Are Rose Bushes Poisonous to Dogs?

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Roses (​Rosa​ ​spp.​) are a great addition to home gardens because not only do they look beautiful, but they also pair well with other flowers. If you own a dog and are worried that rose bushes may be toxic to dogs, don't worry; the petals and leaves are nontoxic to dogs. You do need to worry about what rose care products you're applying and rose thorns, though.

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Rose bushes are nontoxic to dogs.

Rose Bush Characteristics

Rose bushes are shrubs that feature roses. They're popular because they not only come in various colors, but many have a long bloom period between early spring until late fall, with some types blooming only once. Although the flowers on rose bushes can come in various colors, the most popular shades are white, pink and red. When shopping for rose bushes, make sure that you don't confuse them with other varieties of plants.

Roses are tightly wound, have a yellow center and the bush's foliage is olive green. The stems on many types of roses have sharp thorns, and the stem color can be dark red to bright green. One should wait six weeks after the last frost to start planting rose bushes. Although most roses will grow in the U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 to 10, the coldest zone where you can grow roses is zone 3.

When planting roses in USDA zones 3 to 5, you need to make sure that the hard freeze danger has entirely passed. For your rose bushes to thrive, they need at least six hours of full sun and should be watered daily until the bushes are fully established. Once they're fully established, roses thrive on a moderate watering schedule.

Rose Bushes and Dogs

If you own a dog and want to plant rose bushes in your yard, make sure you're growing roses that include the genus name ​Rosa​. Although true rose petals and leaves are nontoxic to dogs, you don't want your dogs to eat them regularly because they can cause an upset stomach. When growing roses in your yard, you also want to make sure that your dog doesn't ingest rose care products with disulfoton because they can be deadly. Also, stay away from rose care products that dogs may find tasty, such as cocoa mulch.

Your biggest priority is making sure that your dog doesn't get injured by rose thorns. If your dog becomes injured by rose thorns, you need to check their mouth and paws for trauma signs. If there are signs of injury, seek veterinary treatment immediately. Veterinary treatment for thorn damage may include an oral exam under sedation, pain medicine for trauma to the mouth and paws and possibly antibiotics.

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Eye Trauma Due to Thorns

Another area you need to look out for is your dog's eyes. Although your first instinct may be to look at your dog's paws and mouth, it's vital that you also look at your dog's eyes. If a dog barrels into rose bushes, they could end up with some form of eye trauma. Even if they don't show obvious signs of eye trauma, you should take note if they have any redness in their eyes, blood, excess tearing or pupil size change.

Another sign of eye trauma is if your dog begins to rub or paw at its eyes continuously. Even a small scratch or seemingly harmless injury could cause long-term damage or vision problems, so if your dog shows signs of eye injury, contact your veterinarian immediately.

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Allanah Dykes is a freelance writer and her work has been featured on Elite Daily, Levo League, Popsugar, Complex, Gurl, The Kitchn, HelloGiggles, Revelist, and Food 52.