Is bamboo poisonous to humans, dogs or cats?

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Is bamboo poisonous to humans, dogs or cats?: humans

First: There are hardly any bamboo species that are really poisonous to humans and animals. And even in poisonous species, the toxic substances are mainly found in the raw sprouts and in the seeds. Bamboo contains hydrocyanic acid, which protects it against predation by predators. That is, if a bamboo is damaged, it releases hydrogen cyanide and thus blocks cell respiration - as is the case with carbon monoxide.

The bamboo - An Asian plant with a long tradition in the garden

As a dog or cat owner, you do not have to worry about your pets, because bamboo is not on the diet of dogs and cats. So there is no reason for the animals to injure the plant and thereby initiate the release of hydrogen cyanide. With its woody stems, the Asian plant can easily serve as an enclosure, as a decorative accent on the property, or as a privacy screen for your sitting area or garden pond. All bamboo plants available in the trade and garden are non-toxic and therefore perfect for your plot.
Note: The most poisonous part of a bamboo plant is its bloom. Bamboo flowers in extremely rare cycles with intervals of 80 to 100 years. It is unlikely that you will bring the bamboo to bloom in your garden and take a chance.

Keep pets away from bamboo plants

While a dog is less interested in garden plants, cats nibble mainly on the young shoots. Reminiscent of cat grass, fresh bamboo shoots are considered edible and can well end up in the cat's stomach. Therefore, before purchasing bamboo plants, you should carefully check whether it is a non-toxic or a poisonous, a chemically treated or a natural plant.
In garden centers and on the Internet you will find bamboo, the
  • bred here in Germany
  • a non-toxic strain
  • not chemically treated
  • Therefore it is safe for your pets
However, you should keep dog, cat and toddler away from the seeds, fresh shoots and rather rare flowers of the plant. If the bamboo shoots out in the spring, you can protect it by fencing in order to prevent your cat from taking on excess hydrocyanic acid and being impaired in health by eating the fresh sprouts. As with most plants, the same applies to bamboo: the toxic properties are related to the amount of spent shoots. When a cat nibbles on a bamboo shoot, you do not have to worry about poisoning. The situation is different when a whole plant is nibbled and "liberated" by the pet from all fresh impulses.

How can a food plant be poisonous?

Bamboo - Bambusoideae

Bamboo belongs in the Asian kitchen in practically all dishes and is one of the plants responsible for the typical taste of the food. Again, these are non-toxic varieties, on the other hand, mostly cooked and not consumed in the raw state. You do not have to do without delicious bamboo shoots in a salad, but you should not harvest them in your own garden. Commercially available sprouts are free of hydrocyanic acid and thus ideal for your healthy diet. The situation is different with a few species, whose hydrocyanic acid content is very high and therefore dangerous for your health. However, you would have to consume a larger amount to notice the unwanted effect and to poison yourself with bamboo.

Bamboo and pets - Tips for gardeners and plant lovers

Non-toxic bamboo should not be planted in outdoor enclosures for your pets. In addition to dogs and cats, rabbits, ducks and geese or ostriches are also interested in the fresh green of the plants. For a strong and dense growth, it is necessary that the bamboo is not damaged in its growth phase. In harmony, bamboo plants and pets can live on your property if you follow some rules in planting and plant protection.
  • In the budding phase, keep your animals away from the fresh green.
  • Exclude that dog or cat hurt the trunk.
  • Put the bamboo in an animal-safe location.
  • Look daily for the fresh shoots.
  • Watch your pets carefully and notice health changes promptly.
Which bamboo artifact is ideal for your garden, you can ask at nurseries or consult the list of suitable for pet owners plants. However, it is important that you make sure even with non-toxic varieties that your animal does not nibble on the bamboo or put the seeds or the raw sprouts on his menu. If you are interested in unusual and in this country uncommon species of bamboo, you should inform yourself about the toxic content and generally avoid that dog and cat come in contact with the plant.This is also true if you import your bamboo directly from Asia or choose a plant whose origin is unknown or whose species is not specifically defined.
Important: Get as much information as possible about the origin and the bamboo species. Even if there are mainly non-toxic bamboo species in this country, you should find out if your plant is a breed from Germany or the European area.

Pets and bamboo do not have to be mutually exclusive.

Bamboo - Bambusoideae

If you choose the plant carefully and watch your pets carefully, you can easily choose bamboo in the garden. Dogs are far less interested in the fresh green shoots, while cats like to nibble on it and therefore should be kept away. Even if your cat is a freezer, you do not have to do without bamboo. During the sprouting period you can protect the plant - and thus your cat as well - by making access difficult and making the bamboo uninteresting for curious cats. The same applies of course to toddlers. You can be sure that your child does not put a bamboo shoot in his mouth.
Tip: Even if hydrogen cyanide is proven to be harmful to health, larger quantities are required for actual symptoms of intoxication. Bamboo plants offered in nurseries are non-toxic and therefore no risk to your well-being or the health of pets. You can use the beautiful Asian plants versatile on the property and create an ambience that inspires you and brings no danger.
In the bamboo species available in this country, no reactions are observed in pets. Since it is a fibrous plant, the recorded parts are usually excreted as a whole and without any damage. If the cat nibbles on a poisonous bamboo, this causes problems for the cells and causes a slight dizziness. This reaction is based on hydrocyanic acid, which works against cell respiration and extracts oxygen from the blood. The temporary oxygen depletion leads to a dizzy gait. Only with very large quantities in the consumption a veterinarian must be consulted. As a rule, the dizziness disappears within a few minutes and the cat vomits the recorded parts of the plant.

Video Board: Are Bamboo Plants Toxic to Cats?.

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