If dogs eat plants, parts of the plant can induce vomiting and diarrhea, and difficulty swallowing, even if they aren’t toxic. But when plants are toxic to dogs, the effects can be dire. For this reason, it’s an excellent idea for all dog owners to familiarize themselves with potentially toxic plants.
Whether you have toxic plants growing in your yard, or there are toxic plants in your neighborhood, knowing what they are can mean the difference between life and death for your dog. Here is information about 15 plants we believe you need to be aware of, in alphabetical order, from aloe vera, amaryllis, American holly, and azaleas to tomatoes and tulips.
15 Plants That Are Toxic to Dogs
Here are 15 plants that are toxic to dogs. This list is not exhaustive, but it does include common plants that are extremely toxic. Even though your dog might not be attracted to all or any, of them, knowing which plants are toxic should set your mind at ease.
Even though the castor bean isn’t commonly grown in gardens, it is something to be aware of in parks and public gardens. If your dog has ingested castor beans, the results can be fatal.
Symptoms include vomiting diarrhea, extreme thirst, abdominal pain, and major drooling. Extreme effects include tremors, seizures, coma, and death.
Stunningly beautiful flowering shrubs, azaleas are known to cause serious gastrointestinal issues if ingested by dogs. They can also result in a weak heart rate that can lead to death, and, to a lesser extent, a lack of coordination and general weakness.
Be warned that azaleas, which are a species of rhododendron, have neurotoxins in their leaves, petals, and pollen.
Proudly Dutch and exquisitely beautiful, tulips can be lethal if dogs decide to eat them. Like azaleas, they often cause gastrointestinal problems, which commonly lead to convulsions and central nervous system depression.
If you suspect that your dog has eaten any part of a chrysanthemum, call your local vet. Symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea, drooling, and skin rash, which you might not even notice because of its hairy coat.
Also, bear in mind that chrysanthemums are used in many natural insecticides from tick and flea solutions to household sprays. So, be careful.
Beautifully ornamental, amaryllis is a flowering bulb that is grown in pots and home gardens. It is potentially more lethal if you grow it indoors because dogs will be able to get to it more easily.
The bulb of the amaryllis is more toxic to dogs and cats than any other part of the plant. So, if your dog’s been digging in the garden, or the pot gets knocked over and your dog decides to taste the bulb, you’ve got a problem.
Ornamental and an architectural plant in warmer climates, the sago palm (which is a cycad and not a palm) is 100% toxic to dogs. The nut-like seeds are the biggest threat as dogs are more likely to eat these than the prickly fronds.
Sago palms contain many extremely toxic compounds, some of which cause liver failure that can be fatal.
One of the least toxic plants on our list, the American holly is a popular ornamental shrub that is grown in many areas of the U.S. But the fact that it is regarded as being a low-toxicity plant shouldn’t mean you don’t need to be aware of its potential dangers.
If dogs consume American holly there’s a good chance this will result in vomiting and diarrhea.
Oleander plants are 100% toxic, including their pretty flowers – and that applies to humans as well as their four-legged doggy friends. Commonly found on roadsides and in gardens, oleander is potentially one of the most deadly plants on earth.
Symptoms range from drooling, nausea, and vomiting, to collapse and death. Like the leaves of foxglove and lily of the valley, common oleander causes cardiac glycosides. These increase the force of heart contractions and might affect blood pressure.
There are many types of ivy, most of which are potentially toxic. Symptoms include loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea, drooling, and abdominal pain. They can also cause skin problems.
Aloe vera has become an increasingly popular plant for home gardens and homesteads, largely because of its health benefits. The irony is that if dogs decide it’s good to munch, it can be extremely toxic.
Aloe vera can cause vomiting and diarrhea, lethargy, general central nervous system depression, and even tremors.
Even if you don’t grow the gypsophila species, baby’s breath in your garden, it’s likely to be a flower that you recognize. If your dog eats it, the most likely effect will be vomiting and diarrhea.
Milkweed is a perennial flowering plant that gardeners often grow to attract beautiful monarch butterflies. The problem is that even if your dog doesn’t inject the plant itself, and eats caterpillars or butterflies that eat milkweed, toxicity is a threat.
Symptoms range from the usual vomiting and diarrhea to difficulty breathing, and even kidney or liver failure. It can be fatal.
One of our favorite spring flowers, daffodils can be lethal to dogs. All parts of the plant are toxic, and dogs can even be poisoned by drinking water from a vase of daffodils.
Some of the common symptoms include intestinal spasms, salivation, low blood pressure, tremors, vomiting and diarrhea, and even cardiac arrhythmia.
So, your dog loves to eat tomatoes? So does mine.
But, while ripe tomatoes aren’t toxic to dogs, tomato plants and green, unripe tomatoes can make them very, very sick. Tomatoes and tomato plants can cause alarming gastrointestinal problems, as well as weakness, drowsiness, confusion, and even, dilated pupils, and a slow heart rate.
This lovely summer flower can cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and general lethargy. It can even affect the heart, kidney, and liver if your dog eats large amounts of the bulb.
We have provided a small bit of information about 15 plants that can be toxic to dogs. There are many more plants that could affect the health and wellbeing of your pets. We hope that we have inspired you to find out more.
If your dog’s health seems to be compromised and you aren’t sure what could be wrong, you need to take immediate action. Call your local pet poison helpline and/or your local vet.
If you know what the possible symptoms of the plants your dog has ingested might be, you will have an increased chance of helping your pet quickly.