Toxic Plants for Dogs: Which Plants are Poisonous and What to Do in Case of Intoxication?



Beautiful and harmless to the eyes, many plants could be poisonous to our furry friends and cause serious veterinary emergencies.

With their beautiful colors and unique smells, plants and flowers decorate our gardens and our lives, many of them have healing properties that can be used in humans. But some types of plants could poison our dog pets, this is why we should keep them away from some plants and have special care with dogs during puppyhood, which is a period of their lives to be curious and explore.

Dogs are attracted to smells, as we have mentioned in other articles, they live in an olfactory world; they also like to bite and lick things as part of the process of recognizing new objects. It is common to see dogs eating grass or garden weeds, but we must pay attention to the kind of plants our dogs show interest in, since many of them could be harmful to the health of our furry friends.

Types of Toxic Plants for Dogs

  1. Nerium (Nerium oleander). We can find these types of bushes along the Mediterranean, also in the US and other regions with mild weather, it is a decorative plant. If your dog pet ingests this plant it could be deadly, some symptoms of poisoning are: diarrhea, abdominal pain, depression of the central nervous system, drowsiness, tachycardia, respiratory problems, arrhythmia, and in some grave cases coma and cardiac arrest.
  2. Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis Miller). Aloe is a type of plant from the family of succulents that most people have in their home and it is one of the most dangerous plants for our dog pets. The yellow sap that is under the skin of the leaves is the poisonous component; we should not mistake it from the pulp or gel inside that is in the leaves. If the dog eats aloe it could develop the following symptoms: blisters in the skin, vomiting, excess of saliva, diarrhea, and low blood pressure and in some cases conjunctivitis.
  3. Persian Ciclamen (Cyclamen Persicum). Persian Ciclamen’s origins come from the Mediterranean forests, where it grows during the winter at the shadow of the trees. The toxic component of this plant is called cyclamen, a highly poisonous substance. The symptoms if your dog eats this plan can be: vomiting, acute diarrhea, abdominal pain, seizures, kidney failure, arrhythmia and paralysis in some cases.
  4. Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera deliciosa). This flowering plant gained popularity during the last few years, it is also known as Delicious Plant. Calcium oxalate is a chemical substance that we can find in many plants, and it is toxic if it is ingested. The symptoms of dog’s intoxication are: swelling and irritation of the muzzle, neck or esophagus, and vomiting.
  5. Fire Croton (Codiaeum Variegatum Pictum). Fire Croton or Garden Croton is a very popular interior house plant; this is because of the variety of stunning color of its leaves. If our dog eats this plant it could cause an overdose that could kill it. Intoxication symptoms are: excess saliva, muzzle irritation, difficulty to swallow, acute diarrhea, swelling of tongue, esophagus and stomach, vomiting, dilated pupils, seizures, kidney and hepatic failure.
  6. Spathiphyllum (Spathiphyllum Wallasii). Spathiphyllum is a plant that purifies the air of the house, it is easy to grow and has a high esthetic value, and this makes it a very popular interior plant. This gorgeous plant could cause our dog pet some of the following symptoms: in the skin it can cause blisters and dermatitis; if it is eaten it can cause excess of saliva, difficulties breathing or swallowing, and swelling of the internal organs.
  7. Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima). This plant has a stunning flower used in gardening as a bush, and like an interior plant in Easter or Christmas for decoration. The contact with the sap produces dermatitis and small blisters in your dog; it also produces diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain and excess of saliva.
  8. Ivy (Hedera hélix). Ivy is a plant species from Europe that can grow inside a house because it does not need a lot of light; it is used in some cases in the exterior of houses to decorate the walls. The fruit of the Ivy is poisonous, if a dog eats the fruit it could cause cardiac and respiratory arrest, dermatitis, diarrhea, fever, vomiting and coma.
  9. Japanese Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta). We are talking about a highly popular plant around the world, its origins are from Japan and it is usually an interior plant because it does not tolerate low temperatures. The Japanese Sago Palm can be deadly to dogs, it produces grave cases of intoxication due to a toxin called cycasin, which is in the seeds and roots of the plant. It is considered one of the main causes of poisoning in the European Continent. The effects that could cause if eaten by a dog are: vomiting, diarrhea, hepatic failure, nose bleeding and in extreme cases death.
  10. Golden Photos (Epipremnum Pinnatum). The Golden Photos is an evergreen vine plant from the tropical forests; it is popular in houses due to its green cream spotted leaves. If your dog eats this plant it could cause: swelling of the digestive tract, seizures and kidney failure.

Common Symptoms of Intoxication in Dogs

There is a wide variety of plants and toxins that can be harmful to our pets. The main symptoms in cases of intoxication in dogs are:

  • Respiratory Difficulties: choking, intense coughing, problems swallowing, etc.
  • Digestive disorders: diarrhea, vomiting, intestinal bleeding, etc.
  • Cardiac Diseases: arrhythmia, cardiac arrest, tachycardia, etc.
  • Nervous System Diseases: seizures, disorientation, paralysis, coma, etc.
  • Kidney Diseases: lack of appetite, anemia, dark-colored urine, etc.
  • Skin Problems: blisters, dermatitis, rashes, etc.

What to Do if Your Dog Intoxicates With a Plant

In cases of intoxication try to identify the plant that your dog ate, if you do not know the name of the plant, take a small sample.

Contact your veterinarian as soon as possible, he will tell you how to proceed; if you take your dog to the veterinarian hospital we suggest to observe the way your dog behaves and the symptoms it has.

Remember that time is key in cases of intoxication or poisoning, in some cases you can help your dog throw up to reduce the impact of the poison in its body.

The Hydrogen Peroxide, a chemical compound also known as Peroxide, is the ideal medicine to induce vomits in dogs. You must only use 3% Peroxide.

You can give your dog a tablespoon of Peroxide for every 10 lb. (4.5 kg) of the dog’s weight. For example, if your dog weights 45 lb. (20 kg.) you can administrate orally 25 to 50 ml. of Peroxide, approximately 2 or 3 tablespoons.

If you have any doubts, consult a professional near your home who will give you good assistance and answer all your questions.

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