Plants that are Toxic to Dogs

A puppy?s inevitable consumption of a wide variety of available materials should concern any pet owner. While an owner can probably control the extent to which a puppy may attempt to ingest man-made products, such as furniture and cleaning products, the natural components of a puppy?s environment are much more difficult to regulate as far as chewing and ingestion are concerned. The vast amount of digestible organic material a puppy encounters in its short life is mind-boggling. Any pet owner must be aware of the dangers these materials pose for the health of a puppy - especially the threats certain household plants and backyard flora present. While you may not be able to eliminate all of the hazardous plants that thrive in a backyard or in the house, a general knowledge of the more lethal varieties of vegetation is an important component of any responsible pet owner?s agenda. Dogs will chew and ingest vegetation for entertainment, boredom, curiosity, or to induce vomiting. Any dog owner must be both aware of those plants that may produce ill-effects in their pet and be prepared to take swift action in case of a dangerous reaction. The following list is a small sample of the most widespread and popular types of plants that present a considerable danger to the health of a canine: aloe vera, dieffenbachia, dracaena, asparagus fern, rubber plant, schefflera, poinsettia, azalea, rhododendron, hibiscus, and lily of the valley. Even though you may think your home is free of poisonous plants, it is worth learning as much as possible about the wide range of dangers. It may be that you DO have these plants ? and learning about them now may help you avoid bringing them into your home in the future. Three simple precautions will eliminate many of the potential problems a pet owner may encounter regarding poisonous plants: 1.) make a general list of the types of flora within your dog?s living environment and either eliminate those plants or make them inaccessible to your dog; 2.) compile a register, such as given above, of plants which may pose a threat to your dog whether within its immediate living environment or in an environment which is frequently visited; and 3.) familiarize yourself with the location and hours of your nearest animal hospital. These three steps will not only ensure the longevity and quality of your pet?s life, they will help to assuage any fears that you might harbor when realizing that your dog has consumed a household or backyard plant.

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