Owning a flower garden and a pet dog can be a beautiful combination.
While flowers offer a beautiful landscape for your home, dogs provide faithful companionship.
But, what happens when your furry friend decides to snack on your hibiscus flowers?
Can dogs eat hibiscus flowers?
Dogs can eat hibiscus flowers without any issues.
However, some species of hibiscus are toxic to dogs, while others aren’t; for instance, the Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis, and Chinese hibiscus are toxic to dogs.
When eaten moderately, however, most other hibiscus flower varieties are beneficial to your dog’s health by providing them with essential vitamins and minerals.
In this article, we’ll discuss whether hibiscus flowers are safe for dogs to eat, their benefits, and why some pets like nibbling on them.
Why is My Dog Eating my Hibiscus Flowers?
Perhaps while walking in your garden, you’ve noticed your dog nibbling on hibiscus flowers.
While it may seem odd at first, there are a few reasons why your dog might be drawn to eating hibiscus flowers.
Soothe an Upset Stomach
Dogs nibble on plants when their stomach is upset to soothe their digestive system.
If your dog has been vomiting or has diarrhea, they may turn to hibiscus flowers as a way to feel better.
Get Rid of Hairballs
Hibiscus flowers help dogs with hairballs.
When eaten, the hibiscus flower’s mucilage coats your dog’s throat and stomach, making it easier for them to pass hairballs.
Hibiscus flowers are a great source of hydration for dogs.
The flower comprises 88% water, which helps keep your dog’s body properly hydrated, especially during hot summer days.
Hibiscus flowers have a sweet, pleasant smell that may be appealing to your dog’s senses.
Thus, your dog may be drawn to the hibiscus flower because of its scent.
Moreover, the flowers have a tart, tangy taste that some dogs enjoy.
If your dog seems to like the taste of hibiscus flowers, there’s no need to worry as they are safe if eaten in moderation.
What Are the Benefits of Hibiscus Flowers for Dogs?
Before allowing your dog to nibble on hibiscus flowers, know the non-toxic species and the benefits, they offer to your furry friend.
Hibiscus Flowers are Nutrient-Rich
Hibiscus flowers are a good source of essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, calcium, and phosphorus.
Hibiscus flowers help boost your dog’s immune system and keep their bones healthy when eaten in moderation.
For instance, vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation and supports your dog’s immune system.
Aids in Digestion
Hibiscus flowers contain dietary fiber, which helps add bulk to your dog’s stool and aids digestion.
The flower’s mucilage also coats your dog’s throat and stomach, making it easier for them to pass hairballs.
Moreover, hibiscus flowers are also prebiotics; hence they promote the growth of good bacteria in your dog’s gut.
This is important as it aids digestion and keeps your dog’s digestive system healthy.
Additionally, hibiscus flowers help relieve constipation and bloating.
The Drawbacks of Feeding My Dog Hibiscus Flowers
Although hibiscus flowers offer many benefits, they should only be given to your dog in moderation as too much hibiscus can lead to health issues.
For instance, they cause hibiscus toxicity, which manifests through vomiting, diarrhea, and drooling.
Below are some other drawbacks of feeding your dog hibiscus flowers.
The hibiscus flower’s calyx, or the green leafy part surrounding the petals, is a choking hazard for dogs.
If not chewed properly, the calyx gets lodged in your dog’s throat, which causes difficulty breathing.
Hibiscus flowers may cause an allergic reaction in some dogs.
The most common symptoms of an allergic reaction are itchy skin, redness, and swelling.
If you notice these symptoms, stop feeding your dog hibiscus flowers immediately and consult your veterinarian.
Risk of Bees Attack
Bees are attracted to hibiscus flowers because of their sweet scent.
If your dog eats a hibiscus flower with bees buzzing around, it risks being stung.
This is especially risky for dogs with bee allergies as they can severely react to the sting.
For instance, if a colony of bees stings your dog, it may go into anaphylactic shock, which is a life-threatening reaction.
What Happens if My Dog Eats Hibiscus Flowers?
Depending on how much hibiscus your dog eats, it may experience mild to severe symptoms.
For instance, if your dog eats a small amount of hibiscus, it may experience gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting and diarrhea.
However, if your dog ate a large amount of hibiscus, it may experience more severe symptoms, such as drooling, difficulty breathing, and collapse.
The following are additional symptoms that may occur if your dog eats hibiscus flowers:
Burning Sensation in the Mouth and Throat
Swellings, burns, or blisters may occur on the lips, tongue, and throat.
Hibiscus flowers contain citric acid, which gives them a tart, tangy taste.
When eaten in large quantities, hibiscus flowers cause a burning sensation in your dog’s mouth.
Thus, your dog starts to drool excessively to ease the burning sensation.
Excessive Thirst and Urination
Hibiscus flowers contain a compound called anthocyanin, a natural dye that gives the flower its characteristic red color.
When consumed in large amounts, anthocyanin can cause your dog’s urine to turn red.
Additionally, hibiscus flowers act as a diuretic, which means they promote urination.
Thus, your dog may experience excessive thirst and urination if it eats hibiscus flowers.
If your dog attempts to hunch over or cries when you touch its stomach, this indicates abdominal pain.
One-off vomiting or diarrhea shouldn’t worry you, but if your dog is experiencing these symptoms along with abdominal pain, it’s a sign that something is wrong.
Hibiscus toxicity can be fatal if left untreated, so it’s essential to seek immediate medical attention if your dog experiences any of the above symptoms.
Dogs usually eat hibiscus flowers out of curiosity or because they’re attracted to the bright colors.
While most hibiscus flowers aren’t poisonous to dogs, some species can cause stomach upset, vomiting, and diarrhea.
If you suspect your dog has eaten a hibiscus flower, it’s best to contact your veterinarian.
The good news is that hibiscus flowers are a healthy treat for dogs when eaten in moderation.
Hibiscus flowers are high in antioxidants and vitamins, including vitamin C, which helps boost your dog’s immune system.
They’re also a good source of fiber, which promotes digestive health.