My Dog Ate My Plant: Top 6 Plants that Affect Your Dog's Health and How to Treat It

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My Dog Ate My Plant: Top 6 Plants that Affect Your Dog's Health and How to Treat It

By guest contributor Susan Ranford (susanranford@gmail.com)

Accidental poisonings are more common than you think, especially in younger dogs due to their lack of experience. If you have plants in your home, you could be exposing your furry friend to certain poisons. Here are the top plants that are harmful to your dog’s health.

  1. Aloe vera: Aloe vera is great for many things but not for your dog. The saponins in this plant can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and tremors.
  1. Oleander: All parts of the azalea plant should be avoided by your dog since it’s very poisonous. When ingested, it can cause vomiting, bloody diarrhea, lack of coordination, muscle tremors, and fatal heart abnormalities. 
  1. Tulip: The entire tulip plant is toxic to dogs, especially the bulb. Your dog may experience irritation in the mouth, drool excessively, and have nausea.
  1. Daffodil: Like the tulip, the whole plant is poisonous to dogs, especially the bulb. Eating any part of a daffodil plant can result in diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, low blood pressure, arrhythmias.
  1. Azalea: Dogs that ingest an azalea plant can get an irritated mouth and may even vomit or have diarrhea. This plant can also drop their blood pressure, cause a coma, or worse, death.
  1. Sago Palm: Sago palm is an extremely toxic plant that should be avoided by your dog as much as possible. It causes diarrhea, bloody vomiting, bleeding disorders, liver failure, and possibly even death. 

Here are more highly poisonous plants that your dog should avoid.

  • Cyclamen
  • Kalanchoe
  • Lilies
  • Dieffenbachia
  • American Holly
  • Apricot
  • Ragwort
  • Gladiola
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Hyacinths
  • Poison hemlock
  • Mistletoe
  • Wild cherry
  • Elephant ears
  • Begonia
  • Larkspur
  • Yew
  • Grapevines
  • Jimson weed
  • Jessamines
  • Tomato plant
  • Milkweed
  • Amaryllis
  • Ivy
  • Foxglove
  • Irises
  • Peonies
  • Baby’s Breath
  • Castor Bean
  • Autumn Crocus
Symptoms of Plant Poisoning

These are the most common signs to watch out for: 

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Shaking
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Seizure
  • Drooling
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fast or slow heart rate
  • Lack of coordination
  • Sluggishness
  • Lack of appetite

Make sure to keep an eye on your dog as these symptoms indicate that they may have ingested something toxic.

How to Treat a Dog that Accidentally Ate a Poisonous Plant

If you suspect that your dog may have ingested one of these plants, get him to a safe place so he does not ingest anymore of it. Then, call your veterinarian right away. Immediate treatment can save your dog’s life. The vet will ask you to bring your dog to the clinic to induce vomiting. 

Do not attempt to do this yourself as it could end up making the situation worse. Only do so with the approval of your vet. Most recommend using a 3% hydrogen peroxide administered through the mouth. It doesn’t taste nice and will cause your dog to vomit in a few minutes. 

Depending on what your dog has ingested, the vet might also give him IV fluids, a temporary catheter, or feed him activated charcoal which can help absorb the toxins. Make sure to use your dog insurance for an evaluation from your vet. You’ll also want to bring a picture of the plant your dog has ingested as different poisonous plants require different treatment. 

Once your dog has received proper treatment, the next step is to ensure your home is free from toxic plants. Refer to the list above and consider getting rid of these plants or at least moving them somewhere where your dog won’t be exposed. 

It also helps to train your dog not to eat plants. Teach them that plants are not toys or food. You can also spray lemon oil on your plants since dogs don’t like the smell and will likely stay away from it. 

Do you have any of these plants in your home? Now might be a good time to get rid of some of them. Share your thoughts in the comments below. 


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