Which Plants Are Poisonous To Dogs?
Keep your dog away from these plants 🌿🪴
Dogs have a knack for snooping around things they shouldn’t be getting into, and plants are no exception. But while dogs ideally shouldn’t be eating any houseplants, some plants are actually super poisonous to dogs and can be very dangerous if eaten.
So before you turn your home into a greenhouse, it’s important to double check that the plants you want to buy are safe to have around your pup.
We spoke with Dr. Cristina Bustamante, an associate veterinarian with Caring Hands Animal Hospital in Florida and founder of Dr. B. Vet, to get a list of poisonous plants for dogs and to find out what to do if your pet does eat a toxic plant.
List of poisonous plants for dogs
It’s not uncommon for a dog to try to take a bite out of anything that seems like food — or even things that don’t seem like food — but some plants are particularly dangerous for dogs to ingest. If you’re planning to bring some plants into your home or garden, use this list as a starting point to know what to avoid.
Here’s a list of common house plants and outdoor plants that are poisonous to dogs:
- Sago palms
- Tomato plants
- Marijuana plants
- Snake plants (also called mother-in-law’s tongue)
This isn’t a complete list, though — to check if another plant is poisonous for dogs, you can visit the ASPCA’s website for extensive lists of plants that are poisonous and safe for dogs.
Symptoms of plant poisoning in dogs
The symptoms you might see if your dog eats a poisonous plant can appear to be similar to those of other diseases or toxic foods. Because of this, the cause of his symptoms is often diagnosed by finding pieces of the plant in his vomit or poop (or if you actually saw your dog eat the plant), Dr. Bustamante told The Dodo.
Common signs that your dog ate a poisonous plant include:
- Lack of coordination
- Pieces of a plant in vomit or poop
What to do if your dog ate a poisonous plant
If your dog eats a poisonous plant, or if you suspect he did, remove the plant right away so he doesn’t eat any more of it and take him to the vet immediately. Try to bring any information you have about the plant to the vet to help them treat your dog — either the name or a picture of the plant that your dog ate can be helpful.
You can try to remove any pieces of the plant that might still be in his mouth, but don’t try to treat your dog without talking to your veterinarian first — they’ll know how to best treat him.
If you can’t get to a vet, you can also call a poison control hotline for emergency help until you can find one.
“Carefully wash your dog's mouth, if possible, with water to try to remove any remaining pieces from their mouth,” Dr. Bustamante said. “Then call [a] poison control helpline or ASPCA poison control to determine whether the amount of the plant your dog ate poses a health risk. Toxicities are usually treated with supportive care based on the symptoms that the pet is showing. For example, if the pet is having an upset stomach, then medications will be given for nausea, abdominal pain and dehydration.”
The ASPCA poison control number is (888) 426-4435 — it’s useful to keep this number handy in case your dog ever gets into anything he shouldn’t be eating.
When you get home from the vet, throw away the poisonous plant (if you haven’t already) and make sure there are no other dangerous plants around your house.
Plants that are safe for dogs
Not all plants are poisonous to dogs, so there are plenty of options out there if you want to have plants in and around your home.
Some common plants that are safe for dogs include:
- Cast iron plants
- Gerbera daisies
- Parlor palms
- Polka-dot plants
- Boston ferns
Although these plants aren’t toxic, you still shouldn’t let your dog nibble on them, just to be safe.
“There are some plants that are nontoxic, but this does not mean that they are harmless,” Dr. Bustamante said. “Many pets can have an upset stomach after eating a nontoxic plant because it is not part of their regular diet.”
Make sure to keep any house plants out of reach of your dog, and keep an eye on him when you’re outside so he doesn’t eat any outdoor plants as well.
“Puppies and kittens tend to try to eat anything they can reach,” Dr. Bustamante said. “Keep all plants away from puppies, even if these are nontoxic.”
The best way to prevent your dog from eating a poisonous plant is to not bring any toxic plants into your house in the first place (and don’t plant them outside unless there’s an area of your yard that your dog doesn’t have access to). Before buying any plants, remember to check if the plant is poisonous to dogs, and always keep any plants out of your dog’s reach, even if it’s a plant that’s not toxic to dogs.