Plants Poisonous to Dogs

Jennifer Coates, DVM
By Jennifer Coates, DVM on Nov. 28, 2023
A pet parent and their Golden Retriever sit on a balcony filled with plants.

AleksandarNakic/E+ via Getty Images

What Is Plant Toxicity in Dogs?

Most plants are safe for dogs, but some can get curious canines into trouble. Poisonous plants affect dogs in many ways. Some just lead to a little vomiting and diarrhea, while others can have serious effects on a dog’s heart, liver, kidneys, and neurologic system (brain and nerves).

Almost every dog will chew on a plant at some point in their lives. Let’s discuss what plants are poisonous to pups and when you might be dealing with a medical emergency.

What Plants Are Toxic to Dogs?

It’s impossible to list every plant that could possibly be poisonous to dogs. In fact, a dog that eats any type of plant can get an upset tummy.

Some of the most concerning plants for a dog to eat and their symptoms are:

Flowers and Bulbs

  • Daffodils and jonquils—vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, abnormal heart rhythms, and altered breathing

  • Calla lily—intense oral irritation and drooling, vomiting, and trouble swallowing

  • Foxglove—vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythms, weakness, collapse, seizures, and coma

  • Chrysanthemums and daisies— vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, lack of coordination, and irritated skin

  • Lily of the valley—vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythms, weakness, collapse, seizures, and coma

  • Autumn crocus—vomiting, diarrhea, gastrointestinal bleeding, liver and kidney damage, bone marrow suppression, and difficulty breathing

  • Tulips and hyacinths—vomiting, diarrhea, gastrointestinal bleeding, drooling, abnormal heart rhythms, problems breathing, and tremors

  • Amaryllis—vomiting, diarrhea, depression, drooling, and tremors


  • Oleander—severe vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythms, weakness, collapse, seizures, and coma

  • Azalea and rhododendron—vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, weakness, heart problems, and depression

  • Yew—vomiting, heart abnormalities, difficulty breathing, seizures, and sudden death


  • Sago palm (can also be a house plant)—vomiting, diarrhea, gastrointestinal bleeding, abnormal bleeding and bruising, liver damage, and coma

  • Buckeye (horse chestnut)—vomiting, diarrhea, lack of coordination, depression or over-excitement, dilated pupils, seizures, and coma

  • Chinaberry tree—vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, depression, weakness, and seizures


How Much of a Plant Is Toxic to a Dog?

Just because your dog only ate a little bit of a toxic plant doesn’t necessarily mean that the risks are low. In some cases, that may be all that is needed to lead to very serious problems. For example, dogs can die after eating just one sago palm seed.

Call your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline (855-764-7661) for specific advice if you think your dog may have eaten a poisonous plant.

Symptoms of Plant Toxicity in Dogs

The most common symptoms of plant poisonings in dogs are related to their effect on the digestive tract.

Other clinical signs are possible, depending on the type of plant that is ingested by your pup. Symptoms may include:

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Drooling

  • Trouble swallowing

  • Skin irritation

  • Weakness

  • Lethargy

  • Collapse

  • Tremors

  • Seizures

  • Lack of coordination

  • Abnormal heart rhythms

  • Breathing problems

  • Liver damage

  • Kidney damage

  • Abnormal bleeding and bruising

  • Coma

What Should I Do if My Dog Ate a Poisonous Plant?

If you think that your dog could have eaten a poisonous plant, call your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline (855-764-7661) immediately. They may recommend that you bring your dog to the veterinary hospital right away for treatment.

However, they might tell you that some basic home treatment (such as feeding your pup a soft, bland diet) is all that’s needed. It depends on the specifics of your dog’s case.

Never induce vomiting at home unless your veterinarian has told you to. Making a dog vomit can make them sicker if it’s done incorrectly or under the wrong circumstances.

Treatment of Plant Toxicity in Dogs

Treatment for a plant poisoning will depend on the plant eaten and how severe your dog’s symptoms are. Care can include:

  • Inducing vomiting

  • Pumping your dog’s stomach

  • Giving activated charcoal or other medications that help remove toxins from the body

  • Fluid therapy

  • Nutritional support

  • Pain relief

  • Medications that help the dog’s specific symptoms (such as seizures or abnormal heart rhythms)

Prognosis of Plant Toxicity in Dogs

Most dogs who have eaten a toxic plant will recover if they quickly get the veterinary care they need, but unfortunately, there are some exceptions.

If a dog has gotten into a very large amount of a poisonous plant or if it’s especially quick-acting, they may die before treatment has a chance to be effective.

Prevention of Plant Toxicity in Dogs

The simplest way to prevent plant poisonings in dogs is obvious—keep toxic plants out of your home and yard. Many beautiful flowers and plants that are safe for dogs are available.

Avoid bringing your dog places where you know dangerous plants can be found.

If that’s not possible, keep them on a leash so you can watch out for trouble. Consider purchasing a basket muzzle if you’re worried that you won’t be able to keep your dog away from poisonous plants.

Jennifer Coates, DVM


Jennifer Coates, DVM


Dr. Jennifer Coates is an accomplished veterinarian, writer, editor, and consultant with years of experience in the fields of veterinary...

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