PET owners are being urged to be vigilant and steer clear of plants that are toxic to dogs during walks.
Dog owners are encouraged to familiarise themselves with types of plants that can be harmful to pets if ingested.
Innocent looking plants such as bluebells, hogweed and azaleas can lead to a range of health issues from gastrointestinal distress to severe heart problems.
Typical signs of poisoning for dogs include drooling, pale gums, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, and seizures. Smaller dogs are at greater risk of getting poisoned because even If they ingest a small number of toxic plants, it can lead to significant harm.
Pet insurance expert at Quotezone.co.uk Helen Rolph said: “When out on walkies, whether it’s in a park, in the countryside or forest, it’s important to be vigilant and make sure that your dog doesn’t ingest anything toxic.
“Our four-legged friends are naturally curious, so it’s our responsibility to keep them safe from the potential dangers during adventures.
“Although you may want to let your dog roam free, choose your off-lead spot wisely and if you’re unsure of any surrounding plants, bet keep them on the lead.”
This list contains seven of the most poisonous plants for dogs:
Bluebells are considered poisonous to dogs because they contain toxic compounds known as glycosides. These toxins can be found throughout the plant, including the leaves, stems, flowers, and bulbs. Bluebells have a distinctive appearance, with violet bulbs and a narrow bell shape.
Autumn crocuses are highly toxic to dogs due to the presence of colchicine which is extremely potent and can have severe and potentially lethal effects on dogs. Colchicine poisoning can occur when your dog ingests any part of the autumn crocus plant. Autumn crocuses have large, fragrant bulbs that are usually light pink or purple
Azaleas contain grayanotoxins which can disturb the function of dogs’ nerve and muscle cells. The main symptoms of Azalea poisoning are abnormal heart rhythms, tremors and low blood pressure. Azalea shrubs have colourful funnel-shaped flowers.
Ivy can be poisonous to dogs if ingested and can also cause a rash if it comes in contact with skin. This is because it contains toxic chemicals called saponins as well as polyacetylene compounds. Although the symptoms are usually not life-threatening they can still cause serious health issues such as an upset stomach and skin and mouth irritation. Ivy has glossy, heart or arrow-shaped leaves.
Despite its beautiful appearance with colourful trumpet-shape blooms, you should never let your dog go near a foxglove plant. Foxglove is highly toxic to dogs, causing nausea, seizures, and tremors, and can even lead to death. Fortunately, foxgloves are very tall, growing up to 5 feet, so they’re easy for dog owners to notice.
Cotoneaster is a common evergreen shrub with bright red berries. Although cotoneaster is considered to be slightly poisonous to dogs, if they ingest a large quantity of cotoneaster berries or leaves then it can cause gastrointestinal issues such as severe stomach pain and diarrhoea.
The most significant danger from giant hogweed comes from skin contact with the plant's sap and subsequent exposure to sunlight, causing severe burns and blisters. If the sap gets into your dog’s eyes it can even cause blindness. Giant hogweed has an umbrella-shaped head with white flowers and can grow up to almost 15 feet tall.