Adding Some Green to Your Home? Reconsider These Plants Dangerous to Dogs

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plants dangerous to dogs

Pet owners commonly wonder about the toxicity of various plants. Common questions are about which plants are toxic to dogs and how toxic are they?

Below are four common plants that can cause problems in dogs. Ingestion of just about any houseplant or outdoor plant including grass can cause oral irritation, nausea, drooling, and vomiting in dogs.

It is important to know that some plants that are only mildly toxic to dogs are extremely toxic to cats. An example is the Easter Lily. Learn more about Easter Lily Toxicity in Cats.

Four Plants Dangerous to Dogs

  1. Sago Palm Toxicity to Dog

The sago palm, also known as cardboard palm, cycad, zymia, and coontie, is a plant that contains a toxin called cycasin that can cause liver damage and death in some dogs when ingested.  Because the sago palm is often inside the home, there is a higher level of possible exposure to dogs.

Danger: Severe toxicity

Toxic Component: Cycasin

Possible Effect: Liver failure and death

Toxic Part of the Plant: All

Symptoms of toxicity are those of liver disease that include vomiting, diarrhea, yellow discoloration to the gums, bleeding, bruising, increased thirst, increased urination, lethargy, and in some cases seizures, coma and death.

  1. Tulip

Tulips are a common outdoor plant that comes up in the spring forming a beautiful flower that comes in a variety of colors and color combinations. They are sometimes presented in flower arrangements or given as a plant gift in the spring.

Danger: Mild toxicity

Toxic Component: Allergenic lactones

Possible Effect: Gastrointestinal irritation

Toxic Part of the Plant: All parts are toxic with the bulb being most toxic

Symptoms of toxicity from tulip ingestion include drooling, nausea, pawing at the mouth, and/or reluctance to eat due to the oral irritation.

  1. Daffodil

Like tulips, daffodils (Narcissus spp) are common outdoor plants that come up in the spring forming a beautiful flower that comes in a variety of colors.

Danger: Moderate toxicity

Toxic Component: Lycorine

Possible Effect: Various

Toxic Part of the Plant: All parts are toxic with the bulb being most toxic

Symptoms of toxicity from daffodil ingestion include drooling, nausea, pawing at the mouth, vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure, fainting, seizures, and/or abnormal heart rhythms.

  1. Lily of the Valley

Lily of the valley, also known as Convallaria, is an outdoor plant that comes up in the spring with beautiful green leaves and a flow of delicate small white bell-shaped flowers.

Danger: Moderate toxicity

Toxic Component: Cardiac glycosides

Possible Effect: Gastrointestinal and cardiac effects

Toxic Part of the Plant: Leaves and flowers

Symptoms of toxicity from ingestion include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythm, seizure, and/or death.

How To Keep Your Dog Away From These Plants

If you have any of the plants listed above in your home or garden, the best way to protect your dog is to prevent exposure and not have them. If you must have these plants, build fences between your dog and the plants outside as one option to prevent exposure.  Keep indoor plants out of the reach of pets. Routinely clean up fallen leaves and plant debris to prevent exposure.

Alternatives That Can Bring The Same Look But Are Safer For Dogs

As an option to the plants listed above, here is a list of plants that are considered not toxic to dogs. They include

  • Easter daisy (Townsendia sericea)
  • Easter orchid (Cattleya mossiae)
  • Easter lily cactus (Echinopsis multiplex)
  • Resurrection lily (Kaempferia pulchra)
  • Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exalta)
  • Bottle Palm, also known as Elephant-foot Tree, (Beaucarnea recurvate)
  • African Violet (Saintpaulia spp.)
  • Asparagus Fern (Asparagus densiflorus cv sprengeri)
  • Baby Rubber Plant (Peperomia obtusifolia)
  • English Hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata)
  • Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
  • Palm (Neanthebella) 
  • Sunflower (Helianthus angustifolius)
  • Venus Fly Trap (Dionaea muscipula)
  • Verona Fern (Nephrolepis biserrata)

What can you use or plant instead of these plants? You can use artificial plants! Some are high quality, beautiful and don’t need to be watered either!

We hope these tips help to keep your pet safe.

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