show your support

Plants Dangerous to Your Dog

by Dale Johnson, DVM

          Poisonous plants of some variety are indigenous to most places in the United States. Poisonous plants also are commonly kept as houseplants or used to landscape properties. Luckily, most pets are exposed to only a limited number of poisonous plants and problems can be prevented by avoiding these plants.

          Always ask at the nursery if the plants you are considering buying would be toxic if eaten by your dog or cat. If the employees cannot answer your questions, don't purchase the plant. Other sources of information in your area are your local veterinarian, your county extension officer, the local library or bookstore, and your poison control center.

          If you take your pets on nature walks, a plant identification book small enough to carry with you can be invaluable. Most cases of plant poisoning can only be diagnosed by identifying the plants eaten. This is done by examining the remains of partially eaten plants or by examining stomach contents. Plant poisons can act rapidly with some causing convulsions and death in as little as 15 minutes. There is no universal antidote for plant poisonings, so rapid identification and prompt veterinary medical treatment is always indicated.

          The following plants are all dangerous to some degree. Some, like oleander and dumb cane can cause death almost instantly. Others may cause only a mild reaction, but your best bet is to remove them from any areas where they would be in contact with your pet.

Air plant
Amanita
Amaryllis
American yew
Andromeda
Arum lily
Autumn crocus
Australian flame tree
Avocado
Azalea
Balsam pear
Baneberry
Bird of paradise
Bishop's weed
Black laurel
Black locust
Bloodroot
Bluebonnet
Blue-green algae
Boxwood
Bracken fern
Broad beans
Broomcorn grass
Buckeye
Buckthorn
Bulb flowers
Burdock
Buttercup
Cacao
Camel bush
Castor bean
Caladium
Calla lily
Candelabra tree
Cardinal
Castor Bean
Chalice vine
Cherry tree
Chinaberry tree
Christmas candle
Clematis
Cocklebur
Coffee
Coffee bean
Coral plant
Coriander
Corncockle
Cotton bush
Coyotillo
Cowslip
Crown of thorns
Cutleaf
Daffodil
Daphne
Datura
Deadly amanita
Death camus
Delphinium
Devil's ivy
Dieffenbachia
Dumb cane
Dutchman's breeches
Eggplant
Elderberry
Elephant's ear
English ivy
English yew
Ergot
Eucalyptus
Euonymus
False hellebore
False henbane
Flame tree
Felt plant
Firethorn
Four O'Clock
Foxglove
Ghostweed
Glottidium
Golden chain
Ground cherry
Johnson grass
Heliotrope
Hemlock
Henbane
Holly
Honeysuckle
Horse bean
Horse chestnut
Horsetail
Hyacinth
Hydrangea
Indian licorice
Inkberry
Indian turnip
Iris
Jack-in-the-pulpit
Java bean
Lima bean
Jasmine
Jerusalem cherry
Jimsonweed
Juniper
Kentucky coffee tree
Lantana
Larkspur
Laurel
Leucotho
Lily-of-the-valley
Lima bean
Lobelia
Locoweed
Lords and ladies
Lupine
Malanga
Mandrake
Marijuana
Maternity plant
Mayapple
Meadow saffron
Mescal bean
Mexican breadfruit
Mexican poppy
Milk vetch
Milkweed
Mistletoe
Mock orange
Monkshood
Moonseed
Morning glory
Mountain laurel
Mushrooms
Narcissus
Navy bean
Nettles
Nightshades
Oak
Oleander
Panda plant
Parsley
Peires
Pencil tree
Periwinkle
Philodendrons
Pigweed
Pikeweed
Poinciana
Poinsettia
Poison ivy
Poison oak
Pokeweed
Potato
Precatory
Privet
Pyracantha
Rain tree
Ranunculus
Rape
Rattlebox
Rattlebush
Red maple
Rhubarb
Rhododendrons
Rosary peas
Sandbox tree
Scarlet runner
Skunk cabbage
Sorghum grass
Sorrel
Spindle tree
Snowdrop
Snow on the mountain
Spurges
Sudan grass
Sweet pea
Tansy ragwort
Tobacco
Thornapple
Vetch
Virginia bower
Virginia creeper
Wattle
White cedar
Wisteria
Yam bean
Yews
Yellow jasmine

          You should be able to recognize poisonous plants at various stages of growth and to identify which portion or portions of the plants are toxic. Plant identification books that include color pictures are more helpful than those that contain only written descriptions or black and white pictures or drawings. Provide your pet with safe plants such as lettuce, tomatoes, green beans, or carrots to eat; this should decrease the consumption of undesirable plants. Walk pets on a leash and observe them carefully to prevent consumption of wild unidentified plants. Finally, landscape your yard with pet safe flowers and shrubs. Your dog or cat will be safer if you prevent plant poisonings rather than try to treat them.

Should you have a concern regarding the health of your Beagle(s), you should contact your veterinarian. All information on this site is presented solely for educational and informational purposes and should not, at any time, be considered a substitute for seeking or receiving veterinary care for your Beagle(s).