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Can Hibiscus Flowers Hurt Dogs If They Eat the Blooms?

By Kay Wagers ; Updated September 21, 2017
Hibiscus flowers are beautiful and dangerous.

Your backyard can be many things: a play area for your children, an outdoor living space, or even a tropical getaway. If you have a dog, then designing your ideal backyard requires researching plants you might like to use to see if they are dangerous for pets. If you choose a plant like a hibiscus, you need to know if it can hurt dogs before planting it in reach of your curious canine.

Hibiscus Flowers

With their bright green foliage and large color flowers, a hibiscus plant can add a touch of the tropics to your backyard. The plants grow most often in warm, humid climates. The flowers themselves can be purchased at florist shops, either alone or as part of a tropical bouquet. No matter how the hibiscus flowers come to your house, it is important to remember that all parts of the hibiscus plant can hurt our dog if ingested, including the blooms.

Symptoms

Brushing up against a hibiscus plant or its blooms, does not cause ill effects for dogs. However, eating some of the leaves or any part of the flower, can sicken a dog. Symptoms of hibiscus blossom ingestion include signs of gastric upset, like diarrhea or vomiting. Dogs usually becomes nauseated after eating the flowers. Sometimes the nausea of so severe that the dog stops eating, leading to short term anorexia.

Treatment

If your dog vomits once or only has a single round of loose stool after eating part of a hibiscus plant, treat it by monitoring its condition. Many animals recover just fine given access to plenty of water and an easy way to get outside. If your dog vomits copiously or stops eating, call your veterinarian. When you bring your dog in to see the veterinarian, bring along a portion of the hibiscus plant. It can help your veterinarian better decide how to treat your pet.

Considerations

Hibiscus flowers are not just dangerous to dogs; they and the rest of the plant can also make cats sick, too. If you have hibiscus plants in your yard, keep your pets away from them. Build a barrier around the plant or spray the area around it with bitter apple or another pet-deterring spray to help keep your dog from getting too close.