If you already have bluebells in your garden, they grow on the perimeter, or you love to take your dog on walks where they naturally grow in the wild, you are going to need to know whether your dog will be safe around them especially if your dog is anything like mine and wants to eat anything in sight! Could the beautiful bluebell be poisonous to dogs? Here is all you will need to know.
So, are bluebells poisonous to dogs? Bluebells are poisonous to dogs. The toxic element of the bluebell is found in its bulb, stem, and flower, so it is essential to keep your dog away from them at all times, even if they are not in bloom. Otherwise, ingestion could result in vomiting, diarrhea, and in more extreme cases, seizures.
Below, I’ve delved into further detail on the symptoms and shared tips on how you can keep your bluebells and your dog apart moving forward.
Will Dogs Eat Bluebells?
Dogs will likely eat bluebells if given a chance. That’s because bluebells have a subtle sweet scent and bright colors, both of which are attractive and enticing to them.
Additionally, a dog may be drawn to bluebells if they are not receiving enough alternative stimulation or food and nutrition, or it could simply be their natural curiosity leading them astray.
We may never know the reason for sure, but what we do know is that their consumption of bluebells is a danger to their health and must not be taken lightly.
What Would Happen To A Dog If They Ate Bluebells?
Bluebells are considered to be highly toxic to dogs and can be fatal if ingested.
However, death is the absolute worst-case scenario.
It’s more usual for your dog to experience side effects such as vomiting, lethargy, weakness, difficulty breathing, drooling, and abdominal pain.
If a dog has eaten the bulbs of the plant or generally has a weaker immune system than the average dog, the symptoms may be more severe.
For instance, death aside, it may begin to experience seizures or difficulty walking.
How To Keep Dogs Away From Your Bluebells
It’s no surprise that keeping your dog away from your bluebells is an absolute must!
Below, I’ve outlined a few approaches that may just work for you.
Stimulate Your Dog
If you suspect that your dog is heading over to bluebells out of boredom, it may be time to up the stimulation.
Doing so could be as simple as heading outside alongside your dog and engaging it in a game of fetch.
Alternatively, you could invest in a few extra toys for the garden.
Balls, ropes, and chew toys should do the trick!
With all of the extra mental and physical stimulation, your dog should find itself much too occupied to give bluebells a second thought!
The application of scent deterrents is a tried and true method to keep your dog away from your bluebells.
The idea is simple.
Dogs have an unparalleled sense of smell, and there are several smells that they simply can’t stand.
By placing said smells in the vicinity of the bluebells (if possible), you’ll keep your dog away from them.
Some scents to experiment with include citrus notes, herbs, cayenne pepper, and vinegar.
It’s easy enough to create an effective solution from the comfort of your own home, but if you’re inclined, you could always pick one up from your local pet or garden store.
However, it’s worth noting that this approach isn’t a permanent one.
You’ll need to reapply the scent every couple of days to ensure its continued effectiveness.
Install A Physical Barrier
Your dog won’t eat your bluebells if they can’t reach them.
Fortunately, dogs aren’t the best climbers, which means that installing a gate or fence around bluebells should keep them away.
Alternatively, if you’d rather refrain from adding a new structure to your garden, or it is not possible if they are growing in the wild, you may be able to place mulch or gravel on the ground around the bluebells instead.
The resulting surface will be much too uncomfortable for your dog to even consider walking on, and it will surely stick to more pleasant surfaces instead.
Provide Sufficient Food
Your dog may be eating bluebells because they’re genuinely hungry.
Thus, to combat this, do double-check that you’re feeding your dog enough food during their regular feeding times.
When it comes to portion sizes, it’s important to strike a balance.
The portion shouldn’t be too small that your dog is left hungry, nor should it be so large that your dog begins to expect more food and ups its scavenging as a result.
Rather, you’ll want to find something of a middle ground.
In addition to this, when you do feed your dog, ensure that the food you provide is well-balanced and nutritious.
It should contain a balanced mix of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
Finally, it could also be helpful to get into the swing of sticking with regular feeding times.
Your dog will get used to the routine in no time and subsequently become accustomed to the fact that snacking on your bluebells simply isn’t a part of it.
Other Suggestions When Keeping Bluebells Around Dogs
Seek Immediate Medical Support
If your dog has eaten your bluebells, it’s important to seek medical attention right away.
Head to the vet as soon as you can!
The vet is the most qualified person to offer both their opinion and the best course of action moving forward.
With the right care, provided it’s swift, your dog will hopefully make a full recovery back to its happy and healthy self!
Rethink Your Plant Purchases
If you are planning on growing bluebells and haven’t yet purchased them, it’s worth reconsidering your choice.
After all, why bring toxic plants into your garden if you’re not 100% certain that you’ll be able to keep your dog away from them?
If you already have bluebells and the above measures haven’t worked out for you, it’s probably time to err on the safe side and look into rehoming your plants.
Doing so will give you peace of mind, and rest assured; there are several plants out there that don’t pose any risk to dogs at all.
Consider Letting Your Local Council Know
If bluebells are on the perimeter of your property and on land that you do not own, you may need to contact your local council and ask what they can do about them or measures to keep dogw safe.
Keep Your Dog Leashed
If you are on a walk and your dog loves to run off and scavenge, it will be prudent to keep your dog on a leash at certain times of the year or in certain areas where bluebells grow.