1. Acorns and Conkers
Now we’re well into autumn, it’s the time of year when conkers and acorns fall from trees and can become hidden under leaves, which our dogs may sniff out on walks. But while they might seem like a delicious treat to our furry friends, ingesting them in large quantities can be extremely toxic. In fact, many pet parents do not realise that they can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, lethargy and more if our dogs chew on them. Unripe acorns, which often appear green, can be the most harmful, so make sure to watch out for them on your next autumnal walk!
2. Horse Chestnut Trees
During autumn, when you are out exploring with your canine companion, it is also important to be wary of horse chestnut trees – the trees which conkers come from. This is because their bark, leaves and flowers can all cause extreme stomach problems for our dogs, and in some serious cases, can be fatal if enough is consumed. If you are not sure how to identify a horse chestnut tree, identifying factors usually include hand-shape palmate leaves, as well as pinky-white flower spikes, and conkers.
3. Autumn Crocuses
It’s not just trees and leaves that can cause problems for our dogs during the new season. Autumn crocuses are goblet-like flowers that grow a few centimetres out of the ground and often appear in a purple colour with golden-yellow stamens. While the brightly coloured petals may intrigue your canine, it’s important to keep your dog close if you begin to notice them sniffing around the flower. If they get too close or the flowers are ingested, they can cause gastrointestinal upset for your dog, which may lead to vomiting, diarrhoea and drooling, or other unpleasant symptoms.
4. Yew Trees
Another plant that is also around this time of year is the yew tree, and it is often extremely poisonous to most animals. If ingested, the short, spiky needles can become lodged or stuck in your dog’s throat, while ingesting the leaves alone can be enough to lead to fatal or near-death consequences for your dog. Not only that, but the plant is filled with poisonous red berries that your canine may view as a treat. To identify the dangerous plants when out on walks, make sure to look out for their spikey green leaves and bright red berries and steer clear where possible.
Though hydrangeas have a beautiful appearance, and often display big billowy blooms towards the end of summer and into autumn, they can be extremely dangerous to our pets. This is because their bulbs contain cyanide – which can be deadly to dogs if enough is consumed. Although serious cases of hydrangea poisoning are rare, if a small amount is consumed by your dog when they are digging in the garden, it can cause symptoms such as stomach problems, vomiting or blockages in the intestines.
Other flowers to be wary of, whether you are planning your autumn garden or out on a walk, are ragwort plants. Though they also bloom in the spring and during summer, it is still important to be vigilant when looking for the plants this time of year, as all parts of it are toxic and poisonous when consumed by dogs. When any part of the plant is consumed in sufficient quantities, it can cause irreversible damage to our canine’s kidneys or lead to liver failure.
If your dog is a curious pet, and happily likes to dig about and explore when out on walks or playing in the garden, make sure to keep amaryllis flowers well out of reach. The beautiful flowers are often popular at Christmas time, as they bloom in bright shades of red, so October time is often when they are planted. However, much like hydrangeas, the bulb of the flowers contain a compound called lycorine, which when ingested can cause symptoms such as drooling, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea in dogs. Fortunately, most canines will need to ingest a large amount before severe toxicity occurs.
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