Close call with poisonous azalea plant

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sourced from: https://www.reddit.com/r/puppy101/comments/hkhl36/close_call_with_poisonous_azalea_plant/

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I've been overly cautious with my 10 week old puppy – we've barely gone outside in general, but my vet told me yesterday that taking her out in less populated areas and just avoiding unknown dogs and stagnant water would be safe. I had read some posts on here warning about different types of mushrooms and sago palms, so I've been hypervigilant for those the couple times we have gone out, however I really hadn't thought too much about common plants. We were 1 second into walking when our puppy grabbed a branch off a bush right outside our door. We've had some practice the last couple weeks grabbing things out of her mouth, so we were able to quickly get it out intact.

Later on my girlfriend decided to cut some of the branches back so they don't hang over on the steps, and she asked me what kinda bush this was anyway. We were able to identify it as an azalea bush, which I then quickly learned is EXTREMELY poisonous to dogs. We also have a rhododendron right behind it which is apparently in the same family, and also poisonous. These bushes are literally everywhere where I live, so I was shocked to learn that something so common could be so dangerous. Thankfully my pup didn't actually eat any, but we were watching her all day for any developing symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling…).

I couldn't believe that even with all I've done to keep her safe, something right outside my door could kill her. I was already nervous letting her go outside, but now I'm beyond anxious just thinking about all the things she could get into. It does make me wonder how seemingly everyone else's dogs are fine when every day I'm learning of something dangerous they can get into. I know I need to relax and "let her be a dog", but I don't see that happening anytime soon.

I felt like other new puppy owners could benefit from this knowledge incase they have any of these bushes in their yards. There's also a lot of other common plants that I was surprised to learn are dangerous for dogs, so here's a link to learn more about them: https://www.ccspca.com/blog-spca/education/poisonous-plants-for-dogs/

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