Pet owners warned over rapeseed dangers

Pet owners warned over rapeseed dangers

Pet owners have been warned by vets about the danger posed by rapeseed, as the plant grown commercially to produce rapeseed oil flourishes across Northern Ireland.

The crops can result in a number of conditions if they are ingested or walked through by dogs.

Vets at Dogs Trust say eating rapeseed can cause vomiting and diarrhoea among pups and can cause skin burns when dogs run through fields of the bright yellow crop.

Rapeseed generally flowers and peaks in the UK during the weeks of the late spring period.

A spokesperson for the Dogs Trust said: “Our vet team have confirmed that many dogs may remain asymptomatic after coming into contact with rapeseed.

“However, if they ingest some, they can develop gastrointestinal signs (vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal tenderness etc). Generally these are mild in nature.

“There have also been reports about skin burns that rapeseed may cause.

“This cutaneous reaction appears to occur when a dog runs through fields of rapeseed and can be severe but does not happen to every dog and is fortunately very rare.

“Although some of the signs can occur, they are not common and owners should not be unduly alarmed.

“However, if any dog owners are concerned about their dogs being in contact with or ingesting rapeseed, they should contact their vet.”

Sean McCormack, head vet at, advised dog owners to keep hold of the crop that triggered the reaction when heading to the vet.

“If you’re in any doubt about whether your dog has ingested part of a dangerous plant, you should visit your vet as soon as possible”, he said.

“Having the plant to hand will help your vet correctly diagnose your dog. Treatments can range from simply making your dog sick to treating them for toxicity, even surgery if necessary.”