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Beware the Plants That Are Poisonous to Dogs

Plants that are poisonous to dogs.

Featured Image: Iryna Dobrovynska/Shutterstock.com

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Dogs aren’t very picky. Besides their dog food they’ll happily snuffle and scarf up anything they come across, from the contents of a baby’s diaper to the newly planted flower bulbs in your garden. And while some of the stuff your pooch comes across is just gross (like said diaper content), other items can be downright dangerous. In fact, there are some plants that are poisonous to dogs and can actually kill them.

That’s why if you are bringing a new dog into your life you should definitely pet-proof your house, says Dr. Ann Hohenhaus, a veterinarian at Animal Medical Center in New York City. Get rid of any houseplants—and scour the backyard for plants that are poisonous to dogs.

Plants That Are Poisonous to Dogs

  • Autumn crocus – This highly toxic plant can cause your dog to vomit profusely and lead to gastrointestinal bleeding and liver and kidney failure. Worse, the symptoms may not show up for days. Learn more>>
  • Azalea – This popular outdoor plant can cause drooling in your dog as well as vomiting and diarrhea. If you don’t get your pet to a vet quickly, she could also fall into a coma.
  • Cyclamen – Eating any part of this flowering plant, also known as Persian violets, can cause drooling, diarrhea, and vomiting. If your dog gobbles up a lot of flowers, leaves or roots, her heart rate may be affected.
  • Daffodil – Toxic ingredients in daffodil bulbs can hurt your dog’s mouth, and cause vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Dieffenbachia – This popular houseplant is also known as Dumb Cane. While it won’t kill your dog if she eats it, she’ll have diarrhea. Eating the plant can also make preexisting conditions like irritable bowel syndrome or diabetes worse in a pet.
  • Hyacinth – This popular flower can cause lots of drooling, diarrhea, and vomiting. But if your dog eats too many bulbs, it can affect her heart rate and breathing.
  • Jonquils – Like daffodils, these flowers can irritate your dog’s mouth and cause vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Lily of the valley – This plant can cause vomiting, diarrhea, heart failure, and seizures. Learn more>>
  • Oleander – Extremely toxic, this popular outdoor plant contains cardiac glycosides that harm the heart, decrease body temperature, cause abnormal pulse rates, and even death.
  • Paperwhites – These flowers can irritate your pooch’s tongue and mouth and cause vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Philodendron – These popular houseplants can irritate your pup’s mouth and cause nausea and vomiting.
  • Poinsettia leaves and flowers – This is only a mildly toxic plant to dogs. Still, it can irritate the skin around your pup’s mouth and eyes, and cause vomiting, diarrhea, and drooling.
  • Rhubarb leaves – Although the stalks are used to make pies, the leaves are mildly toxic to dogs. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and bloody urine.
  • Sago palm – If your dog nibbles on the palm leaves of the plant, she’ll have an upset stomach, which can lead to liver failure, seizures, and even death a few days later.
  • Tulips – Like hyacinths, digging up and eating a few tulip bulbs can cause drooling, diarrhea, and vomiting. But if your dog really chows down, it can affect her heart rate and breathing.
  • Yew – The plant and the red berries are extremely toxic to dogs, and can cause cause seizures, cardiac failure, life threatening changes to blood pressure, and even death.

Poisonous Plant Rx

If you haven’t gotten rid of these plants yet, be on the alert for signs that your dog has been poisoned. Sometimes the signs are subtle—your dog is drooling or licking her lips. Other times, she may be running around frantically because the plant is irritating her mouth or the skin around it. Still other times, your dog may be throwing up or panting excessively.

Don’t attempt to treat your pet at home, warns Hohenhaus. While you may have read that giving your dog hydrogen peroxide can get her to throw up, Hohenhaus says your vet has better drugs to induce vomiting. Besides, you don’t want to waste valuable time hunting for the peroxide and trying to pour it down your pup’s throat. Better just to head for the ER.

If you aren’t really sure what your pet ate, you can call the ASPCA’s animal poison control hotline, which has the most up-to-date information, at (888) 426-4435, suggests Hohenhaus. And it wouldn’t be a bad idea to tape the number to your fridge, either, she adds.

For more information and a complete list of foods and plants that are poisonous to dogs, visit the ASPCA’s animal poison control site at aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control.


By: Linda Rodgers

Featured Image: Iryna Dobrovynska/Shutterstock.com