Dogs and Poisonous Plants11 May 2023
Written by Dr. John Ambler, former Oakfield Clinical Director, BVM&S MRCVS and ProFlowers
Reviewed by Dr Jill McMaster BVM&S MBA MRCVS, Veterinary Surgeon and in-house expert at BorrowMyDoggy on 7 Jun 2023
As a dog owner, do you know exactly which plants, and the specific part of them, could be poisonous to your beloved pup?
Our pawsome pals over at ProFlowers have pulled together this super interesting list of 199 plants that are poisonous to dogs (and cats!), along with a simple key to show which part of the plant is the most dangerous.
- Major Toxicity: may cause serious illness or death
- Minor Toxicity: may cause minor illness, such as vomiting or diarrhoea
- Oxalates: the plant’s juice or sap contains oxalate crystals, which irritate a dog’s skin, mouth, tongue and throat
- Dermatitis: juice, sap or thorns may cause rashes or irritation to your dog.
Poisonous spring plants
As spring is (almost) upon us, John Ambler, My Family Vets' Vet and Clinical Director at Oakfield Vets in the West Midlands, tells us the top 6 plants to keep your dog away from…
Tulips are highly poisonous to dogs, particularly the bulbs, so be careful if planting these in your garden. Take extra care if your dog likes to dig – they may get to your tulips before they’ve sprouted.
Symptoms of tulip poisoning include nausea, drooling, vomiting & diarrhoea and an increased heart rate.
Lilies are more of a threat to cats, but take care that their pollen doesn’t get onto your dog’s fur. They may ingest it if they lick their fur or clean their paws. If your dog spends a lot of time in the garden, make sure you supervise them and keep them away from your flowerbeds.
Symptoms of lily poisoning include lethargy, vomiting, dehydration, a change in urinary patterns or loss of appetite.
Buttercups have a nasty, acidic taste, so you shouldn’t find that your dog eats them. They are common in fields though, so your dog may ingest buttercup pollen when rolling around, or when licking their paws after a walk. Try to make sure you wash and dry their paws thoroughly – and avoid walking through buttercup-heavy areas.
Symptoms of buttercup poisoning include vomiting & diarrhoea, tremors, seizures, blisters around the mouth and general lethargy.
Just like buttercups, your dog may not eat daffodils but their skin might come into contact with the pollen by accident. Daffodils contain small crystals, which can cause severe itching and irritation.
Symptoms of daffodil poisoning include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, quick breathing, drooling and an increased heart rate.
Cyclamen is a popular house plant. House plants aren’t always the best idea if you have a dog – particularly a young, inquisitive dog, but if you have one, make sure it’s stored somewhere that your dog can’t get to. It’s also a good idea to keep your dog in another room when you leave the house.
Symptoms of cyclamen poisoning include nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea, increased heart rate, drooling and seizures.
Oleander is really bad for dogs’ hearts, and can even be fatal. The plant can grow very tall so if you have one in your garden, make sure you’re on the lookout at all times.
Symptoms of oleander poisoning can include vomiting and diarrhoea, seizures and tremors, nausea, drooling and even collapse.
If you’re concerned…
If your dog is displaying any of the symptoms listed above, make sure you contact your vet straight away. The sooner you bring them in, the easier their condition will be to treat.
This article is for information only, and should never replace any advice, diagnosis or treatment from your veterinary surgeon. Always contact your local vet or out of hours vet without delay if you have any concerns about your dog.
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Further info on poisonous plants to dogs
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