You and your dog are having an afternoon walk in the park when suddenly, you see a great spot to take a photo of your dog in – a bougainvillea plant.
From its lush green leaves to its vibrant flowers, this plant indeed makes an aesthetic backdrop, especially when partnered with the perfect lighting from the sun.
Before you let your dog, sit and pose in front of that plant for a photoshoot, you have to ask yourself one thing first — is bougainvillea poisonous to dogs?
There are many speculations about the truth of the matter as some dogs get sick while others do not when they eat bougainvillea. Well, the short answer is that the plant is, indeed, mildly toxic to dogs.
We will explain this in detail below.
A Bougainvillea is very popular in some countries.
You can see some houses taking care of and growing this plant!
Its beautiful flowers give the garden life, and its lush leaves provide shade whenever it is sunny outside.
Before you try to find out if a Bougainvillea plant is poisonous to your dog or not, you have to know first what a Bougainvillea plant looks like to identify it positively.
Bougainvillea can grow either as a hedge or as a tree.
It can also be used as a ground cover.
A Bougainvillea’s blossoms may vary in color and may range from lavender, yellow, red, orange, white, pink, and scarlet.
Its flowers typically bloom in the early spring and during wintertime.
Bougainvillea is generally found in warm parts of the U.S and is usually grown or even cultivated by many as a garden plant.
Is Bougainvillea Poisonous to Dogs?
Yes, bougainvillea is mildly toxic to dogs when ingested.
Being “mildly toxic” means that if your dog eats bougainvillea, they may or may not exhibit side effects, and they will not get sick immediately.
You have to observe your dog and see if they will show any signs of infection or symptoms of Gastrointestinal problems in the next few hours to ensure that they are unaffected by it.
Some symptoms and sure-fire signs of whether your dog has been negatively affected by bougainvillea or not are if your dog exhibits symptoms like:
Your dog can also experience other side effects even if they do not ingest a Bougainvillea plant or blossom.
For instance, these Bougainvillea plants attract a wide variety of butterflies and bees.
If your dog has been playing around the plant, it is at risk of getting stung by a bee.
Since most Bougainvilleas are cultivated, they may also be treated with pesticides and fertilizers, which can add to the injury your dog may suffer if they ingest a large number of bougainvillea.
Aside from those mentioned above, a Bougainvillea’s stem also contains a sap-like substance that may irritate your dog’s skin.
What’s even worse is if this sap gets into your dog’s eyes or any sensitive area in the face, it may cause severe and irreversible problems.
Aside from containing a sap-like substance, Bougainvillea plants also have thorns in their stems, so your dog may get scratched if they decide to play anywhere near it.
These scratches can, later on, lead to infection when not treated immediately and adequately.
Safety and Prevention
So how can you ensure that your dog is safe from acquiring these side effects?
One simple and basic way to ensure that your dog is protected from bougainvillea poisoning is by making sure that your furry friend will not have any access to Bougainvillea plants, whether in your backyard, the streets, or at the park.
If, for instance, you own a dog and a Bougainvillea at the same time, you can put your bougainvillea in a tall pot that your dog cannot reach.
Protective fencing in your planting beds can also keep your dog away from the plant.
Although bougainvillea is only mildly toxic and will probably only cause vomiting and diarrhea, it is still essential that you take the necessary steps and precautions to ensure your furry friend’s safety and security.
Although bougainvillea is not included in ASPCA’s list of toxic plants for dogs, it is still better to ensure that your dog stays away from this plant to avoid getting any injuries from its thorns, from its sap, or from the bees that surround it.
If your dog gets scratched by a Bougainvillea thorn, it would be best for you to treat your dog’s skin by washing it with warm soapy water immediately and applying a cold compress afterward to relieve your dog of any pain or itching.
If your dog’s scratches worsen the next day, do not think twice and immediately bring your dog to the Vet.
If your dog ate or drank something poisonous or dangerous to their health, no matter what plant or what substance it is, observe them keenly and watch out for any changes in their appetite, behavior, and in their actions.
If they start declining food or start showing symptoms of an upset bodily system like Diarrhea or vomiting, then bring your dog to the Vet immediately.
Some plants may have different reactions when ingested, depending on the quantity that your dog has eaten, or the other factors like the presence of pesticides, fertilizers, and the like.
Be a responsible pet owner and do not put your dog’s life on the line by delaying medical attention.
Do not search on the internet what you can do or what home remedy you can give your dog if you think that the symptoms are starting to worsen.
If you bring your dog to the Vet when it’s too late, then there’s nothing they can do about your dog’s condition anymore.
Be a proactive and diligent pet owner.