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Avoid These Common Plants Toxic to Dogs

top common plants poisonous to dogs

As a pet parent, you do your best to ensure your dog stays safe indoors and out. You do what you can to ensure you raise happy and healthy dogs. That includes ensuring your dog doesn’t eat something that could make them ill, including common plants that are toxic to dogs. Common trees, plants shrubs, flowers and herbs that we love could be dangerous to dogs if they ingest them.

Toxicity depends on a few things, including how much of the plant your dog eats, as well as the part of the plant that they ingest. Leaves, bulbs, nuts and flowers contain different levels of toxicity not only to animals but also to humans. 

If your dog ingests something that you know or suspect is toxic, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA’s animal poison control hotline.

Outdoor Plants That Are Toxic to Dogs

Many flowers, trees, and shrubs can pose a danger to dogs. Let’s start with outdoor plants, shrubs and flowers that are toxic to dogs, and then we’ll list indoor plants. The final section contains a list of plants that are safe, or non-toxic, to dogs (Source: ASPCA).

Trees toxic to dogs

Did you know that apple trees can be poisonous to dogs? It’s bad enough that apple seeds contain cyanide (though not enough to be lethal), but the leaves are toxic to dogs as well, making it twice as dangerous for your pet. Other trees you need to mindful of include: 

  • Black walnut
  • Bergamot orange
  • Chinaberry
  • Fruit trees, including apple, apricot, avocado, cherry, peach, and plum
  • Horse chestnut or buckeye
  • Japanese yew
  • Nut trees

Shrubs poisonous to dogs

If you have shrubbery around your yard, you may want to take a second look to make sure they aren’t poison plants for dogs. Common shrubs you can buy at your local nursery are some of the most lethal plants for dogs, cats, and humans, like the  notorious Oleander.

  • Azalea
  • Holly
  • Hydrangea
  • Ivy
  • Oleander
  • Peony
  • Rhododendron
  • Sago palm

Flowers toxic to dogs

If you have a dog that digs and chews your garden, you might want to avoid these flowers, or plant them in areas where your dog doesn’t roam. 

  • Autumn crocus
  • Begonia
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Clematis
  • Daffodil
  • Dahlia
  • Foxglove
  • Gardenia
  • Geranium
  • Hosta
  • Hyacinth
  • Iris
  • Lavender
  • Lily
  • Lily of the valley
  • Tulip 

Garden plants poisonous to dogs

If you’re a gardener, take note. Some of your garden staples are not good for Fido. Fence in your garden area or plant your garden goodies in pots out of the reach of your dog.

  • Chives
  • Garlic
  • Hops
  • Leeks
  • Marijuana
  • Onions 
  • Rhubarb
  • Shallots
  • Tomato plants

Herbs toxic to dogs

When you think about what plants are dogs allergic to you probably don’t think about herbs. These culinary and medicinal must-haves can be dangerous to your dog. If you want to grow these herbs, be sure to plant them in a fenced area that your dog cannot enter or in pots out of your dog’s reach. 

  • Borage
  • Caraway
  • Chamomile
  • Lemongrass
  • Lemon verbena
  • Marjoram
  • Mint
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Sorrel
  • Tarragon

Weeds poisonous to dogs

Some weeds, not surprisingly, are toxic to dogs. While it can be difficult to rid your yard of these pesky plants, it’s important that you do.

  • Bittersweet nightshade 
  • Creeping charlie 
  • Yellow dock 

Indoor Plants That Are Toxic to Dogs

Poisonous indoor plants for dogs

Nothing like bringing the outside in. Brightening up your home with houseplants is common. However, those ferns that live in your living room or dining room may very well be poisonous houseplants for dogs. If your plants are on the dangerous list, either put them someplace your dog is not permitted or remove them from your home.

  • Aloe vera
  • Asparagus fern
  • Bird of paradise
  • Chinese evergreen
  • Corn plant 
  • Desert rose 
  • Dumb cane 
  • Devil’s ivy or pothos 
  • Elephant ear 
  • Jade plant
  • Peace lily
  • Philodendron
  • ZZ plant 

Plants Not Toxic to Dogs

Now that you have some idea of what plants to avoid with dogs, you might be wondering what plants are safe for dogs. Thankfully, there are plenty of plants that pose no danger to your canine friend. Here are plants deemed non-toxic:

  • African violet
  • Areca palm
  • Baby rubber plant
  • Baby’s breath
  • Baby tears
  • Basil
  • Boston fern
  • Blue echeveria
  • Burro’s tail
  • Camellia
  • Cast-iron plant
  • Christmas cactus
  • Coral bell
  • Creeping thyme
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Fuchsia
  • Garden marigold
  • Haworthia
  • Magnolia bush
  • Nasturtium
  • Parlour palm
  • Phalaenopsis orchids
  • Pineapple sage
  • Polka dot plant
  • Ponytail palm
  • Prayer plant
  • Purple basil
  • Rosemary
  • Snapdragon
  • Spider plant
  • Sunflower
  • Swedish ivy
  • Wax plant

What to Do if Your Pet Gets into Toxic Plants

By no means is this list exhaustive. For a complete list of what plants are toxic to dogs, non-toxic plants, images, and the plants’ scientific names, visit the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Depending on the plant, its poison can cause the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Seizures
  • Blood in the stool
  • Lethargy
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Inability to urinate
  • Anemia

If your dog finds his way into any one of the listed plants poisonous to dogs or shows any of the above signs of potential poisoning, you must immediately call your vet. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888) 426-4435 is also an excellent resource that offers information 24/7 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

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‘A Priceless Friendship’: How Our Dog Kept Us Company During COVID (Guest Post)

In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we invited Pablo and other well-known personalities in the social media and pet-loving community to tell us how dogs help humans, especially through the tough times like social distancing and a global pandemic. Here is Pablo’s story.

During the 5 years that Gori’s been by my side, his company has been unconditional. He’s affectionate and fun to be with. Despite knowing these things, it has been through this pandemic that I realized how essential his presence is in my life.

He’s helped me manage this isolation and all of the burdens that these types of circumstances entail.

pablo azar and dog gori
Mexican-American actor and artist Pablo Azar with his wife, Colombian-American actress Ana Carolina Grajales, and their dog Gori.

Having to stop interacting with others and having to adapt to a new way of life, to new routines, has not been easy.

This is where Gori has given my days an extraordinary touch, more so than in normal situations. Two clear examples of this are when I’m working on my art or watching TV, he immediately runs and jumps up on the sofa to be next to my side, as close as he can possibly be.

He’s kept me company every single day, except for 3 specific days, during this quarantine. It was during those days that I valued his company like never before.

Editor’s note: It’s not uncommon for dogs to swallow things they shouldn’t, like toys, wood/sticks, bones, and household items like furniture stuffing, which Pablo describes next. Smaller objects might pass through the gastrointestinal system without many problems; however, larger items can get stuck or lodged and block digestion. This can be lethal. If you know or suspect your dog has swallowed something he or she should not have, call your vet or emergency veterinarian center right away.

Gori Goes to the Hospital

Gori is quite mischievous, and by accident, he ate the stuffing of a cushion. This made him very sick because he could not digest anything. We ended up having to take him to the veterinarian. He underwent surgery and therefore had to be away until he recovered.

In his absence, the house felt empty and I missed him tremendously. Those of you who don’t have pets might be reading this and perhaps might be thinking that this is a little too much. However, a dog fills your days like you can’t imagine. We missed him greatly and value him much more after this incident where we almost lost him.

Thanks to Gori I personally have learned to enjoy the simple and small things that each day brings. He’s also taught me to enjoy myself, the way he does.

Gori, our dog, our pet, our unconditional and priceless friend is a gift to our lives.