plant, but sometimes outdoor in the summer, the Asparagus Fern can make your pet feel uncomfortable if exposed through touch or if ingested. Also called the Emerald Fern or the Lace Fern.

Possible symptoms: Allergic dermatitis with repeated exposure, gastric upset from berry ingestion (vomiting, abdominal pain, or diarrhea) Source.

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12. Autumn Crocus

Scientific name: Colchicum autumnale

Not to be confused with the more common spring Crocus, the autumn-blooming crocus can cause very severe gastrointestinal upset and even respiratory or kidney failure and death. The spring Crocus can still cause gastrointestinal upset, but the symptoms are usually mild.

Possible symptoms: Drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, bloody diarrhea, black-tarry stool, organ damage, respiratory failure, seizures, death Source.

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13. Begonia

Scientific name: Begonia genus

These bright perennials (annuals in cool regions) are numerous in variety and very popular as a garden plant and even an indoor plant. However, they can cause some very uncomfortable symptoms in pets if they are ingested, particularly the highly toxic tubers.

Possible symptoms: Oral irritation, intense burning and irritation of mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty swallowing Source.

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14. Laceflower

Scientific name: Ammi majus

This flower is a garden flower, prized for its versatility in cut flower arrangements. A member of the carrot family, it can cause pain and other worrying symptoms if ingested or touched. Also called False Queen Anne’s Lace, Bishop’s Weed, Queen of Africa, or Greater Ammi.

Possible symptoms: Oral irritation, intense burning and irritation of mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty swallowing Source.

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15. Bleeding Heart

Scientific name: Lamprocapnos spectabilis

This popular shade-loving garden flower is a beauty in the spring, but if ingested, it’s been linked to digestive upset and tremors.

Possible symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, staggering, tremors Source.

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16. Buttercup

Scientific name: Ranunculous genus

While most of the varieties are seen as weeds, buttercups have pretty flowers and can be found quite commonly in gardens and lawns and growing wild in certain regions. The buttercup is unpleasant should your pet happen to consume it. Fortunately, siince it does cause painful mouth blisters, usually pets do not consume enough to do lasting harm.

Possible symptoms: Drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, oral blisters, tremors, seizures, paralysis (rare) Source

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17. Castor Bean

Scientific name: Ricinus communis

The castor bean plant is a big, beautiful ornamental if you live in a warm enough climate to sustain one year-round. However, the deadly toxin ricin can be found within the beans (seeds).

Possible symptoms: Inappetance, drooling, abdominal pain, vomiting, severe bloody diarrhea, abdominal straining, weakness, trembling, hypotension, sudden collapse, death Source

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18. Chrysanthemum

Scientific name: Chrysanthemum genus

These lovely annuals, commonly called ‘mums’, are popular in gardens and as house plants or cut flowers. When ingested by pets, they usually have a mild effect, but it is worth noting considering their popularity. The toxin they contain, pyrethrins, is used in dog tick and flea medications.

Possible symptoms: Inappetance, vomiting, diarrhea Source

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19. Clematis

Scientific name: Clematis genus

This gorgeous vine produces large, star-shaped blooms. The plant has a bitter taste, so your pet is unlikely to ingest a lot of it.

Possible symptoms: Salivation, vomiting, diarrhea Source

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20. Cyclamen

Scientific name: Cyclamen genus

Cyclamen is a popular houseplant with unique upswept flowers and beautiful variation in their leaves, but they’re also dangerous for dogs and cats. The tubers are the most poisonous, and can result in seizures, heart problems, and even death when consumed in large quantities.

Possible symptoms: Drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rate, seizures, death Source

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21. Daffodil

Scientific name: Narcissus genus

Popular in the early spring around Easter, the daffodil may cause a severe reaction in your pet, so it’s best to see a veterinarian if your pet ingests it, particularly the bulb.

Possible symptoms: Vomiting, salvation, diarrhea; large ingestions: convulsions, low blood pressure, tremors and cardiac arrhythmias Source

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22. Foxglove

Scientific name: Digitalis purpurea

The foxglove may be beautiful, but all parts of the plant are very toxic for dogs, cats, and even humans to consume.

Possible symptoms: Drooling, nausea, vomiting, abnormal heart rate, cardiac arrythmias, weakness, collapse, dilated pupils, tremors, seizures, death Source

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23. Geranium

Scientific name: Pelargonium genus

The ever-popular geranium comes in many different colours and varieties. There are two species of geraniums, each of which has countless cultivars. The Geranium genus is safe (also called Cranesbill), but the Pelargonium species is toxic for pets.

Possible symptoms: Vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, skin rash, decreased heart rate, decrease in blood pressure, depression Source

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24. Gladiola

Scientific name: Gladiolus genus

Gladiolas make quite a presence in gardens with their impressive stalks of large blooms. The perennials also spread quickly through seed. Like most bulb flowers, the highest concentration of toxin is in the bulb or corm.

Possible symptoms: Salivation, vomiting, drooling, lethargy, diarrhea Source

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25. Hosta

Scientific name: Hosta genus

A common shade-loving plant, the hosta comes in many different cultivars that can vary widely.

Possible symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, depression Source

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26. Iris

Scientific name: Iris genus

The common name for all flowers in the iris genus, irises have beautiful, bright coloured blooms that can cause issues for pets if ingested.

Possible symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, drooling Source

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27. Ivy

Scientific name: Hedera helix

English Ivy, also called Needlepoint Ivy, Sweetheart Ivy, Glacier Ivy, or Branching Ivy, will cause your pet to experience uncomfortable symptoms if consumed. The leaves are more poisonous than the berries.

Possible symptoms: Vomiting, abdominal pain, hypersalivation, diarrhea Source

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28. Larkspur

Scientific name: Delphinium genus

Larkspur, sometimes called Delphinium, can cause some very worrying symptoms in pets. The plant loses toxicity with age and certain seasons, but should be avoided at any rate.

Possible symptoms: neuromuscular paralysis, constipation, colic, salivation, muscle tremors, stiffness, weakness, recumbency, convulsions, cardiac failure, death from respiratory paralysis Source

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29. Lily

Scientific name(s): Zantedeschia aethiopica, Spathiphyllum, Cordyline australis

There are so many varieties of lilies, and while most of them are incredibly toxic to cats, only a few are poisonous for dogs. Calla Lilies, Peace Lilies, and Palm Lilies are all toxic to dogs. These plants are rarely seen outdoors out of sub-tropical or tropical climates, but are popular indoor houseplants.

Possible symptoms: Oral irritation, intense burning and irritation of mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty swallowing Source

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30. Lily-of-the-Valley

Scientific name(s): Convallaria majalis

A popular shade flower that can spread quickly, Lily-of-the-valley is a beautiful and fragrant flower, but can produce very serious symptoms in pets and people. Watch out especially for the orange-coloured berries, which are the most toxic.

Possible symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, slowed heart rate, severe heart arrythmias, seizures, death Source

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31. Monkshood

Scientific name(s): Aconitum genus

Also called Aconite or Wolfsbane, Monkshood has gorgeous, purple sculptural blooms, but it is poisonous to humans and pets, and should be planted with caution.

Possible symptoms: Weakness, heart arrythmias, paralysis, tremors, seizures Source

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32. Morning Glory

Scientific name(s): Ipomea genus

A lovely climbing vine, the morning glory is quick-growing with purple trumpet-shaped blooms. If large amounts are ingested, particularly the seeds, the plant can be very toxic.

Possible symptoms: Incoordination, diarrhea, anemia, liver failure Source

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33. Periwinkle

Scientific name(s): Vinca rosea

With its small namesake blue or pink flowers, periwinkle makes an attractive ground-cover plant, but it can be quite toxic, even resulting in death (rare).

Possible symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure, depression, tremors, seizures, coma, death. Source

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34. Primrose

Scientific name(s): Primula vulgaris

The primrose comes in many different colours and contains an unknown toxin that produces mild effects in pets.

Possible symptoms: Mild vomiting. Source

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35. Star of Bethlehem

Scientific name(s): Ornithogalum genus

A beautiful star-shaped flower, the Star-of-Bethlehem contains a toxin that behaves similarly to a common heart and veterinary medicine, digitalis or digoxin.

Possible symptoms: Drooling, nausea, vomiting, changes in heart rate, cardiac arrhythmias, weakness, collapse, dilated pupils, tremors, seizures, death Source

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36. Sweet Pea

Scientific name(s): Lathyrus latifolius

A common vine with multi-coloured flowers, the sweet pea can be hazardous to dogs and other animals when ingested, particularly in large amounts.

Possible symptoms: Weakness, lethargy, pacing, head pressing, tremors, seizures, possible death Source

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37. Tulip/Narcissus

Scientific name(s): Tulipa genus

Tulips are everywhere in the springtime and a garden staple. But, you should be cautious with them around your dog, particularly the bulbs, which are the most toxic.

Possible symptoms: Vomiting, depression, diarrhea, hypersalivation Source

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38. Wisteria

Scientific name(s): Wisteria genus

A cascading climbing vine in the pea family, Wisteria contains a few toxic compounds that can affect pets.

Possible symptoms: Vomiting (sometimes with blood), diarrhea, depression Source

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39. Yarrow

Scientific name(s): Achillea millefolium

A common and easy-spreading garden perennial, yarrow contains several toxic elements that can make your pet quite uncomfortable if ingested.

Possible symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea, depression, anorexia, hypersalivation Source

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Trees and Shrubs That Are Dangerous For Dogs

40. Apple Tree

Scientific name(s): Malus genus

Apples are a tasty treat for dogs, but some parts of the apple tree (including crabapple trees) pose some risk to dogs as a toxin. The leaves, stems, and seeds all contain cyanide, and are particularly toxic when they are wilting.

Possible symptoms: Red mucous membranes, dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, panting, shock. Source

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41. Apricot Tree

Scientific name(s): Various Prunus species, including Prunus armeniaca, Prunus brigantina, Prunus mandshurica, Prunus mume, and Prunus sibirica

Apricots are safe for dogs to eat, as long as you remove the pit. But similarly to apple trees, the leaves and stems of the apricot tree contain cyanide, in higher concentrations if they are wilting.

Possible symptoms: Red mucous membranes, dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, panting, shock. Source

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42. Bead Tree

Scientific name(s): Melia azedarac

Also called Chinaberry Tree, Indian Lilac or White Cedar, this unique tree with star-shaped lavender blooms and yellow globe fruit can be very harmful to pets if ingested, especially in large quantities. The highest concentration of the toxin is in the fruit.

Possible symptoms: drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and depression; with larger ingestions, seizures and death. Source

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43. Burning Bush

Scientific name(s): Euonymus alatus, Euronymus atropurpurea

A garden ornamental with bright red leaves in fall and pink and orange berries, the Burning Bush makes a stunning addition to the yard. However, the plant is an invasive species in certain areas, such as Massachusetts and New Hampshire and can also be toxic to dogs cats, and even humans, particularly the berries or seeds.

Possible symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, weakness; with larger ingestions, heart rhythm abnormalities. Source

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44. Cherry Tree

Scientific name(s): Various Prunus species, such as Prunus avium and Prunus cerasus

Like apple and apricot trees, leaves, stems, and pits of all kinds of cherry trees contain cyanide. Pay particular concern if the leaves are in the wilting stage.

Possible symptoms: Red mucous membranes, dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, panting, shock. Source

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45. Hydrangea

Scientific name: Hydrangea genus

Hydrangea is a decorative garden shrub with tight globe-like clusters of blue, purple, or pink flowers. It is also a common cut flower or houseplant. The leaves and flowers are the most toxic parts.

Possible symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy Source

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46. Oleander

Scientific name: Nerium oleander

Oleander is a lovely garden shrub prized for its evergreen leaves and pale pink, purple, or white flowers, but it is one of the more toxic plants found in the garden

Possible symptoms: colic, diarrhea (possibly bloody), sweating, incoordination, shallow/difficult breathing, muscle tremors, recumbenc; large ingestions can result in death from cardiac failure Source

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47. Peach Tree

Scientific name(s): Prunus persica

Like apple, cherry, and apricot trees, leaves, stems, and pits of peach trees contain cyanide. They are even more toxic if the leaves are in the wilting stage.

Possible symptoms: Red mucous membranes, dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, panting, shock. Source

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48. Plum Tree

Scientific name(s): Various Prunus species, such as Prunus domestica

Like apple, cherry, peach, and apricot trees, leaves, stems, and pits of all kinds of plum trees contain cyanide. and are most toxic when the leaves are in the wilting stage.

Possible symptoms: Red mucous membranes, dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, panting, shock. Source

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49. Winterberry Holly

Scientific name(s): Holly genus

You may not have to worry about this evergreen hedge shrub unless you are in a warm enough climate for it to grow, which excludes most of Canada. However, many kinds of holly can be found indoors during the winter months, as people decorate for Christmas.

Possible symptoms: Lip smacking, drooling, head shaking, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite Source

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50. Yew

Scientific name(s): Taxus genus

A common evergreen with many variations, the yew tree or shrub is extremely toxic to dogs, humans, and many other animals. The genus name, Taxus, is even where we get the term “toxic” from. Avoid planting it in your garden.

Possible symptoms: Drooling, vomiting, weakness, difficulty breathing, life threatening changes in blood pressure and heart rate, dilated pupils, tremors, seizures, coma, death Source

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Posted by Amy Dyck

10 plants that are poisonous to dogs

Voracious appetite, natural curiosity and indiscriminate taste can lead to trouble for our canine companions. STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Plants that are poisonous to dogs can be found in homes, yards and in the wild
  • List includes azaleas, daffodils, lillies and mushrooms, grapes
  • Sometimes all it takes is a little bite to lead to an emergency trip to the veterinarian
  • If you want to retain these plants, keep them out of reach of dogs.


  • Dogs
  • American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
  • Pet Health

(Mother Nature Network) — It’s often said that the way to a dog’s heart is through its stomach.

That may be true, but the combination of a voracious appetite, natural curiosity and indiscriminate taste can lead to trouble for our canine companions. Plants that are poisonous to dogs can be found in our homes, our yards and in the wild, and sometimes all it takes is a little bite to lead to an emergency trip to the veterinarian.

These 10 plants are among the most toxic to dogs, and you can find a full list with photos at, the website of the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

1. Grapes — The toxicity of grapes to dogs was once thought to be an urban legend, but it’s true; even a small serving can cause vomiting and diarrhea, while larger amounts can lead to kidney failure. Researchers aren’t yet sure what exactly causes this reaction, whether pesticides or a fungal toxin.

And while keeping the grapes and raisins in your pantry away from your dog is a concern, you should be on the lookout for grapevines outside as well. As any dog owner knows, berries and fruits of all sorts are a tempting treat.

MNN: House plants that are safe for pets

2. Mushrooms — While there are plenty of great-tasting, perfectly safe mushrooms out there, dogs just don’t seem capable of discerning the difference between the edible and the toxic. To be on the safe side, it’s best not to allow dogs to eat any wild mushrooms at all, unless you can confidently identify the species yourself.

Amanita, Galerina and Lepiota species are especially dangerous because they contain toxins that cause a series of worsening symptoms, from vomiting to swelling in the brain. Amanita phalloides, the Death Cap mushroom, is responsible for most of the reported fatal mushroom poisoning cases in dogs.

3. Marijuana — For most people, the likelihood of your pet gaining access to marijuana — whether on a live plant or not — is relatively low. But regardless of your view of marijuana’s safety for human use, it has absolutely no benefits for your pet.

After ingesting marijuana, a dog can experience symptoms like slow heart rate, lack of coordination, disorientation, drooling and tremors that can persist for up to three days.

4. Lilies — While lilies are well-known as a serious danger to cats, certain varieties are highly toxic to dogs as well.

The peace lily, calla lily, amaryllis, lily of the valley, autumn crocus and the common houseplant, giant Dracaena or palm lily, are all deemed dangerous to dogs by the ASPCA. Ingestion of lilies can cause gastrointestinal upset, depression, anorexia and tremors.

5. Black walnuts — Dropping from black walnut trees by the thousands, the nuts themselves don’t contain anything that can harm your dog.

But once they start to decompose, they grow molds that can cause tremors and seizures. If you have one of these trees in your yard and your dog seems attracted to the nuts, it might be a good idea to rake them up on a regular basis.

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6. Sago palm — Often used in landscaping and as houseplants, sago palms develop seed pods that are often very tempting to dogs.

Unfortunately, the whole plant and the seeds in particular contain a potent toxin called cycasin that can be fatal, even if the dog only eats a single seed. Ingestion of any part or amount of this plant warrants immediate emergency treatment.

7. Azalea — A member of the widely toxic genus rhododendron, the azalea is found in many varieties all over the United States and is commonly used as an ornamental flowering shrub in landscaping.

Ingestion of just a few leaves can cause serious issues like digestive upset, drooling, loss of appetite, weakness and leg paralysis. In some cases, eating azalea can lead to coma or death.

8. Castor bean — This ornamental tropical plant, also used as a crop for castor oil, contains the toxic protein ricin.

At the least, eating this plant can burn a dog’s mouth and throat and lead to excessive thirst, vomiting and diarrhea. But ingestion of even an ounce of seeds can be lethal.

9. Daffodils — Among the first blooms to herald the arrival of spring, daffodils are a cheerful addition to the garden, but they contain poisonous alkaloids that can cause vomiting, excessive salivation, diarrhea, convulsions, tremors and heart problems.

The bulbs are the most dangerous part of the plant. Other common names for the daffodil include narcissus, jonquil and paper white.

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10. Dieffenbachia (Dumb Cane) — With its broad variegated leaves, the dieffenbachia is often recommended as an ideal houseplant for natural air purification.

But if you choose to have one in your home, be sure it’s well out of your dog’s reach. When eaten, it not only burns the mouth and throat but causes the esophagus to swell, potentially blocking the dog’s airway.

© Copyright 2011 Mother Nature Network

Household Allergies


Allergies seem to be one of these conditions of modern living. Its one of those things we are seeing more of rather than less of as time goes by.
On the plus side though, most allergies, not all, are not particularly serious but they are annoying. There are a number of different things people can be allergic to. But lets take two steps back. When we are talking abut allergies, what we are really saying is that the body is reacting or responding to certain external stimuli or allergens. And what happens is the immune system, which is there to help with viruses or bacteria and other foreign matter, goes a little bit into hyperdrive so we react more strongly than we otherwise do. There are some common manifestations of allergy problems. The two most common ones are on the skin, you get a rash, we have all seen that. You’re outside, in the garden, pruning the bottlebrush and you come back with red rash on your skin. And the other type is the airborne ones where people get a runny nose, things like hayfever, sinus congestion, blocked nose and that sort of thing. The third group people can have gut type allergy but we aren’t talking about this one today. And allergies are also involved in conditions like asthma and the lungs. But for most people with allergies we are talking about the rashes on the skin or the running nose.
Alright, what can people to be allergic to? The list is seriously as long as your arm, but there are some common ones and the commonest ones we see around the household are probably dust and grasses. Now, on the plus side, again they are not terribly serious. You may get a runny nose, a bit of a cough, a bit of catar. It’s not particularly pleasant but it’s not serious. On the minus side, it is not possible to get rid of dust and grass completely, sure you can get off the hook of mowing the lawns but if there’s grass in the atmosphere or dust or even some other pollens (which are common) you may still get the symptoms.
So what can we do about allergies? Where possible or practical, where you can avoid things you know you are sensitive to then by all means do that. But don’t go overboard though. If you are sensitive to dust, try keep the house clean, but you can not eliminiate dust completely, it just can’t happen. So do your best but don’t drive yourself crazy. Again if you know you are sensitive to grass then maybe have more concrete or other plants in the garden but again, be aware that if there is grass up the street it might blow around and you can still end up inhaling it.
So what can we do treatment wise? The most widely used medications would be the antihistamines and these work by blocking the effect of histamine which is what leads the manifestations of a lot of allergy symptoms. Most of these you can buy over the counter, some can make you a little bit sleepy as a side effect, others can’t. Chat to your chemist and make sure you read the label. For skin rashes people can use hydrocortisone cream, there are some weaker ones that are available over the counter and others you do need a prescription for from your doctor. For nasal symptoms there are also prescription hydrocortisone-based sprays and again these are available on prescription from your doctor. For people who are more troubled by allergy symptoms, have a chat to your GP, there are ways you can do tests for specific allergies. In some instances, this is not for everybody – this is for people with severe allergy symptoms, people can look at being desensitised. Now thats where you have a series of injections over a period of time to make yourself a little bit less sensitive to that which you’re allergic to.
So to sum up – allergy-type problems are very, very common in all age groups, children as well as adults. For the vast majority of people it is more of a nuisance value rather than anything serious. It is often seasonal so people know a particular time of year they are more likely to get the symptoms, others can be all year round. Treatment, as we mentioned, can be some fairly simple things you can do, both in avoidance and treatment. And for those where it is more of a nuisance or more of a problem, certainly have a chat with your doctor and see what other options you may have.

Allergy Free Gardening

Poisonous Plants & Dogs

Dogs get allergies just like we do, but more often than not, a pollen allergy will make a dog scratch and itch, rather than have a runny nose. That said, sometimes dogs will respond to allergenic pollen much the same as we do…their nose will run, their eyes will get red, and sometimes they’ll sneeze.

Because dogs are built closer to the ground, and because a typical dog will run in and out of the bushes, through the groundcovers, and will roll on the lawn and in the leaves, a dog will often get much more exposure to allergenic plants than might his owner.

Allergy Plants all dog owners should avoid using:

1. Bottlebrush trees or bushes: the pollen is tiny and needle-point sharp, and if a dog comes in contact with these red flowers the pollen on them will stick to his/her coat. This pollen can make a dog itch, scratch, cough or sneeze.


2. Male juniper bushes: these make a lot of very allergenic pollen and it will make dogs itch and scratch. Only use juniper plants that have berries….these are female, and will not make any pollen. (Any juniper bush without berries is suspect.)

Male Juniper

3. Fruitless mulberry trees: these produce loads of very tiny, highly allergenic pollen each spring, and it will trigger all manner of allergies in dogs.

Male pollen flowers on fruitless mulberry tree

4. All Euphorbia species, such as spurge, milk bush, chenille plant, pencil tree, etc. The sap from these is poisonous to dogs, and the pollen from them is allergenic. Contact with these plants may trigger itch and scratching or red and runny eyes in dogs.

Pencil tree Crown of Thorns

5. Male yews and male Podocarpus shrub, trees: Pollen from these can trigger numerous allergies in dogs; the plants themselves are poisonous to a dog if eaten.

Podocarpus Henkelii

Pollen Grain Male Yew Pollen Flowers

6. Gas plant, perennials: gas plant can trigger several kinds of dog allergies.

Gas plant

7. Primrose tree: will cause itch and scratching in dogs.

Primrose tree

8. Purple leaf, velvet plant: can irritate dogs’ eyes and skin from contact.

Philodendron Purple Leaf Velvet Plant

9. Common Bermudagrass produces considerable pollen, even if kept mowed low. This pollen will make dogs itch and scratch. A better choice would be hybrid Bermudagrass, as these make little or no pollen. Another good choice is one of the female clones of Buffalograss, such as ‘609’, ‘Legacy’ or ‘UC Verde’ as these are pollen-free lawn grasses.

Bermuda Grass with flowers

10. Primrose malacoides can easily cause itching and scratching for most dogs…as well as their owners.

11. The houseplant or groundcover, Wandering Jew is notorious for causing itchy, red and runny eyes in dogs, and should not grow where dogs play.

Wandering Jew

12. Oak pollen can cause allergies in dogs.

Male pollen flowers on Oak

13. Pollen from acacia shrubs and groundcovers can trigger itching, scratching in dogs.

14. Snailseed vine: pollen from male vines will cause allergy in dogs; eating Snailseed vine can kill a dog.

15. Castor bean plants: the pollen is highly allergenic to any dog, and the seeds, if eaten, will usually result in death.

Castor bean

16. Daylily plants can cause contact itch and scratching in dogs…eating daylily will kill a cat. No kind of lily is very safe for dogs, and included with this would also be daffodils, narcissus, tulips, and agapanthus. Onions are related to lilies, and no dog (or cat) should ever eat onions.

Daylily Peruvian Lily

17. Male trees of any species (such as maple, ash, poplar, aspen, mulberry, willow, box elder, pepper tree, Chinese Pistache) will shed considerable pollen, and after several years of exposure to this pollen, many dogs in the same yard as these trees will develop allergies…usually causing itching, biting and scratching.

Male Red Maple Pollen Flowers

Other things to consider with dogs and allergies:

1. Do not use coca mulch as some dogs will eat it, and it can poison them.

2. Do not leave hardwood sawdust around dogs; do not use it for bedding as it can trigger numerous allergies. Red cedar shavings can also cause allergies for dogs.

3. Any shrub in the yard that looks dirty and usually has many insects on it….it will trigger several kinds of allergies for dogs, including insect dander allergy and mold allergy.

4. People often blame the dog for their allergies, when what is much more common is that in their yards they have highly allergenic plants, and the dog comes in contact with these pollens, they get on its fur, and then the dog brings these allergens inside. Rather than getting rid of the family dog, it makes much better sense to get rid of the allergenic plants in the yard, and to then replace them with allergy free plants.

5. Dog food: a dog is related to the fox, the coyote, the wolf, and all of them are primarily meat, bone eaters. If all else fails with your dog, try putting him/her on a grain-free diet. No kibble. This usually means a diet of mostly meat and bones. Leafy green vegetables such as kale, mustard greens or collard greens are good for dogs. They can be chopped up, boiled, and then mixed in with some hamburger. No dog will be allergic to this kind of food.

6. Seeds from fruit trees: some dogs will eat fruit in the yard, seeds and all. Loquats have very large, not very hard seeds and they are poisonous to dogs.

7. Dogs that eat plants: some dogs chew on or eat all kinds of garden plants. If your dog does this, try to stop it, and quickly consider getting a copy of the book, Safe Sex in the Garden, as it has a very large, comprehensive listing of almost all common (and uncommon) garden plants that are poisonous to dogs (and children, too). Out of print now, used copies are often available at very low prices on-line from or other book sites.

8. House plants: many of these (such as dumb cane, elephant ears, philodendrons, some ferns, cyclamens, and others) could be poisonous if eaten by a dog.

Tom and his friend in the Southern Alps, New Zealand
Photo by Dieter Steinegg

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