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3 Native Virginia Plants That Could Harm Your Dog

With spring right around the corner, many plants are going to start coming out of the woodwork again (pun intended). We often pay attention to the plants that are dangerous for humans to touch, such as poison ivy, oak, and sumac, but what about some other plants native to Virginia that can harm us and more importantly, our dogs?

Here are three plants we recommend you and your pet stay far away from.


Interacting with a Mayapple is a game of chance. This plant produces fruit during the June-July months of summer. When the fruit is ripe, it is the least poisonous part of the plant and may be able to be eaten by humans. However, every other part of the plant, as well as the fruit if not properly ripened, can be dangerous. Consuming any parts of the plant will cause severe gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, vomiting, and drooling. These symptoms can even occur through skin absorption after contact with the plant. Coming in contact with the roots, seeds, or unripened fruit also has a high risk of dermatitis for dogs and humans alike. Richmond, VA is known to see blooms of this plant as early as April, so refresh your memory on their characteristics before heading out for an adventure in the woods!

Mountain Laurel

Mountain Laurel is an absolutely stunning plant. Like its name suggests, this flower likes to bloom in late spring, early summer along mountains. It can grow even in very shady areas, making it a prime candidate to spot if you are one to hike with your dog. While it’s safe to touch and admire, every part of the plant is extremely poisonous when ingested. From its flowers to its stems, the whole plant is deadly to humans and animals alike. Paws off, buddy.

Virginia Creeper

From climbing trees to crawling along sidewalks, Virginia Creeper can be found just about anywhere. Most people steer clear of this plant due to its striking similarity to poison ivy. This one however, is completely safe to touch. The danger lies in the plant’s berries. Its berries contain high amounts of oxalic acid, which is moderately poisonous to us, as well as, our four-legged friends. You can tell if you dog has chewed up some berries if they present with swollen and irritated lips, mouth, tongue, and throat. On rare occasions, gastrointestinal issues, such as nausea and vomiting can also present.

This is not an all-inclusive list, so just because you don't see a certain plant in this post, doesn't mean that it doesn't pose a threat. Familiarize yourself with others and stay vigilant. We want you to have a safe and enriching bonding experience with your dog in nature.

Where are some of your favorite places to do that?

Well wishes & puppy kisses,



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