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Plants & Pets

TreeTake is a monthly bilingual colour magazine on environment that is fully committed to serving Mother Nature with well researched, interactive and engaging articles and lots of interesting info.

Plants & Pets

Plants & Pets

Plants & Pets

Flowers that dogs love to sniff

A sensory garden appeals to a dog’s strongest sense: smell. Scientists estimate a dog’s nose to be tens of thousands of times more sensitive to odor than ours. If their eyes were as strong as their noses, what a human can see at a third of a mile, a dog could see more than 3,000 miles away. And the part of their brain that’s devoted to analyzing those smells is, proportionally, 40 times greater than ours.

- Chamomile and lavender calm a dog who sniffs the plants. Dogs can also eat the plants and get the same effect.

- Rosemary and mint energize a dog who sniffs the plants. Bonus: If they eat the mint, their breath will smell better.

- Barley grass aids in digestion. Dogs eat grass when their tummies hurt. They’re self-medicating, a tendency among animals that’s known by the fancy term, "zoopharmacognosy." Barley grass, packed with nutrients and minerals, is a good variety to plant to satisfy your doggo's urge to use nature as a medicine cabinet.

- Ornamental grasses, such as eyelash grass or pine muhly, are good choices. Or you can leave a patch of your lawn unmowed so your dog can be tickled by long, unruly grass.

- Cedar chip paths feel good beneath their feet and can repeal fleas.

- A bed of hay brings new welcome scents. Just be sure to replace it periodically. You can use the old hay as mulch.

Before you start building your dream garden though, keep in mind that a lot of plants are unsafe for pets. But never fear, there are plenty of beautiful varieties of safe flowers for dogs that you can enjoy without worrying about whether your dog decides to dig into them. These belowmentioned flowers are safe for dogs, even though not exactly an ideal doggy snack.

Roses: Classic and beautiful, roses are always a crowd-pleaser, and thankfully, they are perfectly safe flowers for dogs. In fact, you can sprinkle rose petals onto your salad for a gourmet touch. Rosehips, the fruits that come from rose flowers, are safe for dogs and people, too. Some, like the dog in this youtube video, love them. Just be aware that the thorns on rose bushes can be painful, so don’t let your dog chew on rose branches.

African Violets: These flowers come in an array of colors, from blue to pink to soft yellow and violet (just to name a few). They’re also easy to care for and won’t poison curious dogs who can’t resist chomping on their vibrantly-hued petals.

Snapdragons: Looking for a lovely annual to add to your yard? Bright, boisterous snapdragons are another safe flower for dogs. Not only do they add some serious charm to homes and gardens, they’re also non-toxic for your pet. The safest way to grow snapdragons is from seed so you can ensure that your flowers are free of fertilizers and pesticides that are unsafe for pets.

Orchids: Gorgeous and occasionally difficult to cultivate, these flowers come in a plethora of varieties and hybrids that are generally non-toxic for pups. Best to visit one of the numerous websites about the flower, though, just to ensure you’re growing one of the safe ones.

Garden Marigolds: So long as your dog doesn’t take more than a few nibbles of this flower (which would cause an upset stomach, at worst), marigolds are safe flowers for dogs that add a pop of color to your garden or indoor pots. Some marigold varieties are tasty, while others taste like bitter carrots.

Pansies: Lively and sweet, these wonderful flowers are not only non-toxic for dogs, they’re apparently also tasty. Pansies come in a rainbow of colors including blue, white, yellow, red, orange, and purple, so there’s something to please everyone.

Petunias: Keep your yard smelling sweet with the help of super-fragrant petunias that easily blossom in containers and ground beds. Boasting beauty, vibrancy, and an amazing scent, these blooms really have it all, and it’s okay if your dog takes a bite.

Sunflowers: Love the way that freshly cut sunflowers look on your dining room table? Well, rest easy, because these golden beauties are safe flowers for dogs and cats, so you can keep enjoying their charming, cheerful appearance. This is not to say that too much won’t bother their tummies–but overall these beauties are a safe bet.

Zinnias: These annuals are safe for flower-munching canines, and they add a dash of quirky colour that everyone can appreciate. Zinnias are edible, are generally grown from seed by gardeners, and were among the first flowers to be grown in space!

Gerbera Daisies: Thank goodness these colorful classics are non-toxic for dogs as well. Bright and cheerful, daisies are a great gift for flower-loving dog owners. Or, well, anyone.

Dogs are curious by nature, especially when they are puppies. Very often, just smelling an object won’t do, and they will try to nip it. This can lead to potentially very dangerous situations when it comes to poisonous plants and blooms. Before planting anything, check whether it’s safe for your dog (or any other pet, for that matter). It’s very important to know which flowers are toxic to dogs to keep your pet away from any danger. The most commonly found flowers that pose a danger to your dog include the following:

Daffodil: This delicate yellow bloom is considered poisonous to dogs in its entirety, but the Daffodil bulb that is the most toxic. If your dog eats any part of it, they will experience diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and might develop very serious symptoms like convulsions, arrhythmias and blood pressure drop.

Bishop’s Weed: Often causes dermatitis and sunburn in dogs. Begonia – a very common garden plant that can cause vomiting and salivation in dogs.

Tulip: The tulip is toxic in its entirety, with the bulb being the most poisonous to dogs. The tulip can cause oral irritation, drooling and nausea.

Autumn Crocus: The whole plant is toxic, but the bulbs are the worst. If your dog ingests this plant, you will have to rush them to the veterinary clinic immediately. The toxin in this plant can cause vomiting, shock, organ damage, even bone marrow suppression.

Azalea: If your dog eats leaves from this plant, they will experience vomiting and diarrhea, and in severe cases, blood pressure drop. If the dog ingests a big amount of leaves, it can even be fatal.

Sago Palm: The Sago Palm is an extremely poisonous plant to dogs when ingested, and very fatal. It causes bloody vomiting, diarrhea, liver failure, bleeding disorders.

Oleander: Often found in the Southern United States and California, this plant is very toxic to dogs and can cause heart abnormalities, tremors, incoordination, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting. It can even be fatal.

Amaryllis: Popular during Easter time, this plant can cause depression, vomiting, hypersalivation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, anorexia, and tremors in dogs. -TTN

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