Fuchsias are one of the most stunning flowers you will find, coming into bloom in mid-March through to April. With their bright colors and purple berries, they almost look good enough to eat… and if you have an inquisitive dog this is where the problem lies.
Last year our pooch got loose in my mother in law’s garden and munched through some of her prized fuchsias. Our dog ate the fuchsia berries and seed pods, the flowers, and even the stems… there wasn’t much left!
My immediate reaction (aside from worrying about the in-law’s reaction) was one of fear. After all, we’re often told that bright colors in nature can signify danger, so my main worry was if the fuchsias are toxic and poisonous to my dog. Surely the flowers, plant and berries would be harmful I some way?
I decided to find out…
Are fuchsias poisonous to dogs? Fuchsias are not toxic to dogs. If your dog has eaten any part of the fuchsia plant including the berries, seed pods, or flower then they will be safe if no fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides present. Fuchsias are not dangerous, and are edible, reportedly being juicy, tangy, and sweet.
According to the Gardening Know How website, fuchsia berries and flowers even contain vitamin C and additional nutrients, with some people even making jams from the plant. In fact, you can find plenty of recipes online that incorporate fuchsia jam into cakes and muffins, plus some chutney dishes.
I don’t recommend you let your dog eat fuchsia flowers though…
However, that doesn’t mean you should merrily let your dog eat fuchsia plants just because they aren’t poisonous. As the old adage goes, “just because you can, it doesn’t mean you should”.
Let me give you a similar example.
Dogs eat grass. It’s an issue many dog owners will face. Now whilst common grass itself isn’t poisonous to dogs, they can be sick when they eat it… and the same can be true of fuchsias.
Our own dog Claude will chew on sticks and grass at our local park, and the morning after will throw it all up again. The sticks and grass are not poisonous so him, but his body will reject them (as you can imagine).
And the same can apply to fuchsia flowers and berries.
After our dog ate fuchsia plants and seed pods from my mother in law’s garden, he vomited the lot back up 6 hours later. He wasn’t poisoned; he simply just threw them all back up. I assume this was because he had trouble digesting the plants and berries.
Handy Hint: If you have spider plants in your home, you might have wondered if they are poisonous to your dog. Click that link to find out more and how to stop the house plant chewing.
Why does my dog eat fuchsia flowers?
But why exactly would your dog eat fuchsia berries and flowers?
Scientists are yet to prove why dogs will eat plants and flowers, so we’re just left with a number of theories including:
- Dogs eat plants for medicinal reasons to help them throw up.
- Dogs eat plants to get rid of parasites in their intestines.
- Dogs eat plants because they are missing some nutrients in their diet.
- Dogs eat plants because they like the taste and how plants look.
- Dogs eat plants to simply be mischievous.
- Dogs eats plants to be destructive due to a behavioural problem
What flowers and plants are poisonous to dogs?
Charlie Dimmock, a famous TV personality in the UK, is a star in various gardening TV shows. This is what she told the Daily Mail website in 2015:
“Pet owners should avoid geraniums, marigolds and dahlias and go for sunflowers, fuchsia, gerberas, African daisies and busy Lizzies instead. We don’t want people to go ripping up all the plants in their gardens. What we are saying it to be aware and if your puppy is chomping at a particular plant, you know to stop him and then keep an eye on him.”
As you can see, she’s a fan of fuchsias and recommends them to dog owners. Here’s a list of flowers and plants you should be wary of as they could poison your dog.
- Amaryllis bulbs
- Asparagus fern
- Daffodil bulbs
- Day lilies
- Lily of the valley
- Morning glory
- Rhubarb leaves
- Sweet pea
- Tulip bulbs
- Umbrella plant
Garden plants and flowers safe for dogs
Don’t think this means your hands (or green fingers) are tied though; you can still have a dog and a stunning looking garden or yard. Here is a list of plants and flowers that are not toxic to dogs (including the fuchsia plant).
- African Daisy
- African Violet
- Antirrhinum (Snapdragon)
- Fuchsia (also known as Lady’s Ear Drops)
- Gerbera Daisy
- Michaelmas Daisies
Handy Hint: Your garden can have a variety of dangers, including slugs and snails. Read this guide which explains why slugs and their trails are hazardous to dogs.
Symptoms of poisoning
If your dog has eaten anything outdoors and you see any of the following symptoms contact your vet immediately. In fact, if you are at all worried about any plant or flower your dog ate, even if you don’t see side effects, err on the side of caution and seek professional advice.
- Oral or skin irritation
- Upset stomach/vomiting /diarrhoea
- Rapid breathing
- Heart failure
- Excitability or lethargy
- Increased thirst
- Dilated pupils
- Dizziness/poor balance
Our dog Claude will chew and eat anything in site, so much so that we’ve had to fence off part of our garden to stop him eating flowers and plants.
It’s not an unusual trait for dogs to have.
The More Than Pet Insurance company in the UK found that 8% of dogs had eaten a poisonous plant or flower. Half of those dogs required treatment at the vets, with 15% of the total died.
That’s a huge concern and should encourage you to learn which flowers you can safely have in your garden or yard if you own a dog.
Whilst fuchsias are not toxic to dogs, the next one your puppy decides to chew on could be.
Disclaimer: I am not a vet. Always seek professional advice if your dog eats anything that is not part of their standard and safe diet. The recommendations on fuchsias being safe for dogs are based on my own online research.
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