In this article, we will present 15 of the most common house and garden plants that are dangerous for dogs. We will also provide sound advice regarding what to do if your pet eats a poisonous plant. Read on to learn more.
Here are fifteen of the most common plants that are toxic to dogs. All of the plants listed here are considered as “toxic plants” to dogs, and many are considered poisonous to both dogs and cats.
It is worth noting that the mere existence of these plants will not cause you and your dog problems. Well-cared for mature dogs, dogs, and puppies that have plenty of their own chew toys are unlikely to bother plants of any kind.
Even so, it is good to identify which of your plants might cause problems. This knowledge can help you take the right steps if your dog does ingest a potentially poisonous plant.
Common Names: Autumn Crocus, Meadow Saffron
The toxic principles of this plant are alkaloids, including colchicine. Exposure may cause damage to multiple organs, bone marrow suppression, shock, diarrhea, and vomiting blood.
Common Names: Nightshade, Black Nightshade, European Bittersweet, Climbing Nightshade
The toxic principles of this plant are atropine-like substances, saponins, and solanine.
Ingestion can cause behavior changes, confusion, drowsiness, weakness, drooling, dilated pupils, loss of appetite, GI tract disturbances, diarrhea, slowed heart rate and central nervous system (CNS) depression.
Common Names: Rhododendron, Rosebay, Azalea
The toxic principle of this plant is grayanotoxin which interferes with the functioning of skeletal muscles and the heart.
Ingesting even a small amount can cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure, paralysis in the legs, depression of the central nervous system (CNS), weakness, stupor, coma, collapse of the heart and death.
Common Names: Desert Rose, Mock Azalea, Sabi Star, Impala Lily, Kudu Lily
Cardiac glycosides are the toxic principles of this plant. Ingestion can cause unexplained weight loss, depression, vomiting, and diarrhea, irregular heartbeat and death.
Common Names: Cyclamen, Sowbread
Terpenoid saponins are the toxic principles of this plant. Ingestion of the tubers can lead to drooling, diarrhea, vomiting, irregular heartbeat, convulsions and death.
Common Names: Kalanchoe, Devils Backbone, Chandelier Plant, Mother of Millions
The toxic principle of this plant is bufadienolides. Ingestion can cause diarrhea and vomiting. In rare instances, heartbeat irregularities may result.
Kalanchoe is a common tropical plant. Until recently, it was found as a houseplant in the United States. However, because there are so many varieties (as many as 200) and so popular as houseplants, they have made their way around the world and have naturalized in semi-tropical settings (e.g., Florida and Hawaii).
Common Names: Sago Palm, Coontie Palm, Cardboard Palm, Cycads
The toxic principle of this plant is cycasin. Ingestion can result in excessive thirst, vomiting, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, bloody feces, jaundice, liver damage and even liver failure, bruising, excessive bleeding and death.
Common Names: Golden Pothos, Devil’s Ivy, Taro Vine, Ivy Arum, Pothos
Insoluble calcium oxalates are the toxic principles of this plant. Ingestion can cause irritation and burning of the mouth and throat, drooling, vomiting, and trouble swallowing.
Common Names: Buddhist Rosary Bead, Precatory Bean, Weather Plant, Seminole Bead, Indian Licorice, Indian Bead, Rosary Pea, Lucky Bean, Love Bean
The toxic principles of the plant are abric acid and abrin. These components are found in highest concentration in the seeds; however, the seed coating must be broken for the toxins to be absorbed.
Ingesting even small amounts of this plant can cause severe symptoms such as bloody diarrhea and vomiting, tachycardia, high fever, tremors, shock, and death.
Common Names: Easter Lily, Lily
The precise toxic principles of members of the lily family are unknown; however, ingestion of lilies causes kidney failure. Symptoms include excessive thirst and frequent urination, cloudy and/or bloody urine.
As an interesting side-note, the Asparagus densiflorus cv sprengeri fern is a member of the lily (Liliaceae) family, but it is non-toxic to both dogs and cats.
Common names of this non-toxic plant include: Emerald Feather, Sprengeri Fern, Plumosa Fern, Emerald Fern, Asparagus, Lace Fern
Common Names: White Arum, Trumpet Lily, Florist’s Calla, Garden Calla, Arum Lily, Calla Lily, Pig Lily
Insoluble calcium oxalates are the toxic principles of this plant. Ingestion can cause oral irritation and burning of the mouth and throat, drooling, vomiting and trouble swallowing.
Common Name: Lily of the Valley
The toxic principles of this plant are cardenolides, including convallarin and several others. Ingestion can result in vomiting, disorientation, hypotension, irregular heartbeat, seizures and coma.
Common Names: Oleander, Rose-Bay
Cardiac glycosides are the toxic principles of this plant. Ingestion of even a small amount can cause drooling, stomach pain, diarrhea, depression, and death.
Common Names: Spotted Dumb Cane, Exotica Perfection, Giant Dumb Cane, Tropic Snow, Exotica
The toxic principles of this plant are proteolytic enzyme and insoluble calcium oxalates. Ingestion results in oral irritation, drooling, vomiting and trouble swallowing.
Common Names: Paper White, Narcissus, Daffodil, Jonquil
Toxic principles of this plant are alkaloids, including Lycorine. These substances are present in the greatest concentration in the bulb. Ingestion of any part of the plant may result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure and seizures.
5 Signs Your Dog May Have Ingested Poison
#1 – If you see your dog chewing on or playing with a potentially poisonous plant or substance, stop the activity immediately.
#2 – If you find signs of any poisonous substance on your dog’s body or feet or around the mouth, clean it off and take a sample if possible. This can be helpful to your vet.
#3 – If your dog seems to have painful areas or burns on the skin or on or around the mouth, it can be a sign of poisoning.
#4 – If your dog’s breath has a chemical or strange smell, it could be due to ingestion of a toxic substance.
#5 – If your pet exhibits any of the classic signs of poisoning (shaking, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, depression, execessive drooling, seizures or tender abdomen) seek professional help.
Should You Always Seek Professional Help?
If you believe your dog has ingested or come in contact with poison, you are always better off seeking assistance from a professional. The best thing you can do is take steps to identify the offending substance, gather samples and give clear information to your vet or poison helpline.
Unless you are too far away from any veterinary office to get professional assistance within a reasonable period of time (approximately 20 minutes), you should not try to treat your dog for poisoning. Instead, put your efforts into contacting your vet and gathering samples of the poison.
If your dog has thrown up or had diarrhea because of the substance, gather a sample of that, too. It will help your vet identify the poison.
Prevention is the Best Defense Against Poisoning
There are lots of plants that are potentially poisonous to dogs; however, most of the time these do not pose a problem. If you have a puppy, you will probably want to take extra steps to remove poisonous plants from your home or landscape, or at least make them inaccessible.
When you take your dog for walks (even in the woods or countryside) use a leash.
Don’t let your dog get out of your sight as he or she could get into all kinds of poisonous substances, including poison that has been intentionally set out for wildlife or loose dogs. Remember that prevention is the best defense against poisoning.