From the houseplants that adorn your shelves to the flowers in your garden, there are several harmful plants and flowers dog owners must be aware of.
This guide outlines some of the top toxic plants for dogs, explains what to do if your dog ingests them, and lists safer alternatives.
Which Common Plants and Flowers Are Poisonous to Dogs?
Several plants have leaves, flowers, and seeds that are poisonous to dogs. The following are some of the most common ones to keep in mind:
- Sago Palm: May cause vomiting, diarrhea, liver failure, seizures, and even death (especially the seeds)
- Tulip: May cause an upset stomach, depression, and a loss of appetite (especially the bulbs)
- Lily of the Valley: All parts of the plant may cause disorientation, heart and blood pressure issues, seizures, or even a coma
- Oleander: All parts of the plant may cause diarrhea, stomach pain, drooling, or death
- Philodendron: May cause irritation to the mouth or lips (especially the leaves)
- Rhododendron: All parts of the plant may cause an upset stomach and an irregular heart rate
- Dieffenbachia: May cause mouth or lip irritation, drooling, vomiting, or breathing difficulties (especially the leaves)
- Japanese Yew: The leaves, seeds, and bark may cause vomiting, lethargy, gait issues, and blood pressure changes
- Cyclamen: All parts of the plant may cause drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea; the roots may cause abnormal heart rhythms and potentially death
- Autumn Crocus: The flowers, leaves, and bulbs may cause vomiting or diarrhea; their toxins can also cause long-term liver failure
- Aloe Vera: All parts of the plant may cause an upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Amarylis: All parts of the plant may cause vomiting, low blood pressure, and breathing difficulties; the bulb may also cause drooling, vomiting, and oral irritation
- Ceriman: The leaves may cause tongue, lip, and face swelling
- Daffodils: All parts of the plant may cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and an irregular heart rate
- Snake Plant: All parts of the plant may cause appetite loss, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, drooling, or swollen lips and tongue
If you have any of these plants in your house, you might not need to get rid of them altogether. Unless your dog has a habit of jumping up on the counter or other high places, you may get away with just moving the dangerous plants out of your dog’s reach.
To be extra safe, though, swapping the plants out with safer alternatives is the best choice.
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Signs of Plant Toxicity in Dogs
Most of the time, when dogs ingest toxic plants, they show symptoms soon after. The following are some of the most well-known signs of plant toxicity:
- Behavior changes (such as decreased interaction or hiding from you)
- Mouth, lips, or tongue irritation (usually indicated by pawing at the mouth, decreased appetite, drooling, gagging, or bad breath)
- Difficulty swallowing
- Stomach pain (traditionally characterized by reduced appetite, low energy, hiding, vomiting, or decreased urination and bowel movements)
- Changes in urine color or volume
- Increased or decreased thirst
- Low energy
If you notice any of these signs, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Assume that something is wrong and take proper action to get your dog the necessary care.
What to Do if My Dog Has Eaten a Poisonous Plant?
It doesn’t matter if you know for sure your dog has eaten a poisonous plant or just suspect they have. You should take the following steps:
- Remove any lingering leaves, flowers, or other plant parts from your dog’s mouth or fur
- Isolate your dog so they can’t consume more plant matter
- Contact a pet poison control hotline
- Contact your vet
Once you’ve isolated your dog, do your best to investigate and find out what kind of plant your dog ate.
Check the plants in your house or garden to look for signs that they’ve been eaten, and let your dog’s vet know the plant species (and how much they ate, if possible). These details will help the vet treat your dog appropriately and increase their chances of recovering.
Possible Consequences of Poisoning
Some plants, such as sago palm, oleander, and cyclamen, can be fatal. Others cause serious effects that could be fatal if not addressed right away. For example, lily of the valley and Japanese yew can cause blood pressure issues.
The sooner you get your dog to a vet, the less likely they are to die from consuming poisonous plants for dogs. Even with proper treatment, though, your dog might still need surgery or ongoing treatment to fully recover and enjoy a healthy life.
What Are Safe Plant Alternatives for Dogs?
If you want to eliminate all your dog-toxic plants and replace them with safe ones, here are some suggestions to get you started:
This dog-safe Australian fern is highly versatile. It can survive in a pot, a hanging basket, or even mounted on a wall.
With their uniquely patterned leaves and durability, friendship plants are excellent choices for dog owners.
For palm lovers who need to give up their sago palms, the date palm is a suitable alternative.
You won’t be praying for your dog’s safety with the prayer plant. It’s dog-friendly, cat-friendly, and easy to care for.
To add a pop of color to your home, consider an orchid. These beautiful flowers are dog-safe and cat-safe.
Has Your Dog Eaten a Toxic Plant?
Knowledge plays a powerful role in protecting your pooch. The more you know about poisonous plants for dogs and their effects, the easier it is to keep your dog safe and get them proper care if they do accidentally eat something they shouldn’t.
If you find out that Fido has eaten one of the dangerous plants for dogs mentioned above, contact a vet right away.
Still looking for answers about toxic plants to dogs? Schedule an instant video consultation with our qualified veterinarians and get tailored advice from the comfort of your home – today.