Dog safety on springtime walks

Guest blog by Dog Furiendly 

14th July 2022

Our partners over at Dog Furiendly have provided us with some great spring safety tips for when you are out and about with your pooch.

Many of the practices to keep your dog safe on a walk apply all year round. However, spring does bring with it its own risks and considerations for owners across the country.

One of the common dangers of a springtime walk that might not always occur to dog owners is flowers and plant life. Many different kinds of flowers bloom in the spring, some of which are toxic to our pooches.

While fatal cases of dogs eating bulbs, flowers and plants are rare, it's not uncommon to see dogs with upset stomachs after a springtime walk. Here are some plants to keep your dog away from and how being an Animal Friends customer can help you if you thought your pooch had eaten something that might be harmful for them.


The bulbs of Bluebells contain chemicals that lower the heart rate called “scillarens”. If a dog is exposed to or consumes scillarens expect symptoms like vomiting, acting confused, diarrhoea and lethargy.

Serious cases of bluebell consumption are rare, but your pooch will be much happier if kept well away from these flowers.


These bright yellow flowers are poisonous to dogs if consumed. They will result in your pooch having an upset stomach and likely vomiting. It may also leave them feeling lethargic and unsteady on their feet. In extreme cases it can cause dogs to have seizures. Don’t let them be tempted by these beautiful blooms.


The juice that is within a buttercup could severely upset your dog's digestive system while causing dermatitis if they were to consume or get the juice over their fur.


Blooming in the spring, this plant is a member of the Iridaceae family. Its bright petals and strong smell are perfect for any pollinators but not so great for curious pooches. If you spot these on your walks encourage your dog to avoid or risk vomiting and diarrhoea.


The poppy has a distinctive red flower which is very pretty but also highly toxic to canines if ingested. Symptoms of poppy related toxicity are varied but could include trembling, depression, weakness, sedation and in severe cases even death. If your dog consumes this plant, contact your vet immediately.


Spring wouldn’t be spring without tulips. They are so bright and colourful it’s hard not to smile when you see them. Unfortunately, your pooch won’t be smiling if they end up consuming them.

Tulips contain glycosides, particularly in the bulb of the plant. Glycosides are extremely detrimental to the health of many animals. If your dog has eaten these flowers, contact a vet immediately. Symptoms will include but are not limited to diarrhoea, drooling, depressed behaviour, vomiting, tremors, lethargy, dizziness and even death.


Especially toxic to dogs the buds, flowers and leaves of hydrangeas contain the toxic component cyanogenic glycoside. Even if your dog consumed a very small quantity, they will likely be sick.


The bulbs of this plant are especially toxic to dogs. The other parts are also dangerous for our canine companions but have lower levels of toxin than the bulbs. Vomiting and diarrhoea symptoms should be mild enough, but snowdrops can also cause a slowing of the heart rate and in bad cases, fits.

What to do if your dog has consumed these toxic flowers

If your pooch shows any signs of symptoms of poisoning seek the assistance of a vet immediately. Consumption might only lead to mild symptoms or a short period of illness but it’s always best to speak to a professional to be on the safe side. If symptoms occur at night or outside of your veterinary surgeries opening times, contact an out-of-hours clinic instead.

Scenarios like these can be so stressful and can lead to panic, so it’s important to try and remain calm and never attempt to  induce vomiting in your dog unless directly instructed to by the vet. Some toxins will cause more damage during vomiting than if they were just left to naturally pass through the stomach.

How will the vet treat my dog?

If the vet can identify the poison/type of plant that has been consumed they may be able to identify an antidote. However, not all poisons/toxins have antidotes so they may just treat symptoms to keep normal function of your dog's organs until the toxins have been processed.

If you find yourself needing pet advice about toxins, general health or just concerned and want to speak to a veterinary expert, Animal Friends Insurance customers have 24/7 access to the Joii service, and can speak face-to-face with a vet on your phone, any hour of the day, 365 days of the year.

Looking for a new adventure?

Check out Dog Furiendly's top dog walks to enjoy in the UK with your pooch. 

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