True bamboo species are generally not toxic to dogs, although some plants are often misidentified as bamboo but are actually poisonous. Here's what you need to know to keep your dog safe.
What plants are often misidentified as bamboo?
Bamboo is a member of the grass family, and most grasses are considered safe for dogs to eat. In fact, bamboo leaves can provide a source of dietary fiber and, to some extent, protein for dogs.
Two plants that are often confused with bamboo are heavenly bamboo (nandina) and lucky bamboo (dracaena).
- Heavenly bamboo contains cyanogenic glycosides, which can release cyanide when ingested, potentially leading to fatal cyanide poisoning.
- Lucky bamboo is mildly toxic to dogs and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and drooling.
How can I keep my dog safe from toxic plants?
Here are some tips for keeping your dog safe from toxic plants:
- Identify all the plants in your yard and home, making sure to learn their scientific names, as common names can be misleading.
- Research any plants you are unfamiliar with to determine if they are toxic to dogs. Numerous resources are available online and at your local library.
- Keep toxic plants securely out of your dog's reach, especially in your yard. You might consider fencing them off to prevent accidental ingestion.
- Supervise your dog when they are outdoors. If you observe your dog chewing on a plant, intervene immediately and identify the plant. If you are unsure whether the plant is toxic, contact your veterinarian for guidance.
If you think your dog may have ingested a toxic plant, contact your veterinarian immediately.
- ASPCA Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants Database: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants
- Pet Poison Helpline: https://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/
- Poison Control Center: https://www.poison.org/