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Which Plants Are Toxic to Dogs?


It’s a rough time for dogs lately with toxic blue-green algae killing four dogs recently and the latest information on rawhide chews not being great for puppy health. Pet owners, we beg you — don’t make matters worse by buying one of these plants that are toxic to dogs.

If you’re no stranger to The Sill’s website or if you have such a green thumb you’d consider yourself a regular at the local Agway, then you may have noticed the designation of “pet-friendly” on certain plants. This may have prompted you to realize: Some plants are in fact not pet-friendly. But what does that really mean?

Indoor plants like basil, air plants, Christmas cacti, orchids, spider plants, and most ferns are generally pet-friendly. This means in the event that your dog ever got a hold of your plants while you weren’t in the room or maybe not looking, you would not have to worry or call Poison Control. These plants are perfectly for safe for dogs no matter what happens, so they are a great way to give you peace of mind while still practicing your right to be both a dog mama and a plant lady.

That being said, there are some plants that are considered toxic to dogs and of course, ingesting of any kind of plant could induce vomiting. Best-case scenario? Avoid letting your dog eat vegetation of any kind. Of course, as pet owners we know that this isn’t always feasible. Accidents happen, so know that if your dog ever ingests any vegetation you’re unsure about, you should immediately call the Pet Poison Helpline or Animal Poison Control Center and be prepared to bring your dog to the veterinarian.  For more preventative help, check out the PPH’s Poisonous Plants newsletter.

Keep reading to make yourself familiar with these 11 plants that are poisonous to dogs.

Autumn Crocus

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There are two kinds of Crocus plants and as a pet owner, you’re going to want to learn how to differentiate the two, as one causes vomiting and diarrhea and the other could be fatal to your dog. The Autumn Crocus (Colchicum autumnale), which blooms in — you guessed it! — fall, contains colchicine, which is highly toxic to pups. Ingesting this plant could cause more than just vomiting and diarrhea; it may cause gastrointestinal bleeding, damage to the kidneys and liver, and respiratory failure. According to the ASPCA, if you cannot differentiate the spring Crocus from the autumn one, bring your pet to the vet immediately for care. Most symptoms are immediate but could also be delayed for days.