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Beware! Plants Poisonous to Dogs

Beware! Plants Poisonous to Dogs

Know which plants and foods are no-nos for your dog.

By DC Editors | Posted: Mar 19, 2013, 3 p.m. EDT

Puppy in FLowersPeople are often surprised to learn that there are actually hundreds of plants potentially poisonous to dogs many of which could be in your home, or yard.

The following is a list of some plants, trees, flowers, and foods that are poisonous to dogs:

  • American bittersweet roots, leaves, berries
  • Apple seeds, in large amounts
  • Apricot seeds
  • Autumn crocus -  Its active ingredient, colchicines, triggers an anti-metabolic effect that can cause rapidly dividing cells, shedding of the gastrointestinal tract, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting. Learn more>>
  • Avocado leaves
  • Azalea - This popular plant can harm a dog's cardiovascular system and trigger vomiting or gastrointestinal upset.
  • Bird of paradise fruit, seeds
  • Black-eyed Susan
  • Bleeding heart leaves, roots
  • Boston ivy
  • Buttercup
  • Caladium  
  • Castor bean seeds, leaves
  • Chinaberry berries, fruit, bark
  • Chokecherry bark, leaves, seeds
  • Christmas rose leaves, roots, sap
  • Daffodil (Narcissus) - Toxic ingredients in the bulbs cause convulsions, tremors, lethargy, weakness, and upset stomachs.
  • Diffenbachia
  • English holly berries
  • English ivy leaves, berries
  • Foxglove seeds, flowers, leaves
  • Glacier ivy leaves, berries
  • Golden chain flowers, seeds, pods
  • Hemlock seeds, stems, roots
  • Hyacinth - This popular plant can cause severe vomiting, bloody diarrhea, depression, and tremors.
  • Hydrangea leaves, buds
  • Iris roots
  • Jack-in-the-pulpit
  • Jerusalem cherry
  • Jimson weed
  • Jonquil
  • Larkspur
  • Lily of the valley - This plant can cause heart failure, coordination problems, and vomiting. Learn more>>
  • Mistletoe berries
  • Morning glory seeds
  • Mountain laurel
  • Nephthytis
  • Nightshade
  • Oak acorns, foliage
  • Oleander - Extremely toxic, this popular outdoor plant contains cardiac glycosides that harm the heart, decrease body temperature, cause abnormal pulse rate, and can cause death. Beware: Even people have died from eating hot dogs roasted on an oleander twig.
  • Philodendron
  • Poinsettia leaves, flowers - Irritating to the mouth and stomach and can cause vomiting.
  • Pothos
  • Potato leaves, stems
  • Privet berries, leaves
  • Red sage green berries
  • Rhododendron
  • Rhubarb leaves - Although the stalks are used to make pies, the leaves pack the potential to cause kidney damage.
  • Rosary pea seeds
  • Sweet pea seeds, pods
  • Tobacco leaves
  • Tulip bulbs
  • Wild black cherry leaves, seeds
  • Wisteria seeds, pods
  • Umbrella plant
  • Yellow jasmine
  • Yew -  Extremely toxic to dogs, this group of ornamental plants can cause seizures or cardiac failure. The plant and red berries are toxic.

Poisonous Foods and Beverages

ChocolateWhile it might be tempting to share your favorite foods with your dog, check this list before giving a bite to your furry friend

  • Alcohol -  Extremely toxic, can cause vomiting and diarrhea, problems with coordination, central nervous system, difficulty breathing, tremors, coma and even death.
  • Almonds - Not easily digested by dogs. Can cause gastrointestinal irritation and distress.
  • Avocado - Can cause weakness, vomiting and tremors, but fortunately are rarely fatal if eaten in small amounts.
  • Chocolate - Chocolate (cocoa) is dangerous for dogs because it contains high amounts of methylxanthines, specifically one called theobromine which is toxic to dogs. Learn more>>
  • Coffee- Like chocolate, coffee contains methylxanthines, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea, thirst, excessive urination, seizures and even death.
  • Garlic, fresh - Can cause gastrointestinal irritation.
  • Macadamia nuts - Can cause weakness, vomiting and tremors, but fortunately are rarely fatal if eaten in small amounts.
  • Onions - Can cause gastrointestinal irritation
  • Raisins, grapes - Can cause kidney failure in some dogs.
  • Tea - Like chocolate and coffee, caffinated tea contains methylxanthines, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, thirst, excessive urination, seizures and even death
  • Tomato leaves, stems - Surprisingly, the greenery of this common plant, not the tomato itself, contains solanine, a toxic ingredient that can prompt gastric upset, depression, weakness, and a decrease in heart rate.

For more information and a complete list of dog poisons, visit the animal poison control website at aspca.org.


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Comments (7)
    • The article mentions the green plant and stems of tomatoes. But it should have also mentioned the green tomato. They are poisonous to dogs. Once they turn red they are fine. Only while they are green they contain solanine.
      • Garlic and onion can break down a dog's red blood cells, yet so many people continue to feed it to their pets. Don't get me started on the chocolate! I told a friend not to feed her dog grapes; she does it anyway. The vet told her to quit feeding her dog Del Taco French fries (or any fries); she does it anyway. Thank you for posting this list. There are plenty of people who actually love their dogs and will appreciate this information.
      • If you know of anything to add please let me know
        • Talking about Garlic again - went searching and found this article which I think does a fair job of laying out the pros and cons of garlic being fed to dogs.  Read it carefully if you are interested. 

          • Milkweed… this plant is toxic to dogs, cats, and horses. People are kindheartedly buying this plant and placing it on their property to help the Monarch Butterfly who is sadly on the verge of extinction! I too thought of doing that but stopped after doing my research. It is extremely toxic to dogs, cats and horses. Please be cautious. This plant grows in the wild and seeps a thick white substance hence its name. There are different varieties and as far as I know they all are toxic.

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