karaka berries on karaka tree

Please be aware of karaka berries! These orange berries are extremely toxic to dogs and can be lethal.

Karaka trees can grow up to 15 meters in height and have dark green leaves.  Native to New Zealand (mostly found in the North Island) Karaka trees are abundant in public places such as parks, reserves, roadside plantings and private properties. The berries pose the greatest threat to dogs between summer and autumn when they ripen and fall to the ground.

It’s easy to spot the bright orange berries which are a favourite of our native Kereru.  The berries are 2cm – 4cm long and are quite distinctive looking (see the picture).

Signs of Karaka berry poisoning in dogs include:

Confusion

Vomiting

Weakness

Convulsions

Hind leg paralysis

Symptoms can take 24-48 hours to present. If you suspect your dog has ingested Karaka berries, please contact your vet immediately, do not wait as waiting can be fatal or leave your dog with permanent injuries.

Information and advice about poisonous plants is available on the New Zealand National Poisons Centre website.