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Dogs and toxic plants

Fishy65Fishy65 Posts: 2,275

Whenever my two canine buddies have a stomach upset,they will tend to eat grass to make themselves sick.I've even seen them eat Rosemary too but never anything toxic.I have foxgloves,ragwort etc but they never ever touch them. The question they 'know' which plants are toxic? Their sense of smell is vastly superior to our own but how would they differentiate? Instinct?



  • bekkie hughesbekkie hughes Posts: 5,294
    Nope, some are just more sensible than others, ive known dogs chew on all sorts of things they shouldnt, you just have to get to them before its swallowed! image

    On saying that i grew up with labradors who will quite happily eat anything they can fit down their throats! Not the brightest breed image
  • Fishy65Fishy65 Posts: 2,275

    One of mine is a black lab bekkie,the other a border terrier. Its always been at the back of my mind,worrying what they might eat in the garden but they've survived so far image

  • bekkie hughesbekkie hughes Posts: 5,294
    I dont know if they learn by nibbling things when they are little, either it makes them feel yuky or us constantly telling them not to do it. Some dogs are not so lucky, on saying that the odd human has come a cropper too.

    Labs are my favorite, they will learn anything but seem a bit on the slow side with independent thinking compared to a terrier, my choccy boy will stand by an open door in the snow, waiting to be told he can come in, or will almost break his neck trying to carry his teddy downstairs! Silly dog! image
  • Fishy65Fishy65 Posts: 2,275

    So he's got his own teddy? Bless him. When we get home our lab will pick up one of her footballs and carry it around.She has a ball obsession and also reflections from the sun bouncing off my watch. I get followed everywhere by her.As I'm typing this she's at my feet while the border is perched on my shoulder using me as his own personal sofa image We wouldn't be without them though image

  • Yes they kind of do.  I met Buster Loyd-Jones in the 1970's and knew him till he died. 

    He was the vet who started the Denes Dog Food and natural pet care range and based on his veterinary knowledge and his experience watching animals while he was suffering and then recovering from Polio.  He observed dogs discriminately eating herbs and plants.   

    A lot of plants that are toxic are highly unpalatable to animals and if they've got a choice then they won't eat them.



  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,286

    Many poison's contain alkaloids which are generally very bitter and unpalatable. Over millions of years animals have learnt in general which to avoid.

    I was dead heading roses a few days ago and I had to stand in a small gap and couldn't really move so I was throwing the hips over my head onto the lawn. When I turned round my dog had already eaten several.... 
    She also has the delightful habit of trampling bees and wasps to death before eating them!

    Dogs...... image

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • bekkie hughesbekkie hughes Posts: 5,294
    I agree Fishy, wouldnt be without mine, but he is a nightmare to walk now hes getting old! He has a bag full of flippin teddies, my living room looks like a nursery, but they always have to have something to carry dont they, yours sound everso faithful, mine isnt bothered, when i lived with mom earlier this year he would quite happily take himself upstairs to bed as he wasnt allowed on the sofa and dosent do floors!

    Sorry but i wouldnt trust either of the dogs i have personally owened not to eat something stupid! image
  • Fishy65Fishy65 Posts: 2,275

    That's what I was thinking NorthernLass and Pete - I've planted maybe getting on for 40 young foxgloves this year. As I was sitting down the garden I watched my two eating grass. My border terrier chewed on some Rosemary but the foxgloves were untouched despite being right there in front of them and every time they get passed over.

    The alkaloids may be part of it Pete.Oh and my border rolls on moths image

  • Fishy65Fishy65 Posts: 2,275

    He sounds lovely bekkie,they all have their characters don't they. Every time we get a cuddly toy for these,they end up ripping it to bits. Him on one end and her on the other image

  • Orchid LadyOrchid Lady Posts: 5,800

    My two will eat virtually any food they can get their hands on, but they don't eat any plants, apart from grass as you said...oh and windfall apples and plums image

    My Daisy once ate 3/4 home made Christmas cake, 'watered' with brandy every day for a month and loads of fruit and things they shouldn't eat in.....apart from a lump in her tummy where she swallowed it whole and 2 days if sleeping off the alcohol she was fine!!!

    As for rolling in stuff......well don't even get me going on Beagles and what they roll in imageimage

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