If you're a gardening enthusiast, you're probably spending quite a bit of time out in the sunny weather adding to your landscape. If you're looking for a pet-safe way to make your yard beautiful, you may be considering planting a rose bush or two. Roses are a classic, lovely addition to any garden, and bring with them a sense of nostalgia and elegance. But are roses truly safe for your dog?
Here's the scoop on roses, the risks they pose to dogs, and what to do if you think your dog has been hurt by a rose bush.
The Good News: Roses Aren't Toxic
Roses are non-toxic to pets, making them a fairly good option for landscaping for pet owners. They're a good option for cut flowers inside, as well, since they won't hurt your indoor pet if they consume any fallen pedals. However, there are some risks to consider when you purchase a rose bush for your garden. Keep these things in mind before you choose one.
- A rose by any other name: Not all plants that have "rose" in the name are true roses—and some of them may indeed be toxic for your pet. Make sure that the botanical name of the plant you're considering includes the name "Rosa" to ensure that you're looking at a true rose.
- Rose care can be dangerous: Be aware that the products you use on your roses could be a hazard to your pet's health. For instance, disulfoton is sometimes used in rose granule products and can be deadly to dogs and cats. Fertilizers like this and others appeal to dogs as a tasty treat and can be fatal if consumed. Don't use cocoa mulch or products with disulfoton to avoid this tragedy.
- Thorns: The real problem that you'll run into with roses is the thorns. Pets can easily get caught by a thorn if they're running through your garden, and the resulting cuts can be deep enough to cause lasting damage. Watch out for cuts that could become infected and tie up climbing or large roses to keep them out of walkways. When you trim your roses, immediately discard of dead branches since the dried rose thorns are even more dangerous than live ones.
First-Aid for Thorn Scratches
If your dog does come into contact with a rose bush and leave a little worse for wear, it's important to take the necessary steps to keep your pet healthy. Watch out for thorns in the soft pads of your dog's feet and keep an eye on any scratches that could become an issue.
If your dog goes headfirst into a rose, they could end up with eye trauma. Even a minor scratch or injury to your dog's eye could cause lasting damage and loss of vision. Here's what to look out for.
- Redness in the eye
- Rubbing with paws
- Color changes
- Pus or mucous
- Pupil size change
The most common eye problem that dogs encounter is scratching. Since dogs tend to lead with their faces and move quickly, they're prone to injury from plants at their eye level. If your dog is exhibiting any of the symptoms of eye injury, contact your vet right away. Non-painful eye injuries should be seen within 24 hours, while painful injuries should be seen within hours if possible. If your dog seems to be experiencing pain, call your vet and schedule an emergency visit right away.
A little prevention will go a long way in having a safe, fun-filled summer.