28 Plants Poisonous to Dogs

Beautiful chrysanthemum-yellow flowers.

When your canine companion steals a bite of your cookies-and-cream milkshake or the trio of doughnuts you thought you hid high enough in the kitchen, it’s an annoyance for you, but pretty inconsequential for Fido. But when your canine companion sneaks a snack from certain houseplants or garden plants poisonous to dogs, it can cause issues like liver failure, difficulty breathing, abdominal pain, and even death.

Before selecting plants to fill your new garden or to complement your interior decor, ensure they won’t bring harm to your pup. How do you know which plants are poisonous to dogs? Check out our list of 28 plants poisonous for dogs, and avoid them at all costs.

1. Rhododendron (and other azalea plants)

Rhododendron plant in a lawn.
Photo Credit: Pixnio

One of the showiest spring bloomers, rhododendrons display colorful yellow, pink, purple, orange, white, or red blooms. Despite its beauty, every part of this plant has a high toxicity to both humans and dogs. The toxins disrupt skeletal, heart, and nerve function, and effects can manifest within a few hours of consumption.

Scientific name: Rhododendron

Toxin(s): andromedotoxin, grayanotoxin

Examples of poisoning symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, appetite loss, death

Plant alternatives: hawthorn, abelia

2. Tulips

Pink tulip flowers in a lawn
Photo Credit: Pxhere

Although the tulip’s cup-shaped blooms — which come in a range of hues each spring and are perfect for cutting or planting in containers, borders, or en masse — are appealing to people, they’re toxic to dogs. Toxins are present in all parts of this plant, but the bulb has the highest concentration.

Scientific name: Tulipa 

Toxin(s): tulipalin A and B

Examples of poisoning symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea, excessive salivation, depression

Plant alternatives: quamash (camassia), lisianthus

3. Daffodils

Yellow colored daffodil flowers in a lawn
Photo Credit: Pxhere

While daffodils fill the air with fragrant floral and citrus notes, their flowers, leaves, roots, stems, and bulbs are poisonous to dogs; and like tulips, the bulbs hold the most toxicity. If ingested in large quantities, your pooch may experience convulsions, low blood pressure, and cardiac arrhythmias.

Scientific name: Narcissus

Toxin(s): alkaloids like lycorine, calcium oxalate crystals

Examples of poisoning symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea, salivation, seizures, low blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmias

Plant alternatives: spring beauty (claytonia virginica)

4. Oleander

Pink colored oleander plants in a lawn.
Photo Credit: Pxhere

An ornamental plant often used as a privacy screen or in foundation plantings, oleander, if eaten, is poisonous to dogs and humans. Contained in all parts of the plant are cardiac glycosides (which can disrupt heart function) and saponins (which can destroy membranes crucial to the respiratory and digestive systems.

Scientific name: Nerium oleander

Toxin(s): cardiac glycosides, saponins

Examples of poisoning symptoms: excessive drooling, diarrhea, abdominal pain, colic, depression

Plant alternatives: Arizona rosewood, bottlebrush

5. Sago Palm

A sago palm plant in a lawn
Photo Credit: Pxhere

A tropical and subtropical evergreen, the sago palm is widely grown as a houseplant and in border plantings. Not a true palm, this plant lacks flowers; instead, like conifers, it generates cones with exposed seeds. And while all parts of this plant are toxic, the seeds are the most poisonous.

Scientific name: Cycas revoluta

Toxin(s): cycasin

Examples of poisoning symptoms: bloody stool, bruising, vomiting, excessive thirst, liver failure, death

Plant alternatives: windmill palm, Christmas palm, feather palm

6. Mistletoe

A mistletoe plant in a lawn
Photo Credit: Pxhere

As festive as mistletoe can be during the holiday season, this semi-parasitic evergreen can wreak havoc on your furry friend. The toxins contained in the fruit of this plant can hinder cell protein function and lead to digestive upset and neurological problems.

Scientific name: Phoradendron Leucarpum

Toxin(s): pharatoxin viscumin, amine, toxalbumin

Examples of poisoning symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure, difficulty breathing, low heart rate

Plant alternatives: N/A

7. Yew

A yew plant in a lawn
Photo Credit: Pxhere

No matter the type — American yew, Japanese yew, Pacific yew, and so on — yews are poisonous to dogs. All parts of the plant are toxic, including the attractive red berries, because they contain taxines, which can affect the heart and respiratory system.

Scientific name: Taxus

Toxin(s): taxine A and B, volatile oil

Examples of poisoning symptoms: difficulty breathing, seizures, tremors, vomiting, death

Plant alternatives: lilac bushes, woods rose, red maple tree

8. Lily of the Valley

A beautiful picture of Lily of the valley
Photo Credit: Pexels

Lily of the valley is a perennial that does well in either full or partial shade and is often used in rock gardens and fairy gardens. Despite its beauty, if your pooch takes a bite of these fragrant, bell-shaped blooms, they may experience gastrointestinal issues, cardiac arrhythmias, convulsions, and confusion.

Scientific name: Convallaria majalis

Toxin(s): cardiac glycosides, saponins

Examples of poisoning symptoms: vomiting, irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure, disorientation, seizures

Plant alternatives: blue bead lily, queen’s cup

9. Autumn Crocus

A pink colored autumn crocus plant
Photo Credit: Pexels

Come fall, this perennial plant gives off purple, pink, yellow, or white flowers. But beware growing this as a houseplant or for lawn and garden ornamentation. Colchicine, the toxic substance in the autumn crocus, can cause everything from organ damage to intestinal issues to respiratory failure.

Scientific name: Colchicum

Toxin(s): Alkaloid colchicine

Examples of poisoning symptoms: vomiting blood, shock, diarrhea, organ damage

Plant alternatives: N/A

10. Foxglove

A pink colored foxglove plant in a lawn.
Photo Credit: Pxhere

Prized for their stunning, spherical, colorful blooms, these biennial plants are also highly poisonous to both dogs and humans. The toxins, known as cardiac glycosides, are present in the flowers, leaves, roots, and stem and can affect the heart, as well as the digestive and nervous systems.

Scientific name: Digitalis purpurea

Toxin(s): cardiac glycosides

Examples of poisoning symptoms: vomiting, cardiac arrhythmias, diarrhea, death

Plant alternatives: snapdragons, Bells of Ireland, lilacs

11. Castor Bean

Caster Bean plant in a lawn
Photo Credit: PublicDomainPictures

When grown to make castor oil, a natural remedy used for an array of medicinal purposes, the toxin ricin is removed. The plant itself, however, maintains its ricin and is highly poisonous to both humans and dogs. Within 12 to 48 hours of ingestion, symptoms such as loss of appetite, extreme thirst, and other, more serious effects can occur. 

Scientific name: Ricinus communis

Toxin(s): ricin, ricinine alkaloid

Examples of poisoning symptoms: oral burning/irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, kidney failure, coordination loss, convulsions, death

Plant alternatives: pawpaw, American beautyberry, fragrant sumac

12. Chrysanthemum

Colorful Chrysanthemum plant in a lawn
Photo Credit: Pxhere

A gardener’s fall favorite, chrysanthemums (better known by their shorthand, “mums”) of any kind do not make for a pet-friendly landscape. In fact, the naturally occurring toxins, namely pyrethrins and lactones, are key ingredients used to formulate insecticides. These toxins are found in all parts of the plant.

Scientific name: Chrysanthemum

Toxin(s): pyrethrins, sesquiterpene, lactones

Examples of poisoning symptoms: vomiting, excessive salivation, diarrhea, dermatitis

Plant alternatives: globe thistle, garden roses, asters

13. Amaryllis

A peach colored amaryllis plant in a lawn
Photo Credit: Pxhere

A popular houseplant, container plant, and addition to rock gardens, Amaryllis boasts showy blooms of pink, red, or white. However, hidden in the plant’s makeup is the crystalline alkaloid, lycorine, which can hinder the production of proteins in the body. This can impact cellular function and genetics. All parts of this plant are toxic; however, the bulb is the most poisonous.

Scientific name: Amaryllis

Toxin(s): lycorine

Examples of poisoning symptoms: vomiting, depression, diarrhea, excess salivation

Plant alternatives: nerine

14. Hyacinth

A purple blue color hyacinth plant
Photo Credit: PublicDomainPictures

Hyacinths may be a wonderful addition to raised garden beds, patio pots, and rock gardens since they bloom in the spring and give off a fragrant scent, but reconsider planting these if you have dogs. All parts of this plant are poisonous, with the bulbs being especially toxic.

Scientific name: Hyacinthus orientalis

Toxin(s): crystalline alkaloids like lycorine

Examples of poisoning symptoms: tremors, vomiting, diarrhea, salivation, stomach cramps

Plant alternatives: muscari (aka grape hyacinth), freesia

15. Morning Glory

A beautiful purple color morning glory plant
Photo Credit: Pexels

With purple, pink, or blue flowers that open every morning and close every night, this vining plant can thrive in a variety of soil conditions and spreads easily. It’s also toxic to dogs, as the alkaloids contained within the plant can mess with nervous system function.

Scientific name: Ipomoea

Toxin(s): indole alkaloids, LSD

Examples of poisoning symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea, hallucinations

Plant alternatives: nasturtium

16. Cyclamen

A beautiful pink colored cyclamen plant
Photo Credit: Pxhere

An accent plant great for adding color to gardens in fall and winter, cyclamen boats heart-shaped or kidney-shaped leaves and white, pink, red, or lavender flowers. Watch out, though––the roots of this plant are poisonous. The naturally occurring toxins are thought to act as protective substances against harmful microorganisms and herbivores.

Scientific name: Cyclamen

Toxin(s): terpenoid saponins

Examples of poisoning symptoms: salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, cardiac arrhythmias, death 

Plant alternatives: N/A

17. English Ivy

Beautiful green colored english ivy plant
Photo Credit: Pexels

Although the berries of this evergreen vine provide food for birds, they can prove toxic to your dog. Ingestion of the berries or the more poisonous leaves doesn’t usually pose a fatal hazard, but it can still cause stomach upset and hypersalivation. Besides the berries and leaves, every other part of the plant is also toxic — from the bark and the flowers to the roots, sap, seeds, and stem.

Scientific name: Hedera helix

Toxin(s): triterpenoid saponins and polyacetylene compounds

Examples of poisoning symptoms: vomiting, excess salivation, diarrhea

Plant alternatives: bottlebrush

18. Spotted Hemlock

A white colored spotted hemlock plant
Photo Credit: Pixnio

Not to be confused with the hemlock tree, which is nontoxic to dogs, the spotted hemlock (also known as poison hemlock, California fern, and poison fool’s parsley) is a biennial plant with white, umbrella-shaped blooms. And while people don’t typically plant this as part of their landscape, it’s possible to run into it while out on a walk. Its toxin, coniine, attacks the nervous system.

Scientific name: Conium maculatum

Toxin(s): multiple alkaloids like coniine

Examples of poisoning symptoms: salivation, vomiting, tremors, drooling, paralysis, death

Plant alternatives: N/A

19. Larkspur

Purple colored Larkspur plant in a lawn
Photo Credit: Starlily37 / Flickr / CC BY-SA 3.0

This easy-to-grow plant adds beauty to cottage gardens, border features, and mass plantings with its varying hues of blue flowers. Still, all parts of the plant are toxic to humans and pets if eaten. Depending on the season and age of the plant, its toxicity can change; as it gets older, it becomes less poisonous. The plant’s alkaloids can produce neuromuscular paralysis and cause seizures, excess salivation, constipation, cardiac failure, and death.

Scientific name: Delphinium

Toxin(s): multiple alkaloids like delphinine, ajacine, and others

Examples of poisoning symptoms: excess salivation, constipation, tremors, colic, weakness

Plant alternatives: salvia nemorosa

20. Aloe

Beautiful pictures of Aloe plant
Photo Credit: Pexels

A succulent typically cultivated for its gel (which can be used for medicinal purposes, as well as in foods and drinks), aloe does well as a houseplant or in a container garden. Just be sure to keep it where your pooch can’t reach — the leaves are poisonous. The gel inside the leaves, however, can be eaten with no problem.

Scientific name: Aloe vera

Toxin(s): anthraquinone glycoside

Examples of poisoning symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue

Plant alternatives: zebra Haworthia, blushing bromeliad

21. Hydrangea

A light blue colored hydrangea plant
Photo Credit: Pexels

Hydrangeas are perfect as plants for native, pollinator, shade, and rain gardens. And while their ball-shaped blooms of cream, pink, white, or green are welcoming to various pollinators, all parts of this plant are poisonous. Good news, though: Cyanide poisoning is rare, so the hydrangea is really only harmful if eaten in large quantities. Otherwise, it may simply cause your dog some stomach upset.

Scientific name: Hydrangea 

Toxin(s): cyanogenic glycoside

Examples of poisoning symptoms: vomiting, depression, diarrhea

Plant alternatives: butterfly bush

22. Nightshade

A light purple colored nightshade plant
Photo Credit: Pxhere

Native to many areas of the country, this shrub-like plant produces purple berries and star-shaped, white flowers. All parts of this plant are poisonous, but the berries and leaves are more so. The toxins nightshade generates can upset the stomach, depress the central nervous system, lower heart rate, and alter cell function.

Scientific name: Solanum americanum

Toxin(s): solanine alkaloid, saponins

Examples of poisoning symptoms: vomiting, excess salivation, diarrhea, confusion

Plant alternatives: N/A

23. Elephant Ear

A dark green colored elephant ear plant
Photo Credit: Pxhere

Known for its large leaves, elephant’s ear (aka taro) is often used to give outdoor landscapes a tropical feel or as statement houseplants. However, if any part of this plant is eaten, the calcium oxalate crystals can cause mouth problems for your pet.

Scientific name: Colocasia esculenta

Toxin(s): calcium oxalate crystals

Examples of poisoning symptoms: oral irritation/swelling, drooling, vomiting, difficulty swallowing

Plant alternatives: banana plant

24. Milkweed

A red-pink colored milkweed plant.
Photo Credit: Pxhere

A butterfly garden favorite, milkweed is a summer bloomer, giving off scented flowers that come in green, white, pink, and purple. However, the toxins that all parts of this perennial contain can be harmful to dogs if eaten in large quantities. 

Scientific name: asclepias syriaca

Toxin(s): cardiac glycosides and resinoids

Examples of poisoning symptoms: vomiting, weakness, diarrhea, seizures, organ failure

Plant alternatives: California aster

25. Calla Lily

White colored calla lily plant
Photo Credit: Pxhere

Homeowners love calla lilies for their gorgeous, tube-shaped blooms and low-maintenance care, but the calcium oxalate contained in every part of this plant can upset a dog’s system even in low doses. Keep out of reach of pups if using as a houseplant and ensure your dog avoids any area of the garden where calla lilies may grow.

Scientific name: Zantedeschia aethiopica

Toxin(s): calcium oxalate

Examples of poisoning symptoms: mouth swelling, drooling, vomiting, difficulty swallowing

Plant alternatives: bottlebrush, lisianthus

26. Dumb Cane

A beautiful dumb cane plant
Photo Credit: Pexels

An excellent houseplant, dumb cane thrives in filtered sunlight, as well as deep and partial shade. Regardless of the gorgeous greenery it lends to interior decor, this evergreen, if ingested, can cause serious oral issues. Place it out of reach of pets, and if your dog does get to it somehow, seek emergency care right away.

Scientific name: Dieffenbachia amoena

Toxin(s): oxalic acid and asparagine, calcium oxalates, proteolytic enzyme

Examples of poisoning symptoms: inability to vocalize, mouth irritation, vomiting, drooling

Plant alternatives: cast iron plant, kentia palm

27. Wisteria

Light purple colored wisteria plants
Photo Credit: Pxhere

There’s no doubt, this climbing vine is absolutely gorgeous, whether it’s dripping flowers of pink, purple, or white from trellises or archways. But, this beauty is also toxic — its lectin can cause blood clots, which in turn may lead to strokes, and its wisterin glycoside can cause stomach issues, which may lead to dehydration and possibly death.

Scientific name: wisteria

Toxin(s): lectin, wisterin glycoside

Examples of poisoning symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, depression

Plant alternatives: climbing roses, true jasmine

28. Rhubarb

Many leaves of rhubarb plant
Photo Credit: PublicDomainPictures

Yes, the plant you grow to make pie isn’t quite so edible for your canine friends. Typically only very toxic if eaten in large quantities, rhubarb contains anthraquinone glycosides, which act as laxatives to cause vomiting and diarrhea. Another toxic ingredient is calcium oxalate, which can lead to kidney dysfunction.

Scientific name: Rheum rhabarbarum

Toxin(s): anthraquinone glycosides and soluble calcium oxalates

Examples of poisoning symptoms: kidney failure, tremors, excess salivation, vomiting

Plant alternatives: N/A

FAQ About Plants Poisonous to Dogs

Are there any other plants poisonous to dogs?

According to the ASPCA, there are hundreds of plants poisonous to dogs. In addition to the list above, other toxic plants include:

crabapple trees
begonias
chamomile
geraniums
yuccas
irises
hosta
lavender
poinsettias
St. John’s Wort

How long does it take for a dog to show signs of poisoning?

It depends on the plant your dog eats. Some, like dumb cane may illicit an immediate response, as your pup will start to feel mouth irritation right away. Others, like rhododendrons may take a few hours for the onset of symptoms. If you notice your dog acting strangely or vomiting, acting lethargic, or off-balance for no apparent reason, consult your veterinarian. 

What should I do if my dog eats a toxic plant?

If you suspect your pup has gotten into a poisonous plant, call the ASPCA’s poison control hotline or your local vet. Before calling or making the drive to the animal hospital, confirm the identity of the toxic plant you believe to have been ingested. This way, you’ll be able to provide as much information to the experts on the other line as possible. 

Other than taking your dog to an emergency vet, the pros you called for help may also suggest:

Inducing vomiting
giving the dog a bath for skin problems

What are some plants that are not toxic to dogs?

When choosing dog-friendly plants for your garden, consider the following:

roses
coral bells
mint
sunflowers
some succulents
crapemyrtle
forsythia
hibiscus
astilbe
basil
thyme

When to Hire a Professional

In terms of a potential poisoning, it’s always best to seek professional help. Call the ASPCA’s poison control center; they’re available 24 hours a day, every day of the year. They’ll be able to help you assess the situation, determine the danger based on the plant eaten, and direct you toward next steps.

Ready to revamp your entire yard to ensure only pet-friendly plants are included? Enlist the help of a local landscaping expert who can remove every poisonous plant from your space and assist in the selection of flowers, shrubs, ornamental grasses, and trees that won’t harm your dog in any way.

And, of course, a professional can help with standard lawn services, too. Further ensure the health of your dog, and the entire family, with regular lawn maintenance that can help reduce ticks, fleas, and other pests.

Main Image Credit: Pxhere

Andréa Butler

Andréa Butler

Descendant of the Fulani tribe, Gettysburg-obsessed Marine Corps brat, and lover of all things writing and editing, Andréa Butler launched Sesi magazine and has penned articles for sites, such as LivingSocial, Talbot Digital, Xickle, Culturs magazine, and Rachel Ray. Andréa holds a B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and an M.A. in magazine journalism from Kent State University.