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Old January 31st, 2003, 10:56 PM
Jeanine Jeanine is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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dogs eating houseplants

The vet said the dogs nibbling houseplants is just bad behavior. Is this correct, or do they need a wintertime herbal supplement, and if so, what would you suggest?
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Old February 1st, 2003, 03:31 PM
herman herman is offline
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Saskatoon
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Dog is eating house plants

Hi Jeanine,

Hope this helps. Herman

Eating Grass and Other Plants

Ingestion of inappropriate items (pica) is seen in diseased and apparently healthy individuals. Plants may be an occasional and normal part of a petís diet. Pets may be attracted to both indoor and outdoor plants.

Oral investigation (tasting, chewing and possibly swallowing) is common in young cats and dogs. While it usually subsides in mature animals, taste preferences may persist. Cats are primarily carnivores (meat eaters) but occasionally eat plants, even in the wild. A pet may also eat plant material if it feels nauseated. This is not a specific sign of intestinal parasitism. Though a pet with internal parasites may feel ill enough to eat lawn grass, pets with worms do not necessarily eat grass or anything strange. Similarly, pets with other unrelated medical problems may eat grass.

Many plants are poisonous to both cats and dogs. Household and outdoor plants and trees may cause signs ranging from mild gastrointestinal upset to respiratory arrest and death. Some vegetation is so toxic that even small quantities may be very dangerous.

House pets can destroy ornamental plants, often creating quite a mess in the process. Carefully remove plants to an elevated surface or to another location to prevent access. For example, hang plants out of reach, keep branches well trimmed, or replace houseplants with cacti. If cats seem particularly attracted to specific plants or foliage types, replace these plants with others that are less tempting.
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