Dog Eating Hibiscus

azfran(8)October 6, 2007

Can anyone offer suggestions to keep our 9 month old Golden Retriever from eating every new bloom off my hibiscus? It's driving me nuts!

I tried boiling serrano chiles and spraying the water from them on the plant, and it doesn't keep her away. I have sprinkled cayenne pepper on the plant, and nothing. Even tried black pepper and it didn't work either. Even the soap and water that I spray on it for the whiteflies hasn't kept her away!

The plant is lush and green, but I have yet to have a flower completely bloom before she gets to it! She stays away from all my other plants, so what gives?

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yogi-gardener(9 AZ)

The only thing that seems to keep my brothers Golden away from plants is peppermint spray- few drops of peppermint oil, not extract, added to a spray bottle and then sprayed around and on plants. Doesn't hurt the plants but the dogs seem to hate it! Helps keep ants away too, always a plus in my book! HTH

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 1:46AM
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Your post is so timely! I have 2 new babies, 2 yellow Lab pups & they eat/attack everything. They knocked over my hibiscus 2 x & ate every bloom. This week they practically decapitated my new TX sage & pulled it out of the ground!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 5:58PM
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Aren't all parts of the Hibiscus poisonous?

    Bookmark   November 11, 2007 at 11:47PM
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I have wondered about that also. Half of the things I read on the internet say they're poisonous, and half say they're not. In any case, she has never gotten sick from eating them, and thankfully she doesn't do it often because I try to stay on top of her when she's outside. She's funny because she knows she's not supposed to go near that plant. If I point to it and tell her NO, she puts her tail between her legs and skulks off. Trust me, she doesn't listen that well to anything else I tell her!

This weekend I boiled habanero peppers and put the water from the pot in a spray bottle. I sprayed it all over the plant. When she tried to eat a bloom, she actually spit it out. Hopefully it was too hot for her. I know I cough up a storm when I spray the plant! : )

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 10:10AM
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desertrubble(z9 AZ)

I don't know about the other parts, but flowers are entirely edible, and I would assume tasty as the tortoises we used to have had an addiction to them :)

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 11:22AM
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YES YES YES - Hibiscus is in fact posinous to dogs! They are not posinous to all creatures. However, they are great for a tortoises diet. My tort also has an addiction to them.

Even though you are not seeing outward signs of your dog becoming sick, it does not mean that what they are eating is not causing eternal damage. You try placing some wire cages around them to stop access.

Good Luck!

    Bookmark   November 17, 2007 at 12:21AM
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desertrubble(z9 AZ)

I've been looking and find no reference that the flowers are poisonous to dogs, but rather the plant itself is.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2007 at 10:17AM
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I've actually researched this before. I won't put any posinous plants in my backyard because one of my dogs is about 10 lbs. It takes a much smaller amount of consumption for it to affect them.

My resource is The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). They have short lists of toxic and nontoxic plants.

Hibiscus is not on their list. However, you can call them and enquire about any plant. Which is what I did about a year ago and they confirmed the entire plant is posinous. Usually when something says the plant itself is posinous it means the entire plant. Foliage, flowers, seeds, etc.

On these ASPCA toxic plant list you can click on the name of the plant and it will tell you what the toxic principle us (usually calcium oxalate crystals) and the clinical signs, some of which are death. Unfortunatly, I do not remember what the clinical signs are for the hibiscus, just that it was a no go in my dog area!

Also, some plants are only posinous to cats and not dogs such as the lily. Oh, and for horse owners, their is a list of poisonous plants for horses!

I placed a link below for the ASPCA. They are invaluable resource for pet owners. In addition, they have a 24 hour animal posion control line which, at your request, they will send you a free magnet for! I linked directly to the poison control page, on the right hand side you will see a list of links. In that you will find the toxic and ontoxic plant lists.

Some plants, such as the Tropical BOP, only have seeds that are posinous. So on those I just clip the flower when it blooms and place it in a vase inside!

Here is a link that might be useful: ASPCA

    Bookmark   November 17, 2007 at 11:54AM
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I have a golden puppy and it keeps pulling the flowers off the plant and any that drop along with everything else in the yard. I've been trying to find out about the flowers too and can't find out anything. I think calling the ASPCA is a great suggestion. Thanks,

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 8:19AM
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haname(z9 AZ NE Phoenix)

Hibiscus flowers aren't poisonous. They have a nice, tart flavor and they're high in vitamin C which is why your dog wants to eat them.

You could try supervising your dog while in the garden. Puppies especially should be closely supervised, or any dog that has developed a bad habit. Even put the dog on a long lead if necessary. You can teach the dog not to do things you don't want them to do and then gradually they will become reliable so you don't have to keep such a close eye on them. But it does take time, patience, and a willingness to supervise the dog at all times. Think of them as toddlers and you'll get the idea.

Azfran, take your dog out into the yard with some treats. Srawberries or pieces of tomato would be perfect in this case but use something refreshing that your dog likes. Let her snoop around but once or twice when she's being good, call her over to you in a happy voice and give her a small treat. Hold a strawberry so she can nibble it from your hand little by little. If she heads over to the hibiscus, say NO sharply, then call her name in a happy voice and when she comes to you, give her a treat and tell her what a good girl she is. You should also teach her the 'drop it' command. Don't give her too many strawberries. Some dogs just love fruits and veggies. Mine love all sorts of fruits and veggies but they don't digest them very well so they're just an occasional treat. Just giving her this sort of thing as a treat might be enough to satisfy her craving so she doesn't go after the hibiscus flowers.

With the younger puppies, I would put them on a long line (20 feet long) so you can manage them better while they're learning your rules.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 1:01PM
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My 2 female dogs ate all the leaves off my hibiscus- they have a problem with incontinence- saw a reference to diuretic property of rosa thinks there's kidney damage. Anyone have any info? Seems to happen only in growing season.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 4:00PM
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mistascott(7A VA)

I think to clarify things we need to distinguish between hibiscus species. I have done a little research and it appears that Sinensis (Chinese/tropical hibiscus) is not toxic to animals. However, Syriacus (Rose of Sharon) is toxic to animals according to the ASPCA website. You should call your vet if your pet consumes any amount of Syriacus, but if your pet only consumed a small amount of the plant, you probably don't need to induce vomiting (your vet will give you instructions on how to do this). The primary danger if your pet consumed a lot of it is fluid loss through vomiting/diarrhea. The vet will likely assume any hibiscus is Syriacus out of an abundance of caution.

If your pet consumes a large amount of a known non-toxic plant or small amount of a plant of unknown toxicity, I would still call your vet's office.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 3:54AM
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Rick Porter

Hibiscus (Hibiscus spp.) flowers can be edible or toxic to dogs depending on the type of hibiscus. Tropical hibiscus plants such as Chinese hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis), which is an evergreen that grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11, is used to make tea. It is also grown in zoos as a reptile food. This particular hibiscus is safe for dogs, as are most tropical hibiscus. Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus), a deciduous hardy hibiscus that grows in USDA zones 5 through 8, is toxic to dogs, however.

Make sure that the Chinese hibiscus is NOT the tree in your yard, TOXIC! All the other varieties are fine. I make hibiscus tea (great for the heart) sweetened with stevia, and both my dog and I love it (hers is cooled first PETA). She eats the spent flowers on her food in the evening. Lots of vit C

    Bookmark   March 5, 2015 at 4:18PM
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iandyaz(Zone 9B - QC)

I'm trying to keep my cat from eating the leaves of my azaleas. I read they are poisonous and he likes to nibble pieces of the leaves off occasionally. I only let my cat out in the back when I'm there so now I just pull him away when he goes near them, but I worry I'll not be watching one of these times and he'll go to town on them like he does my borage.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2015 at 11:09PM
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