a black dog sniffs a purple flower

Plants poisonous to dogs

Common garden and indoor plants can be toxic to dogs. While some might just cause an upset tummy, others can cause more serious problems – especially if they’re eaten in large amounts.

Although most dogs will avoid eating dangerous plants, others will be more curious, especially young dogs or puppies. As our dogs tend to explore the world with their mouths they can be at risk of licking, chewing or eating a poisonous plant. 

Get to know the signs of plant poisoning in dogs.

Important

Always contact your vet if you’re concerned that your pet has eaten something they shouldn’t.

Plants toxic to dogs

These plants can be dangerous to your dog, especially if they eat large amounts:

  • Autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale)
  • Azalea/rhododendrons (Rhododendron species)
  • Bluebells (Hyacinthoides species)
  • Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster species)
  • Crocuses (Crocus species)
  • Daffodils (Narcissus species)
  • Dumbcane (Diffenbachia species)
  • Foxgloves (Digitalis species)
  • Garden star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum)
  • Grape vine fruits (Vitis vinifera)
  • Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)
  • Holly (Ilex aquifolium)
  • Horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) – look out for conkers in autumn that can cause problems such as gut blockages
  • Hyaciniths (Hyacinthus orientalis)
  • Ivy (Hedera helix)
  • Laburnum (Laburnum anagyroides)
  • Lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis)
  • Mistletoe (viscum Album)
  • Onion and garlic plants (Allium species)
  • Oak (Quercus species) – look out for acorns in autumn that can cause problems such as gut blockages
  • Oleander (Nerium oleander)
  • Potato plants (Solanum tuberosum)
  • Pieris plants (Pieris species)
  • Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia)
  • Rhubarb plants (Rheum species)
  • Tulips (Tulipa species)
  • Yew (Taxus species)

Not all parts of these plants will be toxic, for example in some plants only the bulbs or berries will cause problems. But it's better to keep your dog away from the whole plant to be safe. 

Most of these toxic plants will only cause mild symptoms, but some can be more serious, especially if your dog eats lots of them in a short time. 

Remember, this isn’t a complete list and there are plants that haven’t yet been identified as toxic to dogs, but could still be a danger to them.

Dog friendly plants 

It’s not possible to give a list of plants that can be considered dog friendly. 

Although we know that some plants are toxic, it’s difficult to say for certain that a plant won’t cause any problems if it’s eaten or chewed. Not only that, but identifying species of plants can be really challenging and most plants will cause a problem if your pet eats a lot of them. 

It’s safest to keep all house plants out of paws reach so they don't try to eat or nibble on them when you’re out. You should also keep an eye on your dog when they're out in the garden or on walks to check they haven't found a plant that could be a danger to them.

Symptoms of plant poisoning in dogs

  • Drooling
  • Not eating
  • Low energy
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea – especially if bits of chewed up plants are in it
  • Drinking or weeing more
  • Rashes
  • Red skin
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Pale gums
  • Twitching or seizures
  • Collapse

If your dog eats a poisonous plant or is showing any signs of toxicity, call your vet immediately.

Garden hazards for dogs

It’s not just plants that can be a danger to your dog when they’re out for a walk or playing in the garden. Here are some other hazards to avoid.

Compost and grass clippings

These can contain dangerous moulds or bacteria. Keep any compost in a secure bin.

Fungi and mushrooms

Mostly seen in autumn, especially in warm, damp conditions. Not all types of fungi are dangerous, but some can be life-threatening if your dog eats them. So it’s best to avoid them completely.

Pesticides, weed killers and fertilisers

These often contain products which are toxic to pets. Avoid spraying any areas your dog usually visits and put up barriers or covers to keep pets out of any areas that you need to treat. 

Grass seeds

Grass seeds can get stuck in your dog’s skin, especially in their paws, armpits and ears. They can cause irritation, infection and even spread to other parts of the body, leading to potentially serious problems. 

Grass seeds aren’t just a hazard if you’re re-seeding your lawn, they are also common in fields of long grass, especially in spring and summer.

Check out our advice on creating a pet-friendly garden that your dog will love.

— Page last updated 22/03/2022