Are Japanese Maple Trees Poisonous To Dogs?

Japanese Maple trees are beautiful and add a lovely color to any garden. However, with some Maple trees being toxic to other animals, you might be worried about your dogs when they are around your Japanese Maple but are these Maples poisonous to dogs? 

If you wish to grow a Japanese Maple tree in your garden, you can rest easy knowing that these trees are considered non-toxic to dogs. Some dogs might have a mild reaction to this tree should they eat or interact with it, but generally, only if they have an underlying condition. That said, some species of maple trees can be poisonous to animals, which we’ll discuss below.

This article will explore what can happen to your dog should they eat or interact with a Japanese Maple tree, what symptoms to look out for should they have a reaction, and how to protect your Japanese Maple from your dog, so keep reading!

Are Japanese Maple Trees Poisonous To Dogs? 

Japanese Maple trees are beautiful trees mainly found in Japan, Korea, and China, but as they grow in popularity due to their beauty, they have begun popping up in many other countries worldwide. 

Japanese Maple trees can now be found easily in most local plant nurseries, and many people choose to add them to their gardens for a splash of color. Unfortunately, these Maples can be challenging to grow, depending on where you live and the climate and environment in your area, so taking care of them can be difficult. 

Japanese Maple trees can also be expensive, depending on the Maple you want to grow. 

This does mean that you want to ensure your Japanese Maple tree is compatible with various things in your environment, including your pets.

Why Are Maple Trees Poisonous?

Some maple trees are considered poisonous to dogs and other animals because they contain a garlic acid content. When dogs and other animals consume the leaves or other parts of the tree, the toxicity in the tree can cause a degradation of red blood cells, leading to a lack of oxygen in the blood.

That said, there are over ten species of maple trees, and most are only toxic to horses. 

So if you have dogs and want a lovely colorful Japanese Maple for your garden, you can relax knowing that the Japanese Maple you choose is considered non-toxic to your dog. 

Which Maples Are Toxic?

Red, Sugar, and Silver maple trees contain a potentially toxic substance on the leaves, which can be toxic to various animals. The wilted leaves can remain toxic for four weeks during the spring and autumn. 

However, the according to the ASPCA, Japanese maples are non-toxic to cats, humans, and dogs. 

If your dogs eat the leaves regularly, they could have an allergic reaction. 

So, it’s essential to understand the risks of having these trees in your garden and know how to protect your pup.

Can Dogs Have A Reaction To Eating Japanese Maple Trees? 

Even though Japanese Maple trees are considered non-toxic to dogs, can your dog have a reaction to eating or interacting with parts of this Maple tree? 

Like humans, some dogs are more sensitive to certain things than others.

This does mean that your dog could react to eating or interacting with your Japanese Maple tree; however, the reaction will generally be mild. 

Reactions usually occur if your dog has problems with its digestive system or is immune compromised due to an existing disorder or disease. 

Most dogs will not react to eating or interacting with parts of Japanese Maple trees. 

However, if you are concerned, it’s best to keep your dog away from your Japanese Maple tree and speak to your vet for further guidance. 

Symptoms To Watch For

If you are worried about your dog reacting to eating or interacting with your Japanese Maple tree, there are some symptoms you can look out for that will let you know if your dog is reacting to the tree. 

These symptoms are mild and should resolve by themselves. But if your dog is showing worse symptoms and the symptoms are not subsiding after an hour or so, then you should take your dog to the vet, as something else could be causing the reaction. 

Here are some symptoms you can watch for:

  • Skin irritation
  • An upset stomach 
  • Vomiting 
  • Lethargy

Will Your Dog Try To Eat Your Japanese Maple Tree? 

Japanese Maple trees are considered non-toxic to dogs and can be grown safely in your garden without you needing to worry about your dog’s safety. 

However, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t worry about the safety of your tree. 

As mentioned, these Maple trees can be expensive, so you don’t want anything to happen to the tree that could severely damage or even kill the Maple. 

You might be worried about your dog going after your Japanese Maple as it tastes good, but is this a valid concern?

Japanese Maple trees have been used for centuries in Japan for medicinal purposes and as an ingredient in specific recipes, which means your dog may like the taste of them.

This can cause your dog to start trying to eat the leaves, branches, roots, and other parts of the tree.

So, you won’t need to be scared of your Japanese Maple affecting your dog as much as you will worry about your dog affecting your Japanese Maple. 

If your Maple tree is young and your dog develops a taste for it, it can cause a lot of harm to the tree, possibly even killing it. 

How To Protect Your Japanese Maple Tree From Your Dog

If you know your dog doesn’t have an underlying condition that can cause the dog to react to your Japanese Maple and you are more concerned about the safety of your Japanese Maple, as your dog tends to eat plants, then there are a few things you can do to help protect your Japanese Maple from your dog. 

Fence Off Your Japanese Maple Tree

One thing you can do to help protect your Japanese Maple tree from your dog is to fence off your Japanese Maple. You don’t need a large fence that takes away from the overall look of your garden; you can use a small fence that makes it not worth the effort for your dog to get to the tree. 

Having a small fence set up around the base of your Japanese Maple will discourage your dog from trying to eat or interact with the tree. 

This will help protect your Japanese Maple from your dog, especially while the tree is still establishing itself in your garden. 

Protect The You Sapling

A sapling can be especially vulnerable to a determined dog, so make sure you protect your Japanese Maple sapling from your dog. 

You can use chicken wire to make a protective cage around the tree, which will help stop your dog from getting too close and damaging or eating the sapling. 

You can also use a root guard to protect the roots and trunk of your sapling. This will help keep the tree safe from any digging that your dog might do.

Train Your Dog To Stay Away From Your Trees

You can also train your dog not to go near your Japanese Maple tree while outside. This can be time-consuming, but it’s worth it, especially if you don’t want an extra fence in your garden. 

You can train your dog by offering treats when your dog leaves the tree alone, or you can use an electric collar or GPS fence and place your Japanese Maple tree in the exclusion zone. 

This will help protect your Japanese Maple tree from your dog and allow it to grow into a healthy and happy adult tree. 

Final Word

Japanese Maple trees are stunning and are growing in popularity due to their looks. However, they can be expensive and challenging to care for, so you want to ensure that nothing happens to them that could damage them. 

Japanese Maple trees are non-toxic to dogs, and dogs will try to eat them as they taste good, but dogs can cause damage to the tree, especially if the tree is young. 

So, you will more likely have to protect your Japanese Maple from your dog than the other way around. Good luck with your dog and Japanese Maple!

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