The Lowcountry is filled with all kinds of palm trees, including a low-lying version called a sago palm. While they can be attractive in landscaping, they are poisonous to our canine family members. All parts of the sago palm, including the seeds, leaves, and roots, contain a toxin called cycasin, which can be lethal to dogs even in small amounts. Here are some steps to help you keep your dog safe around sago palms:
Identify Sago Palms: The first step is to identify any sago palms in your yard or areas where your dog has access, such as on walks around your neighborhood.
Fence Off the Area: If you cannot or do not want to remove the sago palms in your yard, consider fencing off the area around them to prevent your dog from accessing them. Make sure the fence is tall enough that your dog cannot jump over it or reach the plants.
Supervise Your Dog: Always supervise your dog when they are outside, especially if there are sago palms nearby. Dogs are curious animals and may try to nibble on plants when you’re not looking.
Train Your Dog: Basic obedience training can help you control your dog and keep them away from dangerous plants. Teach them commands like “leave it” and “stay” to prevent them from approaching the sago palms. This is especially important on walks as neighbors may have these plants in their yard or have possibly removed them and placed them at the curb for pick up.
Be Alert for Symptoms: Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of sago palm poisoning in dogs, which may include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, seizures, and liver failure. If you suspect your dog has ingested any part of a sago palm, seek immediate veterinary attention.
Educate Family and Visitors: Make sure that everyone in your household and any visitors are aware of the dangers of sago palms to dogs. This will help ensure that everyone takes precautions to keep your dog safe.
Emergency Plan: In case of a poisoning emergency, have the phone number of your local emergency veterinary clinic and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435) readily available.
Remember, prevention is key in preventing sago palm poisoning. Taking these precautions will help keep your dog safe and healthy here in the Lowcountry.
We love our four-legged family members! Please reach out for more pet safety tips and vet recommendations.
Lauren & Cambron | Lauren Zurilla & Associates