Plants That are Poisonous to Dogs
Many plants are toxic to dogs. Our dog Beau ate some daylily leaves and vomited all day. We were becoming concerned because he couldn't even keep down water. This persuaded me to make a list of plants that are toxic to dogs. Owners need to be aware that some dogs will try to eat almost anything. It is helpful to know which common garden plants are toxic to them. There are over 700 varieties of plants that can make your animal sick and I can't list them all here, but I will list some of the most common that may be found in your yard.
The leaves, bulbs and flowers of some plants are poisonous and can cause serious problems and even death. Hopefully this list will spare some animals discomfort or even possible death. Many plants and flowers have a sweet scent and that causes dogs to think they are edible.
These lists are just a guideline, so if your pet eats something unusual, you need to call your vet. I am an animal lover that has completed a lot of research, but I am not an expert.
I have many of the flowers on the list and I'm not willing to give up my perennial flower beds. My solution has been to move the most dangerous plants to an area away from the pets and keep an eye on them when they play in the yard. Of course I can't always do this every minute and neither can you. You'll usually be able to tell if they have been eating something, because they'll still have a little residue in their mouth. If your dog is salivating heavily or appears ill, make him open his mouth. You may see piece of the plant in there. If not check your plants and you should be able to tell if he has been eating any. Call your vet immediately if he/she has consumed anything dangerous.
Plants That Cause Dermatitis
Boston Ivy - All parts of the plant will cause swollen or sore tongue, lips and mouth.
Cactus - These can cause a rash or sores from the pricks they get from the spiky leaves. The sores or rash can become infected.
Chrysanthemums - These will cause the dog to get a rash either on his skin or mouth.
Poison Ivy - Most of us can identify poison ivy with its three leaves. Even if your dog isn't allergic to this plant, if he has gotten it on his coat, you can have the oils can rub on you. If you are allergic, you can get poison ivy.
Poison Oak - Poison oak is much like poison ivy and you can get it just by petting your dog, if he has been in some. If he is allergic, he'll break out from it.
Plants That Cause Gastric Problems
Even though these plants are listed as just causing gastric problems, treat this seriously. A dog can become dehydrated and need immediate medical care. Dehydration can not only be serious, but in some cases cause death. Watch your pet closely.
American Holly - The berries will cause nausea and vomiting
American Mistletoe - The berries will cause problems.
Southern Yew - Be sure you have properly identified this plant, because some yews are toxic. This shrub is just mildly toxic. Both the seeds and leaves will cause vomiting and diarrhea.
Plants that are Toxic
Most Common Plants - Not All Plants Can Be Listed Here
Angel Wings - The leaves and stems are poisonous. This plant is just considered mildly toxic, but I wouldn't take any chances. The dog will have pain and an irritated mouth, dermatitis and swelling.
Autumn Crocus - If you know that your dog has ingested the bulb or plant this is serious. This plant can cause your pet to go into shock, cause renal damage, nausea and vomiting, pain in the mouth, throat and abdomen, and cause diarrhea. Get the animal emergency medical help as soon as possible.
Apricot - Stems, leaves and seeds are toxic. Don't allow the dog to eat the fruit, because they may accidentally swallow a pit this way. Your pet may go into shock and the animal should be taken immediately for medical care.
Azaleas - Azaleas are shrubs that are used to beautify your landscaping. They bloom in early spring and are beautiful, but they are in the rhodedendron family. If the dog eats just a couple of leaves it can cause a stomach ache, excessive drooling, abnormal heart beat, and paralysis in their legs. Call your vet immediately if you think your dog has eaten any leaves, because it can occasionally cause coma and death.
Bleeding Heart - Also called Dutchman's Breeches or Squirrel Corn. All parts of the plant are poisonous. This plant contains alkoloids and if your dog consumes it, you need to seek medical care immediately.
Caladium - All parts of the plant are poisonous. The dog will need to be taken to the vet immediately. This plant is usually grown from a bulb and in northern areas is replanted every year. I would not plant these where pets will be.
Castor Beans - All parts of these plants should be avoided because it is highly toxic. Some people plant these in their yards to get rid of moles. I advice not to have them in your yard at all if you have pets.
Symptoms that your dog has ingested these is bloody diarrhea, nausea, dehydration, excessive thirst, muscle twitching, weakness, convulsions and coma. Even if the dog doesn't display all of these symptoms, get your dog to the vet as soon as possible.
Choke Cherry - The leaves, seeds (pits), stems and bark are all considered very toxic. Seek professional help immediately.
Clematis - The stems and leaves of this vine are toxic to dogs. Clematis comes in many different colors. Seek professional help.
Daffodils - Bulbs are toxic. Death can happen within a few hours. This is an emergency. Don't plant daffodils in any area where your dog will be unattende
Delphinium - This plant is also known as Larkspur. All parts of the plant are toxic.
Elderberry - The berries are edible when ripe, but the rest of the plant should not be eaten. Dogs rarely eat this plant, but you should still be aware that it can be toxic.
English Ivy - The leaves and berries are both considered very toxic. Seek help immediately.
Foxglove - The flowers leaves and seeds are poisonous to both humans and animals. If your dog ate any of these, this is an emergency.
Heliotrope - The plant looks nice in a pot on your patio, but beware if you have a dog. Even tiny bites can cause liver damage. If the dogs continues to take little nips of it, it can cause death.
Hydrangea - The leaves and buds will both cause irritation and inflammation of the digestive tract. The dog will have a bloody stool.
Iris - The rhizomes and rootstock are poisonous. Since the rhizomes grow above the ground, they are easy to access. Dogs don't usually eat these, but if they do you need to call the vet.
Lantana - The immature green berries can cause severe problems which include diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy and weakness.
Lily of the Valley - All parts of the plant are considered extremely poisonous. Seek medical help immediately.
Monkshood - This plant is also known as Aconite and Wolfsbane. All parts of the plant are extremely poisonous. At one time it was used in Europe to kill wolves and mad dogs. If you have this plant, pull it out immediately. If it is too late and your dog has already eaten the plant, seek medical help immediately.
Morning Glory - The seeds are toxic. This can be severe. Call the vet if your dog has eaten any. It will cause diarrhea and nausea, urination will be increased and can cause your dog to have hallucinations.
Mushrooms - If you see these growing in the yard, remove them as soon as possible. Some poison mushrooms can kill your dog. If your dog does consume one, get them to the vet immediately. Some mushrooms aren't as toxic as others and some are safe to eat, but don't take a chance unless you are an expert at identifying them. If possible take a sample with you, so the vet knows what they are dealing with.
Symptoms after eating a mushroom are abdominal pain, excessive drooling, diarrhea, vomiting, possible convulsions, and possibly coma.
Oleander - The entire plant is toxic and can cause death. Get medical care immediately.
Onions and Garlic - If you've got these growing in the garden, keep the dogs away. These two plants contain thiosulfate. Onions are more dangerous than garlic. Both can cause a type of anemia in dogs where the red blood cells actually burst. If they are eaten in large enough amounts this can cause liver damage, labored breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, and discolored urine. Do not feed dogs with leftovers containing onions or garlic either.
If your dog ingested any of these in a large quantity or have any of these symptoms, a trip to the vet is a must. Symptoms don't usually occur for a couple of days.
We used to feed our dogs leftover pizza and spaghetti, but no longer. Garlic isn't as toxic as onions and large amounts of it needs to be eaten to cause symptoms. Keep your dog away from both.
Potato Plant - The entire plant is toxic. These may cause death. This is an emergency.
Rhododendron - The flowers and leaves cause gastric problems. These can cause cardiac and liver problems, so you need to call a vet.
Rhubarb - The stems are edible, but the leaves are toxic. Seek medical help immediately.
Star of Bethlehem - This is an early Spring blooming flower that grows from a bulb. The plant can be identified by its tiny blooms that are white and star shaped.
Tomatoes - The entire plant is so toxic that it can be fatal for the dog. Most dogs won't eat a tomato plant because they don't like the smell. If your dog does consume one, seek help immediately.
Even the fruit of tomatoes can be toxic to dogs if they eat enough. Note, only if they eat enough. I've gotten a lot of feedback on this one. Yes, my dogs have eaten leftover spaghetti and sauce and haven't gotten sick. You shouldn't feed your dogs leftovers of anything containing tomatoes though. It isn't good for them and if they eat enough, yes it can be toxic.
Tulips - Tulips are considered just mildly toxic. The bulb is the toxic part and people in Holland ate these at one time. They will cause diarrhea, depression, lack of appetite and heavy salivation.
Yellow Oleander - The entire plant is toxic and can be fatal. Seek medical help immediately.
Yew - Because of the rough surface yews have, it would be unusual for your dog to eat it. If the dog does though, it can be fatal. Get help immediately.
Don't Have the Plants That May Cause Death
I am keeping the plants that may cause serious problems out of my yard. The flowers and shrubs just aren't worth taking a chance. Remove the plants immediately and either plant in an area where your dogs won't be tempted or dispose of them.
Disclaimer: I am not a professional in this area. Always call the local animal hospital for help if your pet consumes any of these plants. Many plants that may be toxic for your pet are not included on this list. 700 plants can be toxic to your dog.
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© 2011 Barbara Badder