Keep Spring Happy by Knowing Plants Poisonous to Your Dog

rhododendron-245633_1280When spring starts to show with warmer weather and April showers, you are reminded it is also the time for flowers and new plant life. It is also a time when veterinarians are swamped with emergency calls on plant poisonings. As a responsible dog owner you need to go through your dog’s living area, inside and out, and identify the plants and planting materials you find.

If you do not know what is growing in your home or yard, contact a local landscape company or nursery to identify all flowers and shrubs.  This one preventative step could not only save you an expensive trip to the veterinarian hospital, it could potentially save your dog’s life. We are going to list the top plants in order of severity of least to greatest that should not be within reach of your dog.

Outside plants known to cause dermatitis or rashes on your pooch include Cactus, Chrysanthemums, Ficus, Poison Ivy, Poison Oak and Poison Sumac.  Inside plants causing these symptoms include Pothos Ivy, Primerose and Schefflera.

Outside plants known to cause stomach upset from gas to diarrhea and vomiting include Amaryllis, Aster, Baby’s Breath, Boxwood, Cala Lily, Carnation, Chrysanthemums, Cyclamen, Daffodil, Freesia, Gladiolas, Holly, Hyacinth, Hydrangea, Kalanchoe, Peony, Morning Glory, Poinsettia and Tulip. Inside plants include Pothos Ivy, Scheifflera, English Ivy, and Clematis.

NOTE: Always take your dog to the vet if severe diarrhea or vomiting exists, ESPECIALLY in a puppy, to find the cause.  Dehydration in a puppy can lead to serious conditions and should be taken seriously. If you suspect your dog has consumed one of these plants, let your vet know when you call.


The following plants cause damage to the organs such as the kidneys, liver, stomach and heart. Treatment time is paramount to avoid permanent damage if your dog consumes Azalea (in small amounts), Crocus, and Junipers. We hope it goes without saying that these plants have no place in a dog home, inside or out.

The following plants will cause DEATH in dogs and puppies and your dog should not be allowed ANY contact with them.  If you suspect your dog has consumed one of these plants call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 1-800-222-1222 IMMEDIATELY!  The plants are; Agapanthus, Azalea in large amounts, Cyclamen, Delphinium, Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia), Foxglove, Lantana, Larkspur, Mistletoe, Oleander, Rhododendron, andSago Palms.

Planting materials can also pose problems for dogs if they ingest them. Cocoa-shell mulch contains the ingredients that are lethal to dogs in chocolate and if the dog eats the mulch, they can become very ill. Watch what you mulch with! A lot of dogs love the gardening smells of fresh earth, fresh compost, and fresh mulch!

Visit ASPCA’s website for more information on poison control and plant identification.