Are azaleas toxic to pets?

Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra – I have azaleas in my yard. Are azaleas toxic to pets?

Answer

Hi – thanks for your email. You wrote asking if azalea plants are toxic. If eaten by pets – they can cause oral irritation – can vomiting and diarrhea in some pets. If your pet gets into it and is drooling – you can rinse their mouth with water. To do this – you can use a turkey baister – simply fill with water and place in his mouth to rinse. Keep his head down so he doesn’t aspirate. Don’t fight your dog to do this – only do it if you can do it safely without risk of being bitten and if your dog is drooling a lot.

For pets that have problems – they are treated with supportive care and do well. Supportive care generally includes fluids if needed to maintain hydration and medications to prevent vomiting.

A couple articles that might be helpful to you are:

Spring and Summer Plant Toxicity in Dogs
Fall and Winter Holiday Plant Toxicity in Dogs

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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