Plants That are Toxic for Dogs This article is verified by a vet

poisonous plants for dogs

An Akita is lying amongst house plants.

The dose makes the poison. Nevertheless, if you suspect your dog has been poisoned, it is important to know which toxic substance your dog has consumed, so that the vet can treat your pet without delay. In the following lists we will tell you which plants are toxic for dogs so you can avoid having them in your home.

How dangerous are toxic plants for dogs?

Each plant species has its own poison, which can be found in the leaves, flowers and fruits. As soon as these toxins enter the blood circulation, they can cause dangerous organ damage. Plant toxins often disrupt the function of the liver, kidneys or heart. Hence, a particularly high dose can trigger a fatal cardiac arrest or life-threatening kidney failure.

Symptoms: what are the signs that your dog has been poisoned?

Your dog will probably recover by itself if it has only ingested a small dose. That said, it could feel nauseous in the hours following and could salivate more.

If your dog has been poisoned with a high dose, the toxin will lead to severe and sometimes rapid complications.

The signs of poisoning include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Central nervous disorders like muscle tremors, cramps and paralysis
  • Heart palpitations and respiratory arrest

Some toxic plants can be fatal for dogs. In particular, the yew tree and its berries are considered highly toxic for humans, dogs and other animals.

First aid: what you should do

If your dog has eaten a toxic plant in the last few hours, you should trigger its gag reflex. Add common salt to lukewarm water to make a saline solution then feed spoonfuls of this solution to your dog until it vomits.

Important point: In the meantime, you must contact your vet, who can also administer substances to cause vomiting (emetics) or pump the stomach. Charcoal tablets and infusion therapy also help to bind or wash away toxic substances.

Administering soluble medicine to cat with syringe © FurryFritz /
You can administer tablets dissolved in water with the help of a syringe.

Which plants are toxic for dogs?

There are many plants that are toxic for dogs. The advantage for the plants is that they are protected from being eaten by animals. To give you an overview of the many plants toxic for dogs, the following list summarises the most significant toxic house and garden plants for you:

Toxic house plants:

House plants are decorative and make any house more homely. However, many people don’t know that house plants can be toxic for dogs! In order for your dog to remain healthy, you should steer clear of the following house plants, amongst others:

Name Characteristic
Agave This popular house plant is partly edible for humans, but slightly toxic for dogs.
All orchid species Thankfully the dose required for orchids to have a toxic effect has to be very high. Therefore, poisoning in dogs is rare but not impossible.
Amaryllis The thick bulbs in particular are highly toxic for dogs and trigger palpitations.
Azalea Caution! Mere contact with this pretty plant can be toxic for your dog.
Chrysanthemum Your dog’s skin can be irritated by contact with this attractive autumn plant. If your dog eats the flowers, it can suffer from diarrhoea and breathing difficulties, or even balance problems.
Clivia If your dog eats parts of this house plant, it can suffer from vomiting, perspiration and neurological disorders.
Crown-of-thorns The crown-of-thorns with its white milky sap is toxic for all pets.
Cyclamen Beautiful, but poisonous for humans and animals.
Devil’s ivy This aroid contains calcium oxalate, which is toxic for your dog.
Geranium No worries, geraniums are only mildly toxic for your pet.
Hortensia Prussic acid, hydrangin and saponins don’t just affect dogs, but cats and humans too.
Laceleaf If your dog consumes parts of the red flowers or other parts of the plants, the toxins irritate its mucous membrane. In the worst-case scenario, this can result in cramps and signs of paralysis.
Lilies All species are toxic for dogs, since they cause permanent kidney damage.
Oleander Even a small dose of the cardioactive glycoside oleandrin found in the oleander can lead to nausea, cramps, vomiting and life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia for your dog.
Passion flower This plant species related to the passion fruit can prove slightly toxic for humans and animals due to the prussic acid it contains.
Philodendron The philodendron, with its corrosive substances and calcium oxalate, is less toxic.
Poinsettia Its milk sap contains toxic substances like beta-amyrin and germanicol, which can trigger gastrointestinal problems, bloody diarrhoea and neurological disorders in your dog.
Rubber tree The rubber tree also has a milk sap mildly toxic for dogs.
Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina) Its light milky sap is slightly toxic for dogs.

Toxic garden plants:

Many plants that are toxic for dogs also lurk in the garden or on outdoor walks. Read which garden plants are dangerous for your pet in the following list:

Name Characteristic
Aconite Caution: Also known as wolfsbane, aconite is one of the most toxic ornamental plants in Europe and is fatal for dogs and humans even in small quantities.
Angel’s trumpets Angel’s trumpets are another well-known toxic plant in Europe. Hence, experts also refer to this plant, which is toxic for both humans and animals, as a poison apple or devil’s claw.
Atropa Caution: just a few berries are enough to kill your dog!
Autumn crocus Highly toxic colchicine is found in all parts of the plant and it has a stimulative effect first, then an inhibitory effect.
Box tree These popular hedges can prove life-threatening for your dog.
Cedar All cedar species are very toxic for dogs, whereas cedar wood is harmless for them.
Cherry laurel If your dog nibbles at the leaves or seeds, it releases toxic prussic acid. In the worst-case scenario, your dog can die from respiratory arrest caused by the toxins.
Foxglove Just five grams is a fatal dose of the toxin digitalis for a large dog.
Golden chain As attractive as the yellow flowers may be, the quinoline alkaloids they contain can prove fatal for your dog within minutes.
Hyacinth If your dog eats this high-dose flower bulb, it will vomit and may have bloody diarrhoea.
Ivy Every part of the ivy plant contains saponins. The consequences can be fatal if your dog eats the fruits, which have particularly high doses.
Juniper The entire plant is mildly toxic for dogs.
Larkspur Its seeds in particular can be dangerous for a dog that enjoys nibbling at plants.
Lily of the valley All parts of the plant, even the flower water, are toxic for humans and animals.
Rhododendron Popular amongst gardening enthusiasts, the rhododendron is toxic for humans and is even more dangerous for cats and dogs.
Thuja All species have toxic etheric oils and the toxin thujone, which damages the kidneys.
Wood anemone If your dog consumes parts of this plant, it can die due to the triterpenoid saponins.
Yew The yew is one of the best-known toxic plants. Its toxins are found in its seeds, fir needles and red berries. After just a few hours, the alkaloid taxine influences your dog’s cardiac function and can lead to cardiac arrest within no time.

Franziska G., Veterinarian
Profilbild von Tierärztin Franziska Gütgeman mit Hund

At the Justus-Liebig-University of Giessen I was extensively trained as a veterinarian and was able to gain experience in various fields such as small animal, large animal and exotic animal medicine as well as pharmacology, pathology and food hygiene. Since then, I have been working not only as a veterinary author, but also on my scientifically driven dissertation. My goal is to better protect animals from pathogenic bacterial organisms in the future. Besides my veterinary knowledge, I also share my own experiences as a happy dog owner and can thus understand and enlighten fears and problems as well as other important questions about animal health.

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