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Curious dogs and puppies love to explore their surrounding by nibbling, smelling, touching, and rolling on everything that catches their attention. During walks or camping trips, they sniff on any plant or flower that sparks some curiosity in them. Sadly, they can come across toxic plants now and then. Since your furry friend cannot tell bad from right sometimes, she relies on you to keep her safe. You can only do that if you know which flowers and plants are safe and which are harmful. Not only will you avoid having the toxic stuff around the house but you can prevent your pet from coming in contact or ingesting them when you are outdoors. Today, let’s look at the attractive viburnum—specifically its toxicity to dogs.
What Is Viburnum?
Viburnum or cranberry bush refers to a genus of beautiful flowering plants with evergreen and deciduous shrubs and white or pink blooms. It is a staple in many homes as a landscaping flower often utilized in shrub borders or as screening and hedges. The family consists of 150 species of different heights and colors of blooms. Some grow up to a height of 20 feet but you can also find dwarf varieties of less than 3 feet tall. The plant blooms in spring displaying its white or pink flowers that are either in clusters, cymes, terminal panicles, or corymbs. Viburnum berries are borne in late summer or fall and they bear a spherical or ovoid. Colors range from red to blue to yellow and black.
Is It Poisonous To Dogs?
Viburnum is listed by ASPCA as non-toxic. The site lists it under sweet viburnum and blackhaw because they are one and the same thing. Both you and your pooch can eat the berries of the plant or use the leaves or foliage without suffering ill effects. Speaking of eating, viburnum berries can actually be eaten raw. They can also be made into jams and consumed. Other reputable botanical databases including Toxic Plants of Texas, Poisonous Plants and Mushrooms of North Carolina, Cornell University Plants Poisonous to Livestock, and the University of Pennsylvania Poisonous Plants have not listed any viburnum species at all. That shows, in part, that it is safe for pets. If that wasn’t the case, many sites would have already listed it as a warning to parents.
With that said, a couple of viburnum species may be mildly toxic to both humans and dogs. Viburnum opulus, for instance, produces mildly toxic fruits. If your dog ingests a large number of the fruits, she may have bouts of vomiting. Since it is hard to keep tabs on how much your doggie eats sometimes, you might want to choose other species of the plant for her safety. Lucky for you, there are many more to choose from, so you will not be stranded.
Additionally, viburnum suspensum also called Sandakwa may also have poisonous berries that can cause gut upset when ingested. It can affect you and your dog. Sandakwa is native to Okinawa, one of the Japanese Ryuku Islands. The berries are the only poisonous part of the plant. The leaves and other parts are safe for your pet. If you must keep the plant at home, consider chopping off the clusters of fruits in case your doggie visits the fence or the garden. Do this as soon as the flower starts to bloom.
With its interesting foliage, fragrant flowers, and snowy berries, viburnum makes for a good landscape or garden plant. The fact that it comes with myriad varieties means you have so many options to choose from. Thankfully, it is also non-toxic to dogs which is a major bonus for any dog lover. Just keep off the two varieties—Viburnum opulus and viburnum suspensum—and you will be good.