Harmful Plants and Weeds to Keep Your Dog Away From This Spring

Spring is almost here and for many of us, that means it’s time to take our dogs on fun adventures all around San Diego and beyond! If you’re someone who enjoys the great outdoors even more when you’re dog is by your side, we recommend paying attention to your surroundings to ensure your dog has a fun and safe time. Whether you’re hiking in East County or taking a camping trip up to the Lagunas, there are certain plants and weeds you should watch out for so your dog doesn’t get hurt. Keep reading to learn about a few of them.


The term foxtail is a generic descriptor of a grass with pointy seeds that accumulate at the top. The seeds are often described as looking and feeling like needles. Sometimes they’re easy to spot, but sometimes they’re not because the seeds can be small and not bunched together at the top. Either way, it’s common for them to get stuck in dog hair. They can cause matting and scratches depending on how close they get to the skin. Even worse, dogs have been known to inhale the seeds or get them stuck inside their paws or ears. When walking your dog in an area near tall or dry grass, make sure to stick to a trail and pay close attention to where your dog is sniffing and walking so you can avoid a painful trip to the vet.


Another weed to keep an eye out for when spending time outside with your dog is the bur. You’ve probably seen these pesky little things before, maybe even on your own clothing. They are small and ball-shaped with prickly barbs sticking out all the way around. They get stuck to almost anything, including dog fur. They’re also hard to see because they’re so small and can be hidden on the weeds they grow on. The best way to know if they’ll be in the area you’re planning to visit is to look up plants that grow there before you go. If you know that the weeds grow there and what they look like, you can easily avoid them.

Various Flowers

It would be hard to list every flower and plant that could potentially harm your dog, so again, it’s best to do your research. With the arrival of spring comes backyard parties and various get-togethers. If you plan on bringing your dog to someone’s house or anything other place with landscaping, try to get an idea of what flowers might be blooming. Of course, it’s a good idea to train your dog not to eat things he or she shouldn’t be eating, but dogs can be sneaky and quickly eat something when you’re not looking.

Some common flowers that can cause problems when ingested include morning glories, daffodils, azaleas, and tulips. If you’re curious about other flowers and plants, you can check out this comprehensive list of toxic and non-toxic plants for dogs courtesy of the ASPCA.

We hope this post has been helpful and will serve as a reminder to look out for your dog when you’re out and about in sunny San Diego this spring. If the upcoming season means you’ll be traveling out of town without your dog, please contact us if you’ll need a pet sitter. We’re licensed and bonded pet caretakers serving the San Diego area. We’d be happy to take your dog on regular walks while you’re away!

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