Most dog parents have had that heart-stopping moment where our dog is vomiting and we aren’t sure what they got into. Believe it or not; one of the most common causes of toxicity in dogs is plants. Even if you are certain you have managed to keep dangerous plants out of your house and yard, all bets are off if your dog gets out and decides to do a walkabout.
Fortunately, not all dogs feel the urge to sample some foliage (although this certainly doesn’t mean they won’t). For dogs who enjoy culinary experiments and don’t care about stomach aches, the world is a dangerous place.
The best defense is to be armed with the knowledge of which plants might be dangerous for your pup. In addition to this, try to find out which dangerous plants are most common in your area so you can be on the lookout.
If you follow our Instagram, you probably saw that we put together a short list of toxic plants. Now, here’s an even longer list of the most dangerous plants for your dog… plus the signs to look for that tell you that your pup may have ingested them.
Important note: This list isn’t meant to scare you. It’s meant to be a handy resource so that you can be the absolute best dog parent to your baby!
Plants That Are Toxic To Dogs
There’s nothing wrong with wanting a little greenery inside, but a lot of the most common houseplants are actually dangerous if your dog ingests them. Our advice? Either keep them in a place you absolutely KNOW your dog can’t get to, or go the safer route and find dog-safe alternatives.
Aloe Vera- Many people keep an aloe plant nearby to use in the event of a burn (like a sunburn). Unfortunately, aloe may be soothing to our skin but if ingested by a pup, it can be not so soothing. Aloe Vera can cause vomiting, diarrhea, a sudden drop in blood sugar, lethargy, and a change in the color of their urine.
Dieffenbachia (Dumb Cane, Tropic Snow, Exotica)- This is a tropical plant that is often kept in pots inside. Ingestion of this plant causes burning and swelling in your dog’s mouth, drooling, difficulty breathing, and vomiting. Unfortunately, ingesting this plant frequently leads to death.
Geraniums- If your dog gets into your geraniums, they may develop a rash, lethargy, low blood pressure, and loss of appetite.
Golden Pothos and Silk Pothos/Devil’s Ivy- These popular hanging plants have some unpleasant effects. Eating this plant can irritate your dog’s mouth and cause itching and burning. This can lead to drooling, vomiting, and trouble swallowing.
Ivy- Often kept indoors as a hanging plant, Ivy can cause some scary reactions. It can cause excessive salivation, trouble breathing, swelling of the mouth and tongue, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Lilies- Lilies can vary in the symptoms they cause. Symptoms can range from mild tummy trouble to a burning mouth and irritated stomach.
Philodendron- One of the most common indoor plants, the philodendron can cause irritation in the mouth, swelling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.
Snake Plant- This plant is popular because it’s easy to grow. Unfortunately, this hardy house plant can give your dog nausea and an upset stomach if eaten.
Flowers, Shrubs, Trees
Azalea and Rhododendron- These flowering shrubs are in the same family. They are common in yards and can be easily found in the wild. If your dog gets into these, the effects can be devastating. They cause vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, paralysis, coma, and often, death.
Daffodil- This popular flower can cause severe symptoms including vomiting, drooling, tremors, trouble breathing, and convulsions.
Elephant Ears- This big, leafy plant can cause mouth irritation, drooling, trouble breathing, and vomiting.
Hydrangea- If your dog consumes hydrangeas, you may notice lethargy accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea.
Milkweed- If you grow a butterfly garden, you most likely have milkweed. Proceed with caution if you have a dog. Milkweed can cause not only vomiting and diarrhea but also a rapid pulse, kidney and liver failure, and possibly, death.
Oleander- This beautiful flower is well known for being toxic to almost everything. Tremors, drooling, seizures, weakness, abnormal heart rate, and even death can be side effects of ingestion.
Peonies- These are certainly not the most toxic plants on this list, but they should still be handled with care around your dog. Ingesting large amounts can cause an upset stomach.
Thorn Apple/ Jimson Weed- Also known as Devil’s Trumpet, this plant, which features a trumpet-shaped white flower with points along the edge, is highly toxic. Ingestion can lead to dry mouth, motion in the intestine stopping, dilated pupils, increased heart rate, rapid breathing, and ataxia (wobbly walking).
There are some plants that most people only have around in abundance during the holidays. This can naturally make your dog more curious and more likely to give them a little taste test. The holiday plants listed are toxic no matter what time of year it is.
Holly- It comes in dozens of varieties and all of them are toxic to dogs. They cause vomiting and diarrhea and can even lacerate your dog’s digestive tract.
Yew- This beautiful plant with its green leaves and red berries is a popular Christmas decoration. It can also be fatal if your dog ingests it. Yew can cause tremors, seizures, and difficulty breathing.
Mistletoe- This holiday staple can lead to stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, and a change in your dog’s mental state.
This list touches on some of the most popular plants that may be dangerous for your dog. But beware! These are not the only dangerous plants for your dog. If you are uncertain if a plant is safe for your dog, take time and do your research.
If you fear your dog may have ingested a toxic plant, take action immediately. Contact your vet or the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661.
Look for any pieces of plant, and gather the remnants. Take a picture if you know exactly which plant your dog ingested. If your dog is vomiting, you may want to take a sample to your vet. Do not try to administer medications or induce vomiting without direction from your dog’s vet. This can make the situation worse.
These situations are certainly scary. But quick action and as much information as possible will help your vet determine how to treat your dog and hopefully lead to the best outcome.
This list is pretty long, but that doesn’t mean you have to live your life plant-less. Creating a dog friendly living space just takes a little more thought and research. But your dog’s wellbeing is totally worth it!