Beware! Plants Poisonous to Dogs

Know the plants and foods that are dangerous to your dog.

Puppy in FLowersPeople are often surprised to learn that there are actually hundreds of plants potentially poisonous to dogs many of which could be in your home, or yard.

The following is a list of some plants, trees, flowers, and foods that are poisonous to dogs:

  • American bittersweet roots, leaves, berries
  • Apple seeds, in large amounts
  • Apricot seeds
  • Autumn crocus –  Its active ingredient, colchicines, triggers an anti-metabolic effect that can cause rapidly dividing cells, shedding of the gastrointestinal tract, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting. Learn more>>
  • Avocado leaves
  • Azalea – This popular plant can harm a dog’s cardiovascular system and trigger vomiting or gastrointestinal upset.
  • Bird of paradise fruit, seeds
  • Black-eyed Susan
  • Bleeding heart leaves, roots
  • Boston ivy
  • Buttercup
  • Caladium  
  • Castor bean seeds, leaves
  • Chinaberry berries, fruit, bark
  • Chokecherry bark, leaves, seeds
  • Christmas rose leaves, roots, sap
  • Daffodil (Narcissus) – Toxic ingredients in the bulbs cause convulsions, tremors, lethargy, weakness, and upset stomachs.
  • Diffenbachia
  • English holly berries
  • English ivy leaves, berries
  • Foxglove seeds, flowers, leaves
  • Glacier ivy leaves, berries
  • Golden chain flowers, seeds, pods
  • Hemlock seeds, stems, roots
  • Hyacinth – This popular plant can cause severe vomiting, bloody diarrhea, depression, and tremors.
  • Hydrangea leaves, buds
  • Iris roots
  • Jack-in-the-pulpit
  • Jerusalem cherry
  • Jimson weed
  • Jonquil
  • Larkspur
  • Lily of the valley – This plant can cause heart failure, coordination problems, and vomiting. Learn more>>
  • Mistletoe berries
  • Morning glory seeds
  • Mountain laurel
  • Nephthytis
  • Nightshade
  • Oak acorns, foliage
  • Oleander – Extremely toxic, this popular outdoor plant contains cardiac glycosides that harm the heart, decrease body temperature, cause abnormal pulse rate, and can cause death. Beware: Even people have died from eating hot dogs roasted on an oleander twig.
  • Philodendron
  • Poinsettia leaves, flowersIrritating to the mouth and stomach and can cause vomiting.
  • Pothos
  • Potato leaves, stems
  • Privet berries, leaves
  • Red sage green berries
  • Rhododendron
  • Rhubarb leaves – Although the stalks are used to make pies, the leaves pack the potential to cause kidney damage.
  • Rosary pea seeds
  • Sweet pea seeds, pods
  • Tobacco leaves
  • Tulip bulbs
  • Wild black cherry leaves, seeds
  • Wisteria seeds, pods
  • Umbrella plant
  • Yellow jasmine
  • Yew Extremely toxic to dogs, this group of ornamental plants can cause seizures or cardiac failure. The plant and red berries are toxic.

Poisonous Foods and Beverages

ChocolateWhile it might be tempting to share your favorite foods with your dog, check this list before giving a bite to your furry friend

  • Alcohol –  Extremely toxic, can cause vomiting and diarrhea, problems with coordination, central nervous system, difficulty breathing, tremors, coma and even death.
  • Almonds – Not easily digested by dogs. Can cause gastrointestinal irritation and distress.
  • Avocado – Can cause weakness, vomiting and tremors, but fortunately are rarely fatal if eaten in small amounts.
  • Chocolate – Chocolate (cocoa) is dangerous for dogs because it contains high amounts of methylxanthines, specifically one called theobromine which is toxic to dogs. Learn more>>
  • Coffee– Like chocolate, coffee contains methylxanthines, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea, thirst, excessive urination, seizures and even death.
  • Garlic, fresh – Can cause gastrointestinal irritation.
  • Macadamia nuts – Can cause weakness, vomiting and tremors, but fortunately are rarely fatal if eaten in small amounts.
  • Onions – Can cause gastrointestinal irritation
  • Raisins, grapes – Can cause kidney failure in some dogs.
  • Tea – Like chocolate and coffee, caffinated tea contains methylxanthines, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, thirst, excessive urination, seizures and even death
  • Tomato leaves, stems – Surprisingly, the greenery of this common plant, not the tomato itself, contains solanine, a toxic ingredient that can prompt gastric upset, depression, weakness, and a decrease in heart rate.

For more information and a complete list of dog poisons, visit the animal poison control website at

Learn more about poison prevention for you dog>>

Top 10 things that could poison your dog>>


Excerpt from Puppies USA 2013, with permission from its publisher, I5-Publishing.


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