Common Plants Poison to Dogs


by Mary Grace

Spring is in the air! Not only are people and plants perking up, but so are pets; they’re ready for long walks, rolls in the grass, and endless games of fetch. After such a nasty winter, it’s a relief to see the sun again, and more sun means more plants. Everywhere you look, the ground is green. But as beautiful as the first bloom of spring is, it can also be dangerous as well. Many types of plants that are harmless to humans are toxic to dogs.

Dangerous plants like nightshade and oleander are well-known as bad news, but there are many other common garden flowers that are poisonous to animals, including but not limited to azaleas, baby’s breath, many kinds of lilies, begonias, birds of paradise, butter cups, daffodils, dahlias, daisies, elephant ears, many types of ivy, chamomiles, hyacinth, hibiscus, hydrangea, lobelia, peonies, primrose, ragwort, sweet pea, St. John’s wort, wisteria, and even tomato plants! Even aloe vera, a plant commonly associated with healing, is bad for pets with ingested! Fruits and nuts that are dangerous to dogs (as well as cats and horses) include things as innocuous as apricots, apples and crab apples (the stems, leaves, and seeds all contain cyanide), black walnuts, buckeyes, cherries, limes, plums, and avocadoes. Seeds and pits from fruits are also all toxic to dogs.

So no matter how benign your backyard flora may seem to you, it’s worth getting out your field guide to identify just what’s growing there and if it’s bad for your best four-legged friend!