Five plants to keep your dog away from

Photo / Getty Images
Photo / Getty Images

How many things look good enough to eat but are actually toxic to our pets? Recently in New Zealand, in separate incidents, three dogs have died from eating toxic karaka tree berries. "We don't know why dogs like the berries but dogs are scavengers and will eat anything," says Veterinary Specialist Group's Dr Mark Robson. While not all poisonous plants are lethal and effects can range in severity, it pays to know what good-looking, naturally occurring but ultimately poisonous things you should keep your dog away from:

Apricots

It isn't the flesh of apricots that's poisonous to dogs, but rather the pit in the middle that contains cyanide. The leaves and stems do too. Cyanide poisoning in dogs can cause difficulty breathing and inadequate oxygen levels. Dilated pupils is another tell-tale sign your dog has been getting into this seemingly innocuous, but actually poisonous, fruit.

Daffodils

The bulbs of daffodils can cause harm to our furry friends. Daffodils contain lycorine, an alkaloid that can easily trigger vomiting. Ingestion of daffodil bulbs by dogs can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and - in more sensitive dogs - cardiac arrhythmia or trouble breathing.

Lilies

It's generally known that white lilies are highly toxic to cats. But did you know certain varieties are dangerous to dogs as well? Keep your pup away from peace lilies, calla lilies, amaryllis, lily of the valley, autumn crocus, and the common houseplant giant Dracaena or palm lily. The effect will be diarrhoea, weight loss and even doggy depression.

Azaleas

No, not the controversial Australian rapper. The brightly coloured azalea flower is a popular choice for gardeners keen to cover the garden in a mass of colour. But, as a member of the widely toxic genus rhododendron, azaleas can cause digestive issues, loss of appetite and leg paralysis in dogs. In extreme cases, it can lead to coma or even death.

Ivy

Many kinds of ivy are poisonous to dogs - English ivy is a common example. When ingested by pets, the irritant in the plant (triterpenoid saponins and polyacetylene compounds) can cause excessive drooling, vomiting and diarrhoea.

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