tulips plant

Dogs naturally love to run around outside and enjoy the space of a park or garden. They can also be curious about something that may have caught their eye. Flowers are a common choice, and if you have found your dog chewing on a tulip, you may be concerned that these flowers may be toxic.

Unfortunately, yes, tulips are toxic to your dog and can be fatal in some cases if ingested. Read on to understand how harmful a tulip can be, why they are toxic, and what you can do if your dog eats one.

Why are Tulips Toxic to Dogs?

Tulips are a beautiful and popular flower but don’t be fooled by their harmless appearance. The glycosides tupalin a and tupalin b are extremely toxic to dogs and can even affect people, so try to keep them far away. The glycoside inhibits protein synthesis in the cells and becomes toxic during digestion. The toxin can be found throughout the plant, but the concentration is highest in the bulb.

Another toxin called tuliposide is found in the plant, which is converted to tulipan when it enters the skin causing irritation. So, if your dogs have not ingested a tulip, they can still develop itching and irritation on the esophagus and mucous membrane of their mouths by carrying it.

What Do I Do If My Dog Eats a Tulip?

There are signs to help you establish whether your dog has ingested a tulip and whether it is a big or small amount of the plant. Signs for small amounts include:

  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Excessive drooling
  • Depression

Large amounts ingested with the bulb include:

  • Tremors
  • Abdominal pain
  • Increased heart rate and respiratory rate
  • Trouble breathing
  • Sudden death

Treatment will depend on how much of the tulip your pooch consumed, when they ate it, your dog’s size, and of course, how serious their reaction is. As soon as you suspect poisoning in your dog, you should call your vet. If the toxic load is mild, your vet may advise you to keep a close eye on your dog to monitor for symptoms, and if the symptoms persist, you will need to take your pup to the vet. If your dog has eaten the bulb, then decontamination is important, and if it was recently consumed, your vet may induce vomiting to empty the stomach and prevent the tulipalin from moving further. In some cases, your pet may need a few days in the hospital to have its stomach pumped. There is no antidote to this toxin and no specific way to test the amount of toxin in your dog’s system, so it is always best to get to your vet if you suspect your dog has snacked on a tulip.

tulips flowers in dark background
Image courtesy of Pixabay

Diet and Nutritional needs for Your Dog

If your dog is recovering from a toxic tulip episode, their bodies will appreciate the assistance in getting back to optimal health. It is essential to know the typical dietary requirements so you can help your dog along in its recovery. Your dog needs a well-balanced diet to maintain its health, which includes a combination of water, protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.

Read the labels and avoid cheap, over-processed foods. The label should include words like “complete” or “nutritionally balanced’. If you feed your dog a food that is balanced with essential nutrients, whether it is homemade or store-bought food, a supplement won’t be necessary. Water is a very important part of your dog’s diet to stay hydrated, especially after a toxic overload and medication.

Final Thoughts

Most dogs will survive tulip poisoning with the right care and support, but as gorgeous as tulips are, prevention is better than cure, so it’s best to beautify your garden with dog-friendly flowers. The risks to your dog are too high, and your garden won’t mean much to you any longer if it causes your best friend to fall ill. Always contact your vet when in doubt, especially when it comes to toxins.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay