Most dogs love to chew on things, puppies especially! My dog loves to do this when she is happy or excited about something. This basically means every time she goes outside! For the most part, this is absolutely fine. (Some dogs will chew on rocks though, which can be dangerous.) Sticks are her favorite and she just chews them up and spits them out. If there are no sticks available however, she will chew on fallen leaves. With the holidays coming up, it occurred to me that this may be something to pay more attention to as more foreign plants may enter the house. In addition to this, we are currently renovating our backyard. Both of these things got me thinking about the subject of dog safe plants. Even though she doesn’t eat them, I know that certain plants could still pose a threat, so I decided to do some research before we decide what to buy and plant. Originally, this article was going to just be a top 10 dangerous vs safe list. As I began doing more research, however, I was shocked to discover a list of 400+ toxic plants!
Gardening is certainly not my forte, and I’m definitely not medically trained for a subject like this, so rather than try to figure this out, I will just share a few, along with a link from the ASPCA.
They cover plants that are toxic and safe for dogs, cats and horses alphabetically which is great! They warn that it’s not 100% complete, but it’s the most comprehensive list that I’ve seen. My game plan now, is to look at plants for my garden that I like and then check them against this list. I would never be able to remember all of these, even if I tried. My guess is 80% are plants we will never even see, but it’s still a very good reference to have. Out in the world, I can’t always control what she eats but if she displays any symptoms, I can at least check them on here, if I am lucky enough to identify the cause. I would only do this after first going to the vet, as some of the symptoms can be pretty severe and life threatening.
If you suspect toxicity immediately call
ASPCA Animal Poison Controll Center
It is not always easy to tell when poisoning has taken place, because symptoms can vary widely. This list is only a few of the most common.
Symptoms of plant toxicity:
- Trouble breathing
- Loss of appetite
Without intervention, significant kidney damage or system poisoning can occur and this can be life threatening.
It is best to seek medical help in these instances.
For immediate intervention in highly toxic plants, sometimes you can induce vomiting. Ipecac can do this as well as placing some table salt on the back of the tongue. Sometimes feeding a small amount before hand helps this. For less dangerous plants, you may be able to simply flush the mouth. All of this is appropriate ONLY after communicating with a vet because in some cases inducing vomiting can actually make the problem worse. Pet CPR is an important thing to learn, especially if you have a puppy. Many of these toxins may affect breathing.
Even though 400 plants sounds like a lot, in comparison to how many species of plants we see everyday, this number is not actually so high. This is definitely good news!
Below is a list of some common types of plants to look out for that pose significant risk.
- Aloe Vera
- Baby’s breath
- Morning glory
Plants that are ok to induce vomiting for:
- Mistletoe and berries
- Lillies (most types)
- English Ivy
- Crown of thorns
- Lily of the valley
- Daffodil bulbs
- Tulip bulbs
- Wisteria bulbs
Plants that are NOT ok to induce vomiting for:
- Jerusalem cherry
- Potato (greens or eyes)
- Mother-in-law’s tongue/Snake plant
Pesticides and Fertilizers
Almost all pesticides are dangerous but ones containing snail bait (metaldehyde) are considered the worst. Most fertilizers contain heavy metals and/or herbicides etc. that can also be deadly if ingested. One of the biggest concerns with both of these things is indirect ingestion through paw contact and subsequent licking of feet. They do not need to eat them directly to be at risk.
This article was 100% not intended to generate fear. Most dogs go through their entire lives chewing on things without ever encountering a problem. I thought it was important to mention, only because if it does ever happen, the problem can be extremely severe. Immediate action is crucial and it’s a good thing to just keep in mind.
Plants truly make our lives more beautiful. Many even help to purify indoor air! To end things on a more pawsitive note, this is an extremely short list of some of the plants that are the most Dog Friendly!
Dog Friendly Plants, Herbs and Flowers:
- African violet
- Corn flower
- Gerbera Daisies
- Spider plant
- Boston fern
- Haworthia succulents
- Blue echeveria
- Ponytail Palm
- tiger orchid
- Wild hyacinth
- Phalaenopsis orchids
- Prayer plant
- Swedish Ivy
And there are SO many more!
This link has even more options with photos to help make the search a little easier!
Additional Photo guides: