As autumn approaches, the PDSA is warning dog owners about the toxic plants they may come across on their walks.

While you might be looking forward to the leaves changing colour and hearing the crunch under your feet, it’s important to make sure our furry friends can enjoy their autumnal walks without coming to harm.

With a change of season comes a change of dangers for our pets and the PDSA has issued advice about the toxic plants owners should keep their pets away from.

A number of plants are toxic and in some cases can prove to be fatal for our pets so it’s vital to know what to avoid.

Rhyl Journal: Some plants dogs and owners will come across this autumn are toxic for dogs and could even be fatalSome plants dogs and owners will come across this autumn are toxic for dogs and could even be fatal (Image: Canva)

“Our four-legged friends are naturally very inquisitive and will often want to sniff out new smells and objects”, says PDSA Vet Nurse Nina Downing.

“Knowing what to keep your pet away from can help keep them safe – and prevent any impromptu visits to the vets if they eat something that could be toxic.”

Poisonous plants to avoid on walks this autumn


Acorns contain tannic acid which can be toxic and cause a stomach upset including vomiting and diarrhoea.

Unripe and green acorns can be even more toxic as they contain more tannins.

If your dog eats acorns, it can cause a blockage to their guts and although rare, they can cause long-term kidney and liver damage.

Yew trees

Every part of a yew tree, including its red berries and even the leaves, is poisonous to dogs.

Yew trees are often found in churchyards so it’s important pet owners keep their eye out for these on their walks.

If you think your pet has eaten any part of a yew tree, you need to get in touch with a vet for advice straight away.

Rhyl Journal: Yew trees are poisonous to dogsYew trees are poisonous to dogs (Image: Getty Images)

Horse chestnut trees

The bark, leaves, flowers and conkers from a horse chestnut tree are all poisonous to pets.

This is due to the chemical aesculin which is found in each part of the tree and its fruit – conkers.

The conkers could also become a choking or blocking hazard.

Autumn crocuses

Autumn crocuses are not to be confused with spring crocuses and have pale mauve, pink, or white flowers in autumn.

All parts of the plant are highly toxic for pets and there are a range of symptoms to look out for.

The symptoms include vomiting, drooling, bloody diarrhoea and can lead to liver and kidney failure, collapse and even death.

You must contact your vet immediately if your pet eats any part of the autumn crocus.

For more information on keeping your pet safe this autumn, you can visit the PDSA website.

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Nina adds: “When out walking this autumn, it’s crucial to be aware of any dangerous plants and trees that might cause harm to your pet.

“Keep a close eye on them, and try to walk your pooch somewhere you know is clear of toxic plants.

“If you know your pet is in the habit of being a bit of a scavenger, you might need to take extra precautions like training them to feel comfortable wearing a basket muzzle while you’re out and about to prevent them picking up anything dangerous.

“Vomiting, diarrhoea, shaking and breathing problems could all be signs that your pet might have eaten something poisonous.

“But even if your pet’s not showing any signs, if you know they’ve eaten something they shouldn’t, call the vet straight away. Your vet will be happy to provide guidance on whether it’s likely to be dangerous for your pet and advise what you should do.

“The quicker you act, the quicker your vet can provide essential treatment when it’s needed, which can reduce or prevent longer-term problems for your pet.”