Dogs and Plants: Toxic and Non-Toxic

dog-freindly-plantsDogs and Plants: Toxic and Non-Toxic

Dogs love to explore the garden, sniffing around plants and flowers or playing on the lawn. The colours, smells and space are irresistible for any breed that enjoys being outside especially on a summer’s day. Finding a nice bit of shade beneath a willow tree to cool down and relax.

Your garden may seem like an earthly paradise with its brightly coloured floral displays and exotic plants but it can also be a hellish underworld, full of hidden dangers. It is literally, a death trap for dogs.

The perils of plants

We are talking about plants – toxic and non-toxic types. Always think about your dog when tending to your existing plants or introducing new varieties. Some plants are non-poisonous whereas others have toxic properties but either way they are hazardous for dogs.

The effects range from mild to serious even fatal. They include allergies and sensitivities through to serious digestive and cardiac/respiratory disorders, paralysis, coma and death. These effects vary according to the type of plant eaten and the breed of dog.

Poisoning occurs when dogs chew some or all of a plant: if they lick the leaves or if they clean their coat following contact with pesticides from the soil or lawn. This equally applies to other garden chemicals, cocoa mulch and pellets.

Toxic plants

These plants are harmful even potentially fatal to dogs. They include:

  • Amaryllis
  • Azalea
  • Buttercups
  • Cyclamen
  • Daffodils
  • Eucalyptus
  • Foxgloves
  • Gardenia
  • Geraniums
  • Hyacinth
  • Hydrangea
  • Ivy
  • Jade
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Morning Glory
  • Narcissus
  • Oleander
  • Peonies
  • Rhododendron
  • Sweet William
  • Tulips
  • Wisteria

Contact your vet immediately if you suspect your dog has eaten any of these or other toxic plants.


Non-toxic plants

These plants will cause a bad reaction rather than a fatality but avoid letting your dog lick or chew them as the effects are still unpleasant. They include:

  • African Daisy
  • Black Hawthorn
  • Camellias
  • Cornflowers
  • Dwarf Palm
  • Easter Daisy
  • Forsythia
  • Fuchsia
  • Globe Thistle
  • Hawthorn
  • Honeysuckle
  • Irish Moss
  • Jasmine
  • Kahali Ginger
  • Lace Orchid
  • Marigolds
  • Nasturtium
  • Orange Star
  • Petunias
  • Roses
  • Sunflowers
  • Tailed Orchid
  • Venus Fly Trap
  • Withered Snapdragon

Note: if your dog been exposed to any of these and is suffering a bad reaction as a result then contact your vet for advice.


Prevent plant poisoning

You can’t watch your dog all the time but there are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of poisoning. These include asking your local garden centre for advice about toxic/non-toxic plants; avoid using cocoa mulch and reading the labels on any plants or chemicals before you purchase them. The Internet is another useful source.