Out on a walk through the countryside with your beloved pooch is one of the most relaxing times in a busy dog owners day.
Enjoying the quiet of the country, the diverse botany, and seeing the local wildlife frolicking, it’s these moments that make us appreciate the nature that we live in!
But, even though the woods, field, or park that you walk through is a sight to behold, it’s important to educate yourself on the hidden dangers to your dog, and also – the hidden benefits!
Spotting Toxic Plants
When your dog is snuffling his way through the undergrowth, there are many toxic plants that he could be running into. If your dog ingests one of these – it’s essential to seek immediate veterinary treatment.
I’ve put together a list of the top five toxins that you might find on your daily walk, this does vary by geographic location, so I’d advise all of you to look into the toxic plants in your area.
1. Poison Ivy
This common plant is toxic to dogs and humans alike; the symptoms usually include itching and blistering of the skin. Known to affect breeds such as the Dachshund mainly due to their short hair, and proximity to the ground making them more susceptible to picking up more significant quantities of the toxic chemical “Urushiol.”
When ingested, vomiting and diarrhea can occur, and in a worst-case scenario, the canine can go into anaphylactic shock.
This colorful and vibrant plant also commonly referred to as the rhododendron is an incredibly common sight in gardens and wooded areas.
The symptoms of Azalea ingestion include excessive drooling, abnormal heartbeat, vomiting, and diarrhea. If left untreated these symptoms can lead to hypotension, coma, and ultimately be fatal.
While being incredibly beautiful, the bulbs of this flower are toxic to your dog and should never be planted where he has access. The size of canine and amount of poison ingested plays a significant role in the severity, for example, if a Chihuahua was to eat an entire bulb – you should rush to the vet.
Only considered to be mildly toxic, the bulbs of these plants when ingested will cause diarrhea, depression, lack of appetite, and excessive drooling.
5. Sago Palm
These plants sometimes likened in appearance to a partly submerged giant pineapple! Are far less jolly in practice than in presentation. The leaves of the Sago Palm contains cycasin a toxin that affects the liver.
The symptoms include increased thirst, frequent urination, bloody feces, and yellowing of the skin and gums.
Spotting Beneficial Plants
Before you start wrapping your dog up in cotton wool and never taking him into the great outdoors – it’s worth noting that there are so many incredible plants that can be a great benefit to Fido’s health too!
Even if you feed your dog or puppy a balanced diet, the natural approach is always the most beneficial, so next time you head out on a walk, see if you spot any of the below plants and try making some homemade remedies, and health-boosting aids for your fluffy pal.
We all know of the stinging nettle, it was the bane of our existence as children running around in shorts. But, did you know that when correctly prepared this plant can be a rich source of protein, vitamins, and minerals?! Not to mention, it also has antibacterial, antihistamine, and astringent properties.
When left to completely dry, the nettle can be sprinkled on your dog’s food for long-term health benefits, or can be made into a tea (after being dried) and applied to skin irritations.
This Italian cuisine staple can do so much more than just make pizza sauce taste amazing! Oregano is full-to-bursting with flavonoids and antioxidants that help to boost your canine’s immune system.
Known to be especially useful for soothing stomachs, adding a little of this to your dog’s meal can help with excess gas and other digestive problems.
Nothing beats the sweet smell of Rosemary growing in the garden, and popping a plant in your garden will do far more than jazz up your roast potatoes this Christmas.
Rosemary has long been used by herbalists to improve circulation and blood vessel health. As if that wasn’t enough, this herb is an excellent antioxidant, a source of iron, calcium, and vitamin B6 to boot!
Did someone order pooch pesto?! This favorite among us foodies can also be made (with some adjustments) and sprinkled atop your doggie’s dinner.
A delicious and fragrant leafy herb, though incredibly well-known, is underestimated in its healing attributes. It contains antioxidant, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties all packed into this tasty little package.
The Dandelion is incredibly versatile, with each area of the plant possessing unique medicinal properties. The flower can be used as an antioxidant and also provides a source of lecithin which is useful in keeping your dog’s mental health in tip-top condition.
The leaf of the Dandelion is often used to boost appetite and help with digestion for gastrointestinal conditions. It is also rich in potassium, which makes it a favorite natural diuretic.
As loving dog owners, we need to make ourselves aware of the potential dangers that surround our dogs on a daily basis. Just taking ten minutes to research the toxic plants in your area could end up saving your fluffy best friend’s life.
And that’s not to mention all of the incredible health boosting plants that we walk past on a daily basis. I don’t know about you, but I’m always reading about the latest products that can help my dog live a happier and healthier life, but unquestionably:
Nature has just about everything we could need; if we only take the time to pick it!
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