Autumn plants toxic to dogs
Health and advice8 October 2021Autumn plants that are toxic to dogs, two fluffy poodle cross breeds sitting in orange flora

Autumn plants toxic to dogs

Now that autumn is in full swing, lots of plants and trees are starting to produce and drop their fruits. With fruits like acorns and conkers, and berries like Holly berries and Elderberries lining the floor on your daily dog walk, you may be concerned about your dog eating them.

As a general rule, keeping an eye on your dog to ensure they don’t consume too much of any fruits they find on the floor is important. Here we have put together a list of common plants and whether they pose a serious risk to your dog.

Acorns & Conkers

Acorns and conkers

Acorns are toxic and can cause an obstruction in the guts, but due to them tasting bad, most dogs will be put off and not try to consume them, although some dogs may still have a try, so ensure your dog cannot access them.

Poisoning cases are rare with Conkers. However, when eaten in large quantities they can lead to mild to moderate stomach problems, can in rare cases cause serious toxicity and can also cause a potential blockage if they get stuck in airways or guts.

Blue-green algae

Algae covered pond

Blue-green algae can be extremely dangerous to your dog’s health. Contact with the algae can be fatal and therefore it is important to avoid it at all costs.

Warm weather and still water create the perfect conditions for blue-green algae to grow. Therefore, it is more frequent in summer and autumn, but it is always worth keeping an eye out for it.

If you believe your dog has come into contact with blue-green algae the advice is to rinse your dog off with fresh water and seek veterinary advice immediately.


Elderberries & Holly berries - Both these berries are toxic to dogs and can cause stomach upsets.

Elderberry and Holly berries

Deadly nightshade - This plant has a severe toxicity level, hence the name! All parts of the plant are toxic for dogs, therefore should be avoided at all costs.

Deadly night shade plant

Cuckoo Pint  - This plant that grows mostly in woodland has high toxicity.

By Frank Vincentz - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3195268

Mistletoe - This classic Christmas plant has mild toxicity in small amounts.  However, when ingested in large quantities serious health issues can occur.  All parts of the plant are toxic so keep an eye out for any on the floor of Christmas parties, as well as outdoors!

Mistle toe

Mushrooms and Fungi

Most mushrooms and fungi are not toxic to dogs. There are few types that are toxic so if you are not confident in identifying them then all mushrooms should be avoided.

The most notable mushroom to avoid is the Death cap. With that name, it is unsurprising that they are responsible for the most poisonings.

By Archenzo - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=329999

Yew Trees

This evergreen has needles and leaves which are extremely poisonous to animals including dogs. Although their needles are small and unlikely to be eaten, it is important to keep an eye on your dog around them.

Yew tree


Autumn Crocuses - All parts of this flowering plant are toxic to dogs. Consumption can cause stomach upsets, organ damage and breathing issues, so it’s important to keep dogs away from this flower.

By I, Luc Viatour, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1450731

Hydrangeas - This plant contains cyanide and therefore all parts are toxic.


If you have any concerns or are worried that your dog has consumed a toxic plant, you should contact your vet immediately.  Signs of poisoning are variable but can include excessive drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, shaking and difficulty breathing, although some poisonings can initially show much more subtle signs, so if you are worried, get advice from your veterinary practice.

Discover more information in our article on conkers, acorns and pine cones.

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