10 Common Flowers Poisonous To Dogs And How To Spot Them
Fresh flowers in your home or garden can really brighten your day. However, if your dog gets his chompers on certain pretty plants, it can make him really sick. These flowers in particular can be toxic to your dog if eaten.
Most plants are not overly harmful to dogs when consumed in small amounts. However, consuming certain flowers in large quantities can be fatal. If you know or suspect that your dog has been consuming any of these potentially poisonous flowers, take them to a veterinarian right away. In general, potted plants and flower arrangements should be kept out of your dog’s reach.
Tulips are always a special addition to bouquets and flower arrangements. Your dog may think so too, but chewing on the lanceolate leaves is likely to upset his stomach.
However, the newly planted tulip bulbs contain most of the toxins. Dogs who eat these onions should see a doctor right away. Watch out for diggers around tulips!
Also called rhododendrons, these flowers can be fatal if consumed in large enough quantities. In other cases, consumption can lead to difficulty breathing, nausea, and even coma. Keep the Puppy Away!
Often used in Christmas flower displays, these red plants are slightly toxic to dogs. According to the Chief Medical Officer of the Veterinary Emergency Group (VEG) Dr. Lisette Lewis:
“You won’t die if you eat a poinsettia. [but] It irritates the mouth and stomach. “
Avoid keeping these festive plants on the ground. Put them on hall tables or on coats to keep your dog from reaching them.
Similar to tulips, the bulbs are the most dangerous part. The crystals on the outer layer of the hyacinth bulbs can irritate your dog’s mouth and cause excessive drooling. Ingesting the light bulb in full can seriously affect the gastrointestinal system and even cause irregular heartbeat and respiratory depression.
These bright yellow flowers contain lycorin, an alkaloid that can make your dog vomit. The consequences are similar to those of hyacinths and tulips and range from nausea to possible breathing and heart problems.
While some daisies aren’t poisonous at all, certain types can harm your dog if they overeat. Warning signs include vomiting, excessive drooling, and muscle cramps.
7. Lily of the valley
Because lily of the valley contains glycosides, consumption of this extremely common flower can affect a dog’s heart and blood pressure. Laura Stern, DVM, DABVT, Head of Customer Programs for the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, warns:
“Even low exposure to any part of the plant can cause heart problems in dogs – changes in heart rate and rhythm.”
Swallowing the leaves or onions can also cause your dog to vomit and experience disorientation, seizures, or even a coma.
8. Sago palm
Although they make for beautiful decorations, these plants are especially poisonous to dogs. The seeds contain toxins that can potentially cause liver failure in dogs. If your dog eats this plant, it is important to seek help immediately. They are more common in the southern US states.
This common garden flower of the daisy family is poisonous to dogs, cats, and horses. The signs of chrysanthemum poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, poor coordination, and dermatitis.
Every part of this common ornamental shrub is poisonous to both humans and dogs (so I don’t know!). Dr. Stern explains:
“Like lilies of the valley, oleander also contains cardiac glycosides. We can also see changes in heart rate and rhythm. “
Dogs ingesting the flowers or leaves can experience extreme vomiting, an abnormal heart rate, and even in extreme cases, death. Some other signs that your dog has consumed oleander may include tremors, drooling, seizures, and weakness. Don’t wait to act when you see these signs! Take your dog to the vet right away.
Identification of flowers poisonous to dogs
If you don’t see a flower on this list that you’re curious about, check out ASPCA’s Guide to Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants. If you only have a picture of a particular flower and you don’t know if it’s harmful, check out this wildflower identification tool.
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Any other questions or concerns you have should be directed to a veterinarian. Your mate’s life is not worth the risk! You can also contact Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661 or ASPCA Animal Poison Control at (888) 426-4435.
Other dangers of dogs that eat flowers
In addition to the poisonous flowers themselves, consuming these plants can present other dangers to your dog.
- Pesticides. Nobody wants insects to destroy their plants, but what’s worse is when a dog accidentally comes across pesticides. These toxins can cause breathing problems, eye irritation, rashes, and nausea / vomiting in your dog.
- Juice. Some sticky tree saps can make your dog vomit or block the system. Occasionally there is juice on their fur and when they lick themselves they get the juice into their system.
- Insect by-products such as honey. Occasionally honey from certain plants and flowers can itself be toxic. You never know what creature came into contact with a flower before your dog.
- Foreign leaves, seeds and berries. Especially if your dog encounters the flowers outside, there may be tree debris and other plants on them. Some seeds and tree leaves are poisonous to dogs.
Protect your dog
Of course, our dogs can be very sneaky when it comes to eating things they shouldn’t, but there are still ways you can keep them from getting sick.
- Surround gardens with chicken wire and invest in tall or safe planters and raised pots for indoor plants.
- Always keep an eye on your dog when he is on a leash and pull him away from any plants he is resting on.
- Use spices or citrus scents near gardens or on plants. Dogs hate the smells!
- When it comes to indoor plants, everyone wants to see a bit of green. Here is a list of dog-safe houseplants you can invest in to get that floral touch!
- If vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, or breathing problems are severe, act quickly. Take your dog to the vet or the nearest emergency animal clinic right away.
Why does my dog eat flowers?
There are many reasons to explain this silly behavior, from completely harmless to worrying.
- Boredom! Dogs play and express things with their mouths and paws. Your dog can enjoy chewing a flower into pieces when there are no toys around.
- They just like the taste. No, that’s not the most satisfying answer, but who can explain a person’s preferences?
- Nausea / gas. Sometimes dogs chew grass or other plants to relieve nausea or induce vomiting to make them feel better. If you notice your dog constantly trying to eat flowers and plants, contact a veterinarian.
- Nutritional deficiency. If a dog is not getting enough nutrients from their diet, they can try looking for those nutrients elsewhere, such as in plants. Make sure that your dog’s food is nutritious and that he is eating a balanced diet.
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As usual, none of the information provided here replaces veterinary advice. Always see a doctor if you experience symptoms of poisoning. Trying to induce vomiting at home can be unsafe.