Dangerous Plants to My Dogs
Taking care of a dog is a big responsibility, from making sure they have healthy teeth to getting pet insurance. One dangerous, often neglected way to protect them is safeguarding them against poisonous plants. Since dogs are curious by nature, chances are, if there is a toxic plant in your garden, they will find it.
Barriers and fences should be between your dog and plants that are harmful to them, especially for dogs that roam their yard unattended. If barriers are not feasible, it may be best to get rid of these plants that can harm your pet. Unfortunately, you cannot always protect your dog from such toxic plants; therefore, it is important to understand the symptoms of poisoning in a dog as well.
Plants Harmful to Dogs
Tomatoes, Hydrangeas, and Morning Glories: If your dog were to eat some of these, it could actually cause cardiac arrest and even death in some dogs.
Saint John Worts: These are very dangerous plants for dogs and can lead to seizures.
Garlic: This plant is extremely toxic for your dog in large doses, which can lead to such symptoms as vomiting, a breakdown of red blood cells, blood in urine, weakness, panting, and fast heart rate. Although most of these symptoms are rare, there are certain dogs that are more reactive to garlic than others according to the ASPCA. The amount of garlic found in food usually is not enough to affect your dog. Although if they eat a garlic from your garden or pantry, this could have dire results.
Hostas: Hostas will irritate a dog's digestive system. If a dog chooses to eat the plant itself, then they may end up vomiting or having diarrhea.
Fig plants (aka Indian rubber plants or weeping fig): Fig plants are both an irritant to a dog's skin-- which can cause dermatitis-- and to them intestinally-- which leads to vomiting, excessive salivating, and diarrhea.
Puggle in the Weeds
Poisonous House Plants for Dogs
Aloe Vera, Barbados Aloe, English Ivy, Glacier Ivy, and California Ivy: Most aloe and ivy plants are dangerous for dogs. These can cause diarrhea, vomiting, lack of appetite, and tremors. In California Ivy and Glacier Ivy, the foliage is more dangerous than the berries.
Peace Lilies and Palm Lilies: Most lily plants are poisonous to dogs as well. These can cause a variety of symptoms that range from a dog who is unwilling to eat, vomiting with blood, excessive drooling, and dilated pupils.
Belladonna (Naked Lady, Amaryllis, and Saint Joseph Lily): Belladonna is a plant that is commonly given as a gift during the winter months. This plant may cause very severe symptoms such as abdominal pain and tremors, as well as more mild symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive salivation.
Elephant ears (aka Caladium or Malanga) and Devil's Ivy: These can irritate the dog's mouth if he tries to chew on it. Most likely he will have intense burning, which will lead to heavy drooling and maybe even vomiting. In more severe cases, the dog may have trouble swallowing.
Sweet Dogs in Clover Patch
Flowers That Are Poisonous to Dogs
Narcissus, Hyacinths, Daffodils, Irises, and Tulips: When deciding what flowers to plant in your garden, you may want to be wary of planting certain bulbs. Their bulbs can actually poison the ground; therefore, if your dog chooses to dig in an area where the flowers were once planted, it may result in vomiting or diarrhea.
Geraniums and Hibiscus: These can cause vomiting or cause a dog to avoid eating altogether.
Azaleas, Bird of Paradise, and Clematis: These flowers can cause symptoms from drowsiness to a coma. Other symptoms include throwing up, leg paralysis, and even death.
Poinsettias, Chrysanthemums, and Buttercups: These flowers are also poisonous to dogs. They can lead to irritation of the mouth and stomach lining, which often leads to vomiting or excessive salivation. If you catch a dog eating a buttercup or mum, and notice they begin to wobble or stagger while they are walking, call your veterinarian immediately. Mums can also cause skin irritation just by rubbing against these flowers; therefore, it is a good idea not to have them in your yard at all.
Puppy Sitting in Yard
Symptoms of Poisoning in Dogs
Symptoms of poisoning are dependent on what toxin a dog has ingested. If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms, a veterinarian should be notified. This is critical, especially in cases where you do not know the cause of the symptom. One reason for this is because without knowing what the toxin is, the symptom may be dismissed. Vomiting can occur as a result of a minor toxin that causes an upset stomach, whereas it may also signal liver damage because of an entirely different toxin that can kill your pet.
The Symptoms Include:
- dilated pupils
- blood in urine or vomit
- racing heartbeat
- weakness in legs
- lack of appetite
- excessive drooling
Naughty Dog in Garden
Pet Poison Control
Although the toxicity of the plant is dependant on the amount consumed by your dog, as well as how large your dog is, there are other factors to consider. A puppy and older dog are more apt to get sick on mildly dangerous plants than a two-year-old healthy dog. Also, smaller dogs are more apt to show more severe symptoms due to their weight. Don't let this fool you, even large, healthy dogs can get sick on many of these plants, and some breeds have bigger reactions than others despite their size. It is for this reason why you need to be prepared in case your dog suddenly becomes ill.
The below table is a list of some of the most well-respected pet poison control centers. It is a good idea to print this table out and post it near your refrigerator since you never know when a pet poisoning may occur. They can also tell you whether you need to wait out your dog's bad reaction or bring him to the vet immediately.
Pet Poison Control Numbers
Availability and Cost
Angell Poison Control Hotline
Cost $55- 24 hours a day - everyday
Animal Poison Hotline
Cost $35 - 24 hours a day - everyday
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center
Cost $55 - 24 hours a day - everyday
National Animal Poison Control Center
Cost Varies, unlike 1-900 number, you pay by credit card
National Animal Poison Control Center
Cost Varies, billed to your phone
Pet Poison Helpline
Poisonous Plants to Pets Video
- ASPCA | American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Learn more about the ASPCA's work to rescue animals from abuse, pass humane laws and share resources with shelters nationwide. Join our fight today!
Pet Poison Helpline is a 24/7 animal poison contro for both pet owners and veterinarians. If your dog, cat, or other pet is poisoned, call 800-213-6680.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Questions & Answers
My dog was chewing the offshoot of a Hosta. He has had one episode of watery diarrhea, and is very aggressive. Do you think he was poisoned?
If he was, then it was very mild. His aggression may be due to pain in his stomach and he is very uncomfortable. If you are concerned, then you need to bring him to a veterinarian. You can call your vet to see if there is anything you can do to help ease the comfort.Helpful 16
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© 2012 Angela Michelle Schultz