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New dog owner - what to do with existing plants

We are happy new owners of Harvey, a rescue dog. Can any dog owners out there provide reassurance / advice on what I should do about my garden plants - i have so far compiled a list of everything i have to cross-check toxicity. Some clearly are not ok e.g. foxgloves, ivy, hydrangea and I know lily family is a no to plant in the future. The internet as usual is contradictory in places. Will a dog really chew a hydrangea?! It seems most things I have are toxic if ingested in large quantities whereas a couple of others are immediately deadly - do I err on side of caution and remove everything noted as toxic to the tiny front / side garden which he can't access? Harvey is a grass eater so shall I grow a patch of grass in a flowerbed (as we have all hard landscaping and borders) for him to eat to avoid him eating other things or is this likely to encourage him to eat the borders?!


  • wild edgeswild edges Posts: 10,446
    As a dog owner I don't do anything about garden plants apart from train dogs not to eat them if necessary. I had an especially capricious spaniel who liked to try and prune hydrangea as a puppy. It was more a case of finding other things to occupy his rather short attention span instead. Some breeds are more prone to chewing than others though.
    If you can keep your head, while those around you are losing theirs, you may not have grasped the seriousness of the situation.
  • HelixHelix Posts: 631
    Our garden has things that would be toxic to our dog, but he doesn't touch them.  Once out of puppy-hood most dogs instinctively avoid toxic plants.   The countryside is also full of toxic things, as is your kitchen and bathroom.  Teach him the “don’t touch” command and all should be fine.

    And he can eat grass out on his walks....
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,292
    I've had dogs for many years and have all sorts of toxic plants in my garden.
    Most toxins have a very bitter or unpleasant taste and dogs have an extremely sensitive sense of smell too, so they usually know what's safe to eat and what's not by instinct.
    I don't think you have anything to worry about.

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,689
    I don't make any effort to exclude dog-toxic plants at all. He eats grass but isn't interested in eating things like ivy and hydrangea. I would say unless you have a dog with a behavioural problem that leads to compulsively eating unappetising plants, don't worry about it. Maybe with the exception of things which are so toxic that gloves are recommended when handling them e.g. Aconitum.
    "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour". 
  • Thanks all that is very reassuring! I will definitely bring toys out to attract his attention, work on the “don’t touch” command and avoid the very dodgy ones like aconite as you say 😁 thanks! 
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,512
    I too worried about planting toxic plants, but was reassured and chose to take the wise advice of forum members. Our two never touched them. Bill is an obsessive grass eater, but does not touch anything else. Sandra never ate plants until she had an emergency op to remove an eye following the rapid onset of glaucoma, then she started obsessively eating the leaves of Geranium Rozanne. Turns out the non-toxic leaves were used in traditional medicine to treat, among other things, eye complaints... coincidence or clever dog?

    Not to be confused with Pelargoniums which are toxic, but as others have said, most dogs are sensible enough not to eat poisonous plants. Just keep an eye on Harvey and don’t leave him unsupervised whilst he explores and claims your garden as his, discouraging any investigatory chomping for the sake of your plants as much as his health.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • Thanks @Nollie glad I’m not alone - there are so many things to learn / think of with Harvey joining the family it can be a worry but glad I asked the question and got kind understanding answers (wasn’t sure if people would think I was being ridiculous!) As to Sandra, I think clever dog! Thank you for confirming about geranium / pelargonium too! 😊
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,512
    No not ridiculous at all! The geranium is looking a bit ragged but I didn’t have the heart to use the ‘off!’ command so she now thinks she has a licence to chew  :)
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • BijdezeeBijdezee Posts: 1,484
    Dog owner that does nothing re plants here, and I've never had a problem. 

    I think all this fuss is unnecessary. 
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,689
    I'm on Retired Greyhound facebook groups and I tell ya, the amount of fretting that goes on about dogs eating plants/chocolate/onion/grapes etc is unreal! I was the same when I first got Cody, I wouldn't let him have anything with onion or garlic in it. Two years later and I let him lick out the pans after cooking bolognese and share my Methi Ghosh with him... facebook scare stories are much exaggerated! The big viral rumour this year was about NEVER EVER giving dogs ice cubes to cool them down... totally nonsense!
    "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour". 
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