Learning what plants are poisonous to dogs is an essential part of being a responsible pet owner. While your puppy might love the idea of rolling around in different vegetation when you’re out on your walks, if he or she accidentally chomps on the wrong plant, the results could be disastrous.
Dog owners need to know what kind of plants to watch out for, so they can protect their dog’s health. After all, a highly toxic plant could be potentially fatal to an unsuspecting dog.
Today, we’re going to cover some of the commonly found plants in the world today that could be toxic or dangerous to dogs.
Which Plants Are Poisonous to Dogs?
Below is a list of some of the most common plant options which might be dangerous to dogs. Crucially, these plants vary in how detrimental they can be to a dog’s health. Some will cause an upset stomach or abdominal pain, while others might cause extreme thirst and excessive salivation. In serious cases, the results can be much worse, ranging from breathing difficulties to coma.
Acorns and Conkers
During the autumn months, you’ve probably noticed your dog trying to eat an acorn or conker it sees on the ground around various trees in the park. A one-off exposure to acorns is likely to cause things like vomiting and diarrhoea. In some cases, the symptoms can include blood in the waste and kidney and liver issues. Large amounts of acorn consumption can also cause obstructions.
Similarly, shiny conkers or horse chestnuts can look very tempting to a dog, but they can often cause dribbling, discomfort, stomach pain, and intestinal blockages.
Mushrooms and Fungi
Wild mushrooms and fungi are everywhere in the world today. Some might seem pretty harmless, while others can be very dangerous when eaten by your dog. The best way to protect your dog against some severe side effects is to prevent them from eating any kind of mushrooms, no matter how innocent they might appear.
The wrong mushroom can cause heart problems and a slow heart rate, as well as hallucinations, fits, liver or kidney failure, an upset stomach, blood in the vomit or stools, and countless other symptoms. If you think your pet has eaten a mushroom, contact a vet immediately. It may be helpful to take the vet a sample of the mushroom to show what your dog has eaten.
Holly, Ivy, and Mistletoe
Holly, ivy (Hedera helix) and mistletoe are all similar-looking plants that might look romantic and beautiful during the winter months. Unfortunately, holly and mistletoe often come with spiky leaves, which can hurt the stomach and cause damage to the tongue or mouth. The berries on mistletoe and holly are also dangerous and known for causing diarrhoea and sickness when eaten.
Ivy is also dangerous because of the additional “vine” issue. If your dog swallows too much of the vine, it can lead to obstructions in the stomach. Skin contact with some kinds of ivy, such as poison ivy, can cause severe irritation too.
Prunus Species Plants
Prunus species fruits and seeds are something we generally like to eat as humans – but they’re not a good idea for dogs. Apricots, cherries, nectarines, plums, peaches, and similar products all belong to this family. Although the flesh of this fruit isn’t generally dangerous to a dog, the stone or seeds can be highly poisonous or toxic.
Stones of prunus family fruits cause cyanogenic glycosides, which can be broken down in the stomach to create hydrogen cyanide. Your dogs might respond to this poisonous substance immediately, or the harm might come later. Symptoms include things like frothing at the mouth, breathing difficulties, and even sudden death.
Other Poisonous Plants to Know
There is also a wide range of additional toxic plants you should be aware of when building out your garden. Some plants are more dangerous than others, but it’s essential to avoid things like the following:
- Japanese Rubber plant
- Dwarf rubber plant
- Sago palm
- Asparagus fern
- Jade tree
- Castor Bean
- Tomato plants
- Emerald fern
- Lace fern
- Heavenly bamboo
- Sprengeri fern
- Plumosa fern
- Baby jade
- Emerald feather
- Dumb cane
- Jerusalem cherry tree
- Elephant ears
- Tropic snow fern
Which Flowers Are Dangerous to Dogs?
Plants aren’t the only things we keep in our gardens that could be dangerous to our pets. As beautiful as flowers might look when planted around your garden, many can be toxic or even poisonous to dogs. The most commonly mentioned flowers you should avoid in your garden are:
Spring bulbs are some of the more common poisonous plants to be aware of if you have a dog. Toxic plants can include daffodils, which lead to symptoms like vomiting, salivation, sleepiness, stomach upset, and even changes in body temperature or blood pressure. Dogs can also become unwell when eating these flowers or drinking water from a vase containing this poisonous plant. Other spring bulbs toxic to dogs include:
- Tulips: The toxins in this plant cause irritation to the mouth and stomach, usually leading to vomiting and diarrhoea, as well as drooling and potential breathing problems.
- Spring crocus: These products flower in spring and can cause stomach upsets when eaten. The autumn version of these bulbs is even more dangerous, causing severe stomach upset, liver and kidney problems, and more.
Lilies and Peace Lilies
Lilies are generally one of the worst garden or internal home plants to have around if you’re living with pets. These indoor and garden plants are available in various colours and beautiful growths, including the popular peace lily. However, despite their attractive appearance, lilies can cause serious side effects to both dogs and cats.
Lilies like the Mauna Loa, the peace lily, can cause liver failure and is extremely toxic to dogs. Easter lilies and stargazer lilies are only toxic substances for cats, but they can be potentially fatal. Pet owners should avoid lilies and watch out for signs of vomiting, trouble swallowing and other side effects.
This beautiful flowering plant can brighten up a room, but it is also extremely dangerous for your pets. The plant, when swallowed, is hazardous to both dogs and cats, causing symptoms like increased drooling and salivation, vomiting, diarrhoea, abnormal heart rate and seizures.
Since flowering plants are often kept inside, they can also be more tempting to pets you have around the home. It’s best to keep any plant (even the non-toxic ones) out of the way of dogs and cats whenever you can.
Other Toxic Flowers for Dogs Include:
Various other beautiful flowers may be extremely dangerous for your dog, such as:
- Dieffenbachia plants
- Azalea and Rhododendron
- Crocus flowers
- Easter daisy
- Crown of thorns
Protecting Your Dog From Toxic Plants
Sometimes, the most innocent plants can be some of the most dangerous substances for your pet or pets. A lot of the flowers and plants toxic to dogs are dangerous for other pets too. Whenever you’re bringing a new flower into the home, from a peace lily to an aloe vera plant, it’s best to do some research to ensure that no part of the plant is poisonous to dogs.
Plants harmful to dogs can cause a range of symptoms. With that in mind, it’s best not to wait for symptoms if you think your dog has been exposed to poisonous plants for dogs. If you’re concerned that you’ve seen your pet eat a flower or plant that might be harmful, take them to the vet immediately. You won’t always be able to see the effects of poisonous plants for dogs on the skin or in the pet’s behaviour straight away.
If you have to take your dog to a vet after being exposed to a dangerous substance like a lily or aloe vera plant, try to take a sample of the harmful plant with you. It will help your vet to see what kind of toxic plant they’re dealing with. Getting veterinary advice straight away can prevent severe cases of poisoning.
Avoiding Poisonous Plants for Dogs
While it can be challenging to ensure your pet never eats something it shouldn’t, it’s essential to be aware of the plants and other products that can be seriously dangerous for a dog. Sometimes, the results of eating a seed or plant might be minimal. Your pet might have a few days of vomiting and might be disinterested in food or play.
Other times, consuming the wrong plant, from the silk pothos to the sago palm or asparagus fern, could have deadly repercussions. Some plants can cause heart issues, liver failure, and countless other dangerous side effects.
Keep Your Dogs Away From Poisonous Plants
Whenever you think your dog has been exposed to something potentially dangerous, it’s essential to contact a vet straight away. This is why it is so important to know what plants are poisonous to dogs. Don’t wait to see if the response is significant enough to require emergency assistance. The faster you get help, the better.