The dog-proof terrace

The dog-proof terrace

Plants toxic to dogs and consequences

Anyone who owns a dog knows that, especially at a young age, our four-legged friends have a strong instinct to chew whatever they find, especially during the teething period. However, adult dogs are not excluded that more and more frequently out of boredom or to "purify" the intestinal tracts, feel the need to ingest everything that appears interesting, fragrant and easy to reach.

Often this represents a risk, sometimes even fatal, which can cause serious dysfunctions and consequences for the health of our animals. It is good to take some precautions when buying new plants to be planted on the terrace, without creating excessive alarmism. In fact, fortunately, with the exception of some extremely toxic species (Oleander, Ricino and Tasso), the risk of causing situations so serious that they cannot be solved with symptomatic therapy is not very common. In general, plants with latex or green sap should be avoided. But if you want to avoid any unexpected events, write down the names of some of the most common plants in garden centers and nurseries.

The Oleander, as mentioned, is a very dangerous species even if consumed in minimal quantities, both by animals and by humans. Its abundant flowering and ease of maintenance make it increasingly attractive for terraces and gardens. But unfortunately all its parts, especially the leaves, are poisonous; if ingested, in fact, they cause almost immediate death from cardiac arrest, abdominal pain and gastrointestinal disorders.

Castor oil, on the other hand, has a strong poison within its seeds which, if accidentally ingested after about 24 hours, can cause convulsions, death, and kidney problems. Castor oil does not cause the same symptoms, as it lacks the poisonous component. In the case of the Yew, almost the entire plant (leaves, seeds and bark) can cause tachycardia, tremors and breathing difficulties.


Most common toxic plants

Among the most common plants with medium toxic parts for the dog, we find:

- Agapanthus

- Azalea

- Aloe

- Begonia

- Hawthorn

- Boxwood

- Snowdrop

- Calla

- Cyclamen

- Yellow jasmine

- Wisteria

- Ivy

- Iris

- Lantana

- Rhododendron

- Tulip

Obviously this is a partial list, because unfortunately the plants with toxic elements are very numerous. It is therefore advisable to get specific information, documenting and analyzing the most common species.


Non-toxic plants for dogs

For those who do not want to have the thought of controlling every movement of their dog on the terrace, they can rely on a great variety of very fascinating and absolutely harmless plants. Obviously, the selection and choice will have to be a little more targeted and directed.

Here is a partial list of species to choose from:

- Aeonium, succulent plant

- Bougainvillea Glabra, climbing plant

- Camellia, bushy plant

- Maidenhair fern, fern

- Clerodendron, bushy shrub

- Cresta da Gallo, annual summer plant

- Dracaena, evergreen shrub plant

- Erica, bushy plant

- Madagascar jasmine, climbing plant

- Hibiscus, herbaceous plant

- Lampranthus, succulent plant

- Canary Island palm, palm tree

- Valerian

- Veronica

- African violet

It is advisable for both adult pets and puppies to avoid plants with excessive thorns that could be swallowed or cause injury. In this regard, for example, qualities of climbing roses such as Rosa Banksiae may be preferred. It is a very luxuriant variety, very rich in flowers and of great scenic effect if placed against a pergola, on the parapet of the terrace or to adorn an empty wall. It is easy and undemanding and in a short time it reaches truly remarkable heights.


The dog-proof terrace: Pairings

In creating new terrazzo compositions, the design principles are absolutely unchanged. The only caution is, of course, to opt and choose more carefully the non-poisonous plants to be planted in your own space, based on the considerations made previously.

For example, different varieties of Ferns can be used to create pleasant color contrasts with flowering plants; they are commonly used and readily available in garden centers. Pellea and Nephrolepis, for example, with their rather compact habit, can be combined with the beautiful Brunfelsia, an evergreen shrub plant with delicate flowers that change color depending on the stage of development.

Absolutely harmless are the species belonging to the genus Mentha, which can create impressive combinations with other aromatic herbs, enriching and enhancing a dedicated corner.

Even for those wishing to opt for climbing plants, they can address a good number of non-toxic species, always taking into consideration the possibility of hosting them and having the necessary supports for their growth. We can mention: Cissus, Hoya, Kalanchoe, Lonicera, Passiflora, Trachelospermum, Vitis.


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