Are Juniper Berries Poisonous to Dogs?

Written by elizabeth tumbarello
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Are Juniper Berries Poisonous to Dogs?
Juniper berries can make dogs sick, but aren't poisonous. (Utah Juniper image by Carol Hyman from Fotolia.com)

Dogs can and sometimes will eat everything in their path. This poses a problem for dog owners, who wonder if their plants and trees are poisonous to their canine companions.

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Considerations

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals does not list juniper among the plants considered toxic to dogs. Even if juniper berries aren't poisonous, horticulturist Ron Smith says on the North Dakota State University Extension Service website that the berries can cause dogs to vomit. A 2009 yard and garden column from the University of Illinois Extension says large quantities have the potential to cause kidney failure.

Function

Some herbalists advocate the use of juniper berries to treat kidney stones naturally.

Identification

Junipers appear as trees or shrubs with scale or needle-like evergreen leaves. The berries of the juniper plant are typically blue but some varieties have red and orange berries.

Warning

Some dogs develop an adverse reaction to items that aren't poisonous to all dogs. If your dog is unable to keep down food or liquid, loses consciousness or appears shaky on its feet, consult your veterinarian immediately.

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