Plants Toxic to Dogs: Poisonous plants to Avoid When Owning a Dog

Plants Toxic to Dogs

By Janice A. Jones | Last Updated May 26,2023

With over 700 plants toxic to dogs, it’s hard to know how to protect your vulnerable little dog.

Luckily, not all of those plants are fatal if swallowed, but many can be so it is important to consider which plants you allow inside your home and which ones are allowed to grow in your garden.

Puppies are particularly vulnerable because they like to explore everything they see and smell with their mouths.

Many plants on this list are considered houseplants.  If you grow any of these, be sure to place them in a location that is inaccessible to your dogs.

Plants Poisonous to Dogs

Wehave compiled an alphabetized list of many common household plants aswell as outdoor greenery that can cause havoc with your dog if hedecides to ingest them.

Signs of toxicity can range from mild,to severe, to even fatal, so before you shop for that lovely greenerythat makes a house a home, consider the list below.  

At the end of thislist of plants toxic to dogs, you will find several links to sites withadditional information on plants poisonous to dogs.

Plants Toxic To Dogs

Aloe Plant

Aloe Vera

Scientific Name: Aloe barbadensis miller.

Other Names:  Chinese Aloe, Indian Aloe, True Aloe, Barbados Aloe, Burn Aloe, First Aid Plant

The Aloe plant that many people keep to use as a remedy for burns is one of those common plants toxic to dogs. It grows wild in tropical climates but in cooler climates, it is considered a houseplant.

It that contains a bitter yellow substance which causes vomiting, depression, and diarrhea. 

Other symptoms include loss of appetite, tremors, and change in urine color.

American Holly

American Holly

Other Names: English Holly, European Holly, Oregon Holly, Inkberry, Winterberry

Scientific Name: Ilex opaca

This plant grows outdoors, but is also a popular holiday houseplant. It contains the toxic saponins which can cause severe gastrointestinal upset in the form of vomiting and diarrhea.

If your dog ingests this plant, he’s likely to droll, shake his head, and smack his lips due to the injury he’s likely to sustain from chomping on the spiny leaves. 



Other Names Belladonna lily, Saint Joseph lily, Cape Belladonna, Naked Lady
Scientific Name: Amaryllis sp.

This lovely garden plant is also very popular around Christmas, but toxic to cats and dogs. 

The bulb is the most toxic, so once the flowers finish for the holiday, do not leave the bulb where your dog could get it. 

Amaryllis plants are poisonous to dogs because of the lycorine, a serious toxin to many animals and humans.

Symptoms of a toxic reaction include vomiting, depression, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hyper-salivation, anorexia, and tremors.

Asparagus Fern

Asparagus Fern

Other Common Names: Asparagus, Emerald Feather, Emerald Fern, Sprengeri Fern, Plumosa Fern, Lace Fern, Racemose Asparagus, Shatavari
Scientific Name: Asparagus densiflorus cv sprengeri

The asparagus fern is a common plant found indoors and in warmer climates grows outdoors.

It is toxic to both dogs and cats if they ingest the berries of the plant.

Vomiting, diarrhea and/or abdominal pain can result. Allergic dermatitis or skin inflammation can occur if an animal is exposed repeatedly. 

Autumn Crocus

Autumn Crocus

Other Names: Meadow Saffron
Scientific Name: Colchicum autumnale

There are two common crocus plants, the familiar early spring bloomer, a member of the iris family, and the autumn crocus part of the lily family.

The spring crocus rarely causes symptoms more serious than vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.

The autumn crocus contains colchicine, a highly poisonous alkaloid. Ingestion of any part of this plant can cause severe, bloody vomiting and diarrhea, bone marrow damage, shock, kidney and liver damage and respiratory failure.

If unsure of the plant species, immediately take the dog for medical attention.

Initial symptoms may be slight or delayed for days.

Azalea / Rhododendron

Azalea / Rhododendron

Other Names: Rosebay, Rhododendron
Scientific Name: Rhododendron spp

This popular garden plant is not only toxic to dogs, but  also dangerous for cats, horses, goats and sheep–and ingestion of just a few leaves can cause serious problems.

Members of the Rhododendron family contain substances known as grayantoxins,  which are responsible for all the symptoms.

Among the more common plants toxic to dogs, symptoms that you might notice include digestive upset, excessive drooling, loss of appetite, diarrhea, colic, depression, weakness, loss of coordination, stupor, leg paralysis and weak heart rate.

The dog may become comatose and die.

Baby’s Breath

Baby’s Breath

Other Names: Maiden’s Breath
Scientific Name: Gypsophila elegans

This sweet white filler of many a floral arrangement seems innocent enough, but not so innocuous when it comes to your pet’s digestion.

Dogs that tend to eat indoor arrangements can come in contact with this plant which causes vomiting and diarrhea.

More of a problem in cats, we’ve included this in our plants toxic to dogs list because some dogs love to investigate fresh flower arrangements.



Other Names: Thousands of different hybrids of this plant
Scientific Name: Begonia spp.

This popular garden and container plant is toxic to both dogs and cats.

The tubers or root areas are the most toxic part.

Symptoms of poisoning include oral burning and irritation to the mouth, tongue and lips, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.

The dog is likely to be drooling as well. 



Other Names: Butter Cress, Figwort
Scientific Name: Ranunculus sp.

This dainty yellow flower isn’t particularly popular in home gardening, but the buttercup is a prolific weed that thrives in less than ideal conditions.  You and your pup are likely to encounter some if you spend any time outdoors. 

Symptoms include drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, tremors, seizures or the appearance of blisters in the mouth, signaling that your pup may have eaten too much buttercup.

Fortunately, buttercups have an extremely bitter taste that often causes a dog to stop chewing long before he’s eaten enough to cause damage.

Castor Bean

Castor Bean

Other Names: Castor Oil Plant, Mole Bean Plant, African Wonder Tree, 
Scientific Name: Ricinus communis

A fast growing plant that can be found along paths and wooded areas, the beans are highly toxic. 

If ingested they cause oral irritation, burning, increased thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, kidney failure, and convulsions and death. 

As little as one ounce of seeds can be fatal.  

Considered an invasive plant by many,this is not one of those plants you want growing in your yard.



Other Names: Daisy, Mum;
Scientific Name: Chrysanthemum spp.

Dogs and cats may still be drawn to this lovely fall flowering plant.  It’s not likely to cause death, but it is a popular plant and can cause quite a bit of discomfort.

In certain cases, depression and loss of coordination may also develop if enough of any part of the plant is consumed.

The most common symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, dermatitis, and excessive salivating. 



Other Names: Sowbread

Scientific Name: Cycamen spp.

Cyclamen or Sowbread is a beautiful flowering plant that is toxic to dogs and cats.

Grown indoors as a house plant or outside as a garden plant, the roots of these plants can be deadly.  

If ingested, this plant can cause increased salivation, vomiting and diarrhea.

If an animal ingests a large amount of the plant’s tubers below the soil, they can suffer heart rhythm abnormalities, seizures and even death. 



Other Names: Narcissus, Jonquil, Paper White
Scientific Name: Narcissus spp

I can’t image a dog eating these but puppies are attracted to these pretty flowers that remind us that spring is here.

The flowers contain lycorine which is a substance that can trigger vomiting.

The bulbs are the most dangerous. 

Ingesting the bulbs will cause vomiting, salivation, and diarrhea. 

If the dog ingests enough, it can cause convulsions, low blood pressure, tremors and heart arrhythmia.  



Other Names:  Giant Dumb Cane, Dumbcane, Exotica, Spotted Dumb Cane, 

Scientific Name: Dieffenbachia spp.

Dieffenbachia which is commonly called, Dumb Cane, Tropic Snow or Exotica is toxic to dogs and cats if ingested or even tasted. 

If the plant is ingested, oral irritation can occur, especially on the tongue and lips.

This irritation can lead to increased salivation, vomiting and difficulty swallowing.

Elephant Ear

Elephant Ear

Other Names:  Caladium, Taro, Pai, Ape, Cape, Via, Via sori, Malanga

Scientific Name: Caladium hortulanum

Elephant ear also called Caladium, contains a chemical similar to that in dieffenbachia.  

The toxic reaction to elephant ear is similar and includes oral irritation to the tongue and lips, increased salivation, and difficulty swallowing and vomiting.

English Holly

English Holly

Other Names: American Holly, European Holly, Oregon Holly, Inkberry, Winterberry
Scientific Name: Llex opaca

The red berries may be attractive to your dog and they are poisonous, but so is the bark, leaves and seeds.

The poison found in holly is theobromine, an alkaloid similar to caffeine. 

This toxin is also found in chocolate, another food that dogs should not eat.

Ingesting this plant can cause diarrhea, vomiting and depression.



Scientific Name: Gladiolus species

Many people grow these in the garden and they also make a popular choice in floral arrangements. 

The bulb is the most toxic to dogs and if eaten will cause salivation, vomiting, drooling, lethargy and diarrhea. 

The moral of the story:  Don’t let your dog help you plant those bulbs!



Other Names: Rose of Sharon, Rose of China
Scientific Name: Hibiscus syriacus

Also known as the Rose of Sharon, this lovely flower is on our list of plants toxic to dogs. 

The toxic principles are unknown, but if ingested, the dog can experience gastrointestinal symptoms such as loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. 

If symptoms are severe, dehydration can occur and you should take your dog to the veterinarian for treatment.



Other Names: Plantain Lily, Funkia
Scientific Name: Hosta plantaginea

These plants are very common and make a perfect addition to a shaded garden. 

Most dogs do not bother these plants, but if yours is an exception, it is toxic and can cause vomiting, diarrhea and depression. 



Scientific Name: Hyacinthus orientalis

This lovely spring flower is not highly toxic to dogs, although ingesting them can lead to oral and esophageal tissue inflammation.

Depending on the amount a dog consumes, symptoms can include profuse drooling, vomiting and diarrhea. There is no known antidote.  The highest toxicity is concentrated in the bulbs, which dogs obtain by digging in the yard or raiding a bulb awaiting planting.

When a dog eats a large amount of a bulb, she may experience serious changes in heart rate and respiration, which need the immediate attention of a veterinarian.



Other Names: Hortensia, Hills of Snow, Seven Bark
Scientific Name: Hydrangea arborescens

These beautiful flowers grow on a bush and change color depending on the type of soil they are grown in. 

While beautiful to look at, your dog should not try to nibble on the plant. 

They aren’t one of the more toxic plants, but can cause gastrointestinal upset including diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy. 

If this plant grows in your garden, just keep an eye on your dog.



Other Names:  Branching Ivy, Glacier Ivy, Needlepoint Ivy, Sweetheart Ivy, California Ivy

Scientific Names: Hedera helix 

Many members of the Ivy family are toxic including California Ivy, Branching Ivy, Glacier Ivy, Needlepoint Ivy, Sweetheart Ivy, English Ivy are plants toxic to dogs. 

The foliage is more toxic than the berries and can produce vomiting, abdominal pain, excessive salivation and diarrhea

Jade Plant

Jade Plant

Other Names: Baby Jade, Dwarf rubber plant, Jade tree, Chinese rubber plant, Japanese rubber plant

Scientific Name: Crassula argentea

Jade plants are toxic to dogs and cats.  Other names for this plant include Baby jade, Dwarf Rubber plant, Jade tree, Chinese rubber plant, Japanese rubber plant or Friendship tree.

Ingesting these plants can cause depression, ataxia (incoordination) and bradycardia  or slow heart rate but this is rare.

Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley

Scientific Name: Convallaria majalis 

The small, fragrant lily of the valley is often used as a border plant.Despite its innocent appearance, this plant can have deadly consequences for a dog.

This plant contains cardiac glycosides which will cause symptoms similar to digitalis ingestion.These are the compounds that cause serious cardiac arrhythmias, vomiting, and diarrhea, a drop in heart rate and possibly seizures and coma.



Other Names: Rose-Bay

Scientific Name: Nerium oleander

Oleander can be seen lining the highway is some southern cities and a very common garden plant in warmer climates. 

It is toxic to cats, dogs, and even horses. Listed as one of the plants toxic to dogs, it is also considered more dangerous than some. 

All parts contain a highly toxic cardiac glycoside similar to digitoxin and can cause a number of problems.

Symptoms include colic, diarrhea, often with blood, sweating, in coordination, shallow/difficult breathing, muscle tremors, and possibly death from cardiac failure.



Scientific Name: Philodendron spp

Philodendron is a common, easy-to-grow houseplant that is toxic to dogs and cats.

It contains a chemical that can irritate the mouth, tongue and lips of animals.

An affected pet may also experience increased salivation, vomiting and difficulty swallowing.



Scientific Name: Euphorbia pulcherrima

Many people cannot face the holidays with fresh poinsettia. 

This ubiquitous holiday decoration may cause discomfort, but not the alarming panic many of us grew up hearing. 

Symptoms if ingested can be irritation to the mouth and stomach and occasional vomiting.



Other Names: Golden Pothos, Devil’s Ivy, Taro Vine, Ivy Arum

Scientific Name: Epipremnum aureum

Satin pothos or silk pothos is one of those plants toxic to dogs if ingested and will irritate the mouth, lips and tongue.

The dog may also show signs of increased salivation, vomiting and/or difficulty swallowing.This is due to irritation and swelling of the oral tissues and other parts of the gastrointestinal tract.

Sago Palm

Sago Palm

Other Names:  Coontie Palm, Cardboard Palm, cycads and zamias 

Scientific Name: Cycas revoluta

Very popular in warmer climates, they make great landscaping plants.  They also grow indoors in containers.

Sago Palm – All parts of the plant are poisonous, but the seeds or “nuts” contain the largest amount of toxin.

The ingestion of just one or two seeds can result in very serious effects, which include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, seizures and liver failure.

Tomato Plant

Tomato Plant

Scientific Name: Lycopersicon spp

Although tomato plants probably won’t prove lethal for your pet, they can provide a good amount of discomfort.

The plants, leaves, stems are the problems, not the fruit. Stems and leaves can produce increased salivation, gastric upset, diarrhea, drowsiness, Central Nervous System depression, confusion, weakness, dilated pupils and slow heart rate.

So don’t panic if your dog enjoys tomatoes as much as you. 

It is the foliage that is listed as plants toxic to dogs. 

Tulip or Narcissus

Tulip or Narcissus

Scientific Name: Tulipa species

It’s the bulb of the tulip and narcissus plants that have the highest concentration of toxins.This means: if you have a dog that digs, be cautious.

Or, if you are forcing bulbs indoors, make sure they are out of reach. Symptoms can include drooling, loss of appetite, depression of the central nervous systems, convulsions and cardiac abnormalities. As a general rule of thumb, keep all bulbs away from your dog.


Japanese yew

Other Names: Japanese yew
Scientific Name: Taxus sp.

The Yew completes our list of plants toxic to dogs because it contains a compound known as taxine. 

This causes CNS effects such as  trembling, poor coordination, and difficulty breathing.

It can also cause significant gastrointestinal irritation and cardiac failure, which can result in death.  This is definitely a plant that dogs should avoid.

This is only a small list of plants toxic to dogs.  For more information, the ASPCA website offers a much more comprehensive list.

If you think your dog has eaten something he should not have, call your veterinarian. 

Two poison control organizations that are helpful and are available to you 24/7 are the Animal Poison Control Center (1-888-426-4435) and the Pet Poison Helpline (1-800-213-6680).

You might like these


    Your Holiday Pet Safety Tips: Keep Your Pets Safe and Healthy

    These holiday pet safety tips will keep your pets safe and well and make your life less hectic and happier


    Should You Microchip Your Dog?

    To Microchip or not–What are the pros and cons of microchipping your small dog?


    Ten Dog Springtime Safety Tips to Transition Your Dog from Winter

    These ten dog springtime safety tips will keep you pooch happy and healthy and ready for spring.


    Small Dog Safety

    Your small dog safety guide: Articles to help keep your small dog safe in the house and out and about.


    6 Safety Tips for Dog Owners: Keep That Small Dog Out of Harms Way!

    Six safety tips for dog owners provides the foundation for keeping your small dog out of harms ways and gives you peace of mind at the same time.


    Senior Dog Owner Safety Tips: Stay Safe So You Can Enjoy Your Furbaby

    Senior Dog Owner Safety Tips: Advice to keep loved ones (or yourself) safe around small dogs.


    Children And Dog Safety: Match in Heaven or Disaster Waiting to Happen

    Children and dog safety should always be a priority for parents and caregivers. Everything you need to know.


    Small Dog Safety at Night: Practical Tips for Walking Your Small Dog

    Small dog safety at night is important when you are walking your dog. Here’s some practical tips you can use right now to keep both of you safe after dark.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *