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There is some speculation on the topic of whether Fatsia Japonica is toxic to dogs, and this article is here to put the rumours to rest, so that you can be sure that your dog is safe to roam your garden without coming across any nasty toxins that could make them ill.

As with many things in life, there is no simple answer to this question!

Fatsia Japonica does contain certain compounds that could be harmful to dogs, however, the level of toxicity in these compounds is low, in fact much lower than some other common garden plants.

Both glycosides and saponins have been detected in Fatsia Japonica, and its these compounds which can be the cause of health problems to dogs that ingest Fatsia Japonica.

However, research would suggest that there is not too much cause for concern. The level of toxicity really is low, and only in very few cases has the consumption of the plant lead to canine fatality.

Essentially, the compounds are harmful, but they are in such low concentration in the Fatsia Japonica plant that they are very unlikely to cause any real harm.

In many households across the UK, dogs are seen to be true members of the family.

However, whilst they may seem indestructible – we’ve all had those moments where the dog has eaten something it shouldn’t have and has somehow survived.

There are many household dangers that could be deadly for your dog, so if you’re a dog owner it’s essential to make sure your house and garden are disaster-proof, or you may risk losing your favourite member of the family.

How to Keep your Dog Safe from Fatsia Japonica Poisoning

Just because Fatsia Japonica plants contain toxins that can be harmful to dogs, this doesn’t mean that you need to avoid growing the plant entirely.

There are measures that you can take to lower the risk of harm to your dog, whilst still growing this gorgeous plant.

The most effective method for protecting your dog from Fatsia Japonica poisoning is to supervise your dog when it’s around your Fatsia Japonica plant.

Discipline your dog when it goes near the plant to create a negative reinforcement that deters your dog from spending time near the plant.

We all know how curious dogs can be, so think of a command that will communicate to your dog that chewing on the leaves is not allowed.

This way, your dog should associate your Fatsia Japonica with being in trouble and is more likely to leave it alone.

You could also consider building some form of fencing around your Fatsia Japonica to physically prevent your dog from getting too close.

This is a particularly effective form of protection for those super curious dogs, who love to chew on anything and everything in sight (although in my view very excessive, imagine how many random fences you would have in your garden?). 

I would also recommend paying extra attention to the health and wellbeing of your dog if you wish to have Fatsia Japonica plants in the house or garden.

Doing this will give you a better idea of how they are responding to the plant, and if you are ever in doubt of your dog’s wellbeing, don’t be afraid to contact a vet for more advice!

What are the Symptoms of Fatsia Japonica Poisoning in Dogs?

a dog sniffing a fatsia japonica

Whilst the risk of Fatsia Japonica poisoning is low, it does still exist. If you are worried that your dog has consumed some Fatsia Japonica and is displaying signs of poisoning, look out for the following symptoms.

  • Excessive salivation: If your dog is salivating more than usual, then they could have come into contact with Fatsia Japonica.
  • Tiredness: This applies to any type of illness that your dog may be experiencing, but generally lethargy is one of the first indicators that something is wrong with your dog.
  • Stomach upset: This is the most obvious and easy to identify symptom. If your dog is vomiting or experiencing diarrhea, it is likely that it has come into contact with Fatsia Japonica. This symptom normally does pass after a while, but it can be unpleasant for your dog, so make sure to keep your dog hydrated throughout this symptom and give them extra loving!

What is Fatsia Japonica?

The Fatsia Japonica, has a few other common names such as Aralia Japonica, Japanese Fatsia, and Japanese aralia plant.

It’s a striking tropical plant/evergreen shrub that originates in Japan, but can also be traced back to other parts of East Asia.

With large, deeply lobed green leaves, the plant can grow to be rather substantial, reaching whopping heights of up to six feet.

Fatsia Japonicas can be grown as a foliage houseplant, or as a garden plant for its bushy growth habit, able to handle dappled shade, full shade, full sun and partial sun.

The Fatsia Japonica plant requires low maintenance, and occasionally produces clusters of small, white flowers.

It is a wonderful plant variety, grown in gardens across the United Kingdom, but it’s no good if the plant is toxic to dogs – so what are the risks of growing Fatsia Japonica in your home or garden?

To answer the question ‘Is the Fatsia Japonica Toxic to Dogs?’, the conclusion is yes, the plant is toxic, but no, it is unlikely to cause serious harm.

To support this conclusion, it’s worth knowing that the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals do not list the Fatsia Japonica as a toxic plant.

However, every animal is different, so if your dog is particularly small, ill of health or susceptible to stomach problems, then it may be advised to avoid growing the Fatsia Japonica plant.

If you’d like to know more about the Fatsia Japonica, read up on how to grow and care for one here.

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