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July 13, 2021

Poisonous Plants for Dogs: What You Need to Avoid

  • Tips
  • Dog
Black and white scruffy dog standing on log in forest

Dogs should live an average life of 7-10 years or more. During this time they should be happy and healthy.

If you want to keep your dog safe and free from toxic plants, there are a few that you should stay away from. 

Continue reading to discover the most poisonous plants for dogs that you should avoid! 

1. Mistletoe


Mistletoe is often only seen around the holidays but it is something that should always avoid with your dogs. 

The berries in mistletoe contain polysaccharides, lectins, and alkaloids that can be harmful to your furry loved one. Most dogs who eat this plant experience mild signs of gastric irritation.

Watch for signs such as:

  • Drooling
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

This plant is beautiful to put out during Christmas time, so if you are going to use the real thing, put it in a high location. Mistletoe may not be lethal to dogs in small amounts but can become lethal in large doses.

2. Mushrooms


Unless you know what type of mushroom you are dealing with, most are toxic to dogs. 

It is a good idea to avoid all mushrooms, in case they are toxic. If you want to introduce mushrooms to your dog's diet, the best way to give them is by cooking them. 
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There are a variety of toxins that can be found within the mushroom species, making it difficult to identify which ones are safe. Eating mushrooms can cause your furry loved one to experience sedation, seizures, and vomiting. 

3. Castor Bean

Castor bean
Castor Bean

Castor bean oil plants are not good for your furry loved one. They also go by the name Ricinus communis. 

The seeds and beans of the castor bean oil plant are most toxic to dogs. They can cause kidney failure and a burning sensation in the mouth and throat.

If your dog eats castor beans, prepare for:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Convulsions

This is an ornamental plant that is often pruned for its foliage. Do your best to keep this out of to house to keep your pet safe. 

4. Holly 


Holly is another Christmas favorite for plants and can also be found year-round. 

Unfortunately, holly is also on the list of poisonous plants. There are a few varieties to keep an eye out for such as; American holly, English holly, and Japanese holly. Some of these can have more severe effects than others, but they should all be avoided.

If your dog accidentally ate holly, you might notice:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Other gastric issues

Most of these symptoms arise because the plant has spiny leaves. 

5. English Ivy

English ivy
English Ivy

One of the most poisonous plants for dogs is beautiful English ivy. 

Ivy is a long vine that can be found in many different environments. The plant's foliage is what is most dangerous to dogs. Fortunately, ivy is not poisonous enough to cause death. 

If you are unsure if your dog has eaten ivy, check for:

  • Excessive drooling and salivation
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Diarrhea

All of these are common symptoms that dogs have when they ingest it. Seek help if your dog experiences any issues with breathing. 

6. Hemlock


Hemlock, or Conium maculatum, is another plant that you should stay away from when you have your pooch.

Hemlock is so toxic to your dog because it contains cicutoxin and cicutol. Both of these parts of the plant affect the brain and central nervous system through neurons. The roots are the most hazardous part of the plant, so keep your pooch far away from them. 

If you think that your dog recently ingested hemlock, watch for signs of:

  • Drooling
  • Weakness
  • Dilated pupils

You may even notice difficulty breathing, agitation, and seizures if they are ingested enough. 

7. Oleander


If you want to keep your dog safe from hazardous plants for dogs, you will want to stay away from oleander. 

There isn't a single part of the oleander plant that dogs can safely ingest. This shrub is completely toxic to dogs. If your dog eats the flowers or leaves, they will likely deal with vomiting, abnormal heart rates, and in some cases, death.

Many people recommend watching for tremors, seizures, and drooling if your dog has eaten the plant. Do your best to stay away from this one!  
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8. Japanese Yew

Japanese yew
Japanese Yew

Japanese Yew is another plant to avoid when you have the furry one nearby. 

All varieties of this plant are toxic to dogs, even the dwarf, and giant trees! The dangerous toxins that are found within this plant can be lethal to dogs and cause significant harm. 

The most common symptoms that dogs experience after eating yew are:

  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tremors

Most people see this plant around the winter holidays. Because of its bright green leaves and red berries, it matches well with decor but can cause death if put in the wrong spot. If you decorate with Japanese yew, make sure you put it in high places where your dog can't get to it. 

Avoid These Poisonous Plants for Dogs 

There are many poisonous plants for dogs that you should avoid at all costs. 

If you are worried about your dog getting into these plants, make sure to cut them from your yard and steer clear of them on your walks. These plants can pop out of nowhere and can risk injury, illness, and death. 

Although you shouldn't have to fear every plant, make sure that you take caution when you are outside.


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Go! Solutions Team

A Team of Dedicated Pet Parents + Nutrition Experts

We all want our cats and dogs to lead happy, healthy lives. We’re here to help you, with easy-to-understand information about your pet's daily care and feeding.