11 Poisonous Plants for Dogs in the Garden

Dogs need a lot of exercises to play, romp and run. Of course, having your garden is ideal here. There the four-legged friend can live out his urge to move according to his mood.

He can also roam through the garden, discover new things or simply relax in the sun.

For dog owners, however, a garden also means responsibility, because poisonous plants for dogs are very often planted in the garden.

Among all the pretty and decorative plants, some specimens can harm dogs and are poisonous.

Which plants are poisonous to dogs?

Poisonous plants for dogs are in the garden: boxwood, ivy, yew, angel’s trumpet, laburnum, cherry laurel, lily of the valley, oleander, rhododendron, holly, tulip.

Here you have to be careful and always watch the dog or simply do without these plant species.

Boxwood contains alkaloid cyclobutane

In ancient times, boxwood was a popular plant in folk medicine.

This ornamental plant is best known for being able to be trimmed to perfect shape and is therefore mostly found in ornamental gardens.

The boxwood shrub can grow up to four meters high and flowers from March to May. The leaves are evergreen.

All parts of the plant are highly toxic to animals. However, the alkaloid cyclobutane is increasingly contained in the young bark and flowers. The symptoms of poisoning are diarrhea, vomiting, and convulsions with severe pain.

This can lead to paralysis and thus death due to paralysis of the respiratory tract. If your dog has nibbled on the boxwood, you should go to the vet immediately.

Ivy irritates with saponins as a poison

Ivy is an evergreen plant that is often used as a climbing plant in the garden. The shape and color of the ivy can be very different.

For the dog, both the leaves and berries, juice, and stems of the plant are poisonous. We also warned against ivy as a poisonous plant when it comes to indoor plants.

The poison consists of so-called saponins. They irritate the mucous membranes and can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, and cramps.

Here, too, we recommend going to the vet if the dog has eaten ivy. Humans can also be very sensitive to ivy.

Yew has been considered highly toxic since ancient times

Even in ancient times, the yew was considered very dangerous. It was even thought that people could even die just sleeping under the yew tree. Later, the Celts poisoned their arrows with yew sap.

Today the yew can still be found in many gardens and parks. The tree is evergreen and grows up to 15 meters high.

The needles and seeds of the yew tree are poisonous to our dogs. The toxic substances are alkaloids. In the worst case, they can lead to cardiac arrest.

Symptoms of poisoning are gastrointestinal irritation, cramps, heart, and circulatory problem,s and breathing problems. As a result, the toxins in the plant can lead to liver and kidney damage.

Angel’s trumpet poisonous due to atropine

The angel’s trumpet is considered to be one of the most poisonous plants to thrive in our gardens. It belongs to the nightshade family and the plants can grow up to five meters high.

Their large flowers make angel trumpets particularly attractive for botanical gardens.

All parts of this plant are poisonous to dogs, especially the roots and seeds. The substances it contains, such as scopolamine, hyoscyamine, alkaloids, and atropine, lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and cramps.

Cardiac arrhythmias occur, the pupils dilate and the dog suffers from shortness of breath. The result can be a respiratory and circulatory arrest.

Due to the danger of the angel’s trumpet, you should immediately consult the veterinarian if your dog has come into contact with this plant.

Laburnum contains quinolizine alkaloids

The name laburnum comes from the hanging yellow flower clusters, which glow yellow from May to June. The plant is also known as the gold rush and graces many gardens and parks.

All parts of the plant are highly toxic to dogs. They contain quinolizine alkaloids, which can quickly lead to death in four-legged friends.

If the dog eats parts of the plant, it usually throws them up immediately. This prevents the poison from entering the bloodstream.

Poisoning is manifested by sweating, muscle tremors, balance disorders, vomiting, nausea, and cramps.
If you suspect that the dog has nibbled the laburnum, contact a veterinarian immediately. The poison can quickly lead to circulatory failure or respiratory arrest.

Cherry laurel is poisonous due to cyanogenic glycoside

The cherry laurel has been popular as an ornamental plant since the 16th century. In our latitudes, it is now often planted as a “living hedge”.

The cherry laurel shrub is evergreen and bears fruit resembling cherries from August to September.

The plant is extremely toxic to dogs due to the cyanogenic glycoside prunasin it contains.

The first symptoms of poisoning are light-colored mucous membranes, abdominal pain, nausea, and signs of paralysis. If your dog has nibbled on the cherry laurel, you should give him plenty of water immediately and contact the veterinarian.

Lily of the valley, is pretty but highly toxic

A well-known and popular herald of spring is the lily of the valley.

Cases of people being poisoned by the pretty flower are reported every year. Lily of the valley leaves is often confused with wild garlic, which looks very similar.

Lily of the valley is also very poisonous for our dogs. The symptoms of poisoning are vomiting, diarrhea and convulsions. Cardiac arrhythmias, dizziness, and circulatory problems can occur.

If your dog has eaten lily of the valley, you should urgently consult a veterinarian.

Oleander contains glycosides oleandrin and nerioside

The oleander has found its way into our domestic gardens as a southern pot plant. The oleander bushes are evergreen and reach a height of around five meters.

Oleander is extremely dangerous for animals due to its heart-active glycosides oleandrin and nerioside.

Stomach and intestinal irritation, slow heart rate, and restlessness can be the first signs of poisoning. As a result, heart failure can occur without veterinary help.

Rhododendrons, flowers, and leaves are highly toxic

Rhododendron is one of the most popular ornamental plants in gardens. More than 1,000 different breeds and even more hybrids are known. The rhododendron bush is evergreen and grows to just over a meter tall.

It flowers from June to August. The flowers have different colors depending on the species.

Both leaves and flowers are highly toxic to dogs.

Symptoms of poisoning can include diarrhea, constipation, abdominal cramps, or vomiting. Weak pulse and tremors are other characteristics that may indicate the dog has eaten rhododendron.

Give your dog plenty of fresh water and take your pet to the doctor.

Holly contains alkaloids as a poison

Holly is an extremely decorative feature in our gardens, especially in winter. It is often used as a Christmas decoration.

The holly shrub is evergreen and flowers from May to June. Then small red fruits form.

The fruit and leaves of holly contain alkaloids that can be dangerous to dogs. Signs of poisoning are vomiting, drowsiness and diarrhea.

As little as 20 berries can be fatal to a dog. The same applies to holly, who drinks a lot and goes to the vet immediately.

Tulip has a poisonous effect due to Tuliposide and Tulip in

Tulips are an adornment of many bouquets or arrangements because of their bright colors. Tulips are also often planted as tulip bulbs in our gardens.

However, tulips are very poisonous to dogs. It contains Tuliposide A and B as well as Tulipin, which can irritate the dog’s mucous membranes. Abdominal cramps and stomach and intestinal irritation are the first signs of poisoning.

At the first symptom, let your pet drink a lot and consult the veterinarian.

Avoid poisonous plants in the garden

In all cases in which you even have the suspicion that your animal could have eaten poisonous plants, the veterinarian should be consulted to be on the safe side.

Always keep charcoal tablets in the household. They can be given in an emergency, to stop or slow down poisoning. The large surface area of ​​the activated carbon binds the poison in the dog’s body.

However, it is still safer to avoid all poisonous plants in your garden. When you buy a plant, find out whether it can be dangerous to animals. 

Incidentally, many of these plants are also dangerous for humans and could cause considerable damage, especially to curious children.

As a weed, the giant hogweed is one of the most poisonous plants. In many cities, it is even notifiable and will be removed immediately.

If you are out in nature with your darling or visiting friends in their garden, always pay attention to your pet and what it eats.

Frequently Asked Question

Which plants in the garden are poisonous to dogs?

Poisonous garden plants for dogs

star of christ
cherry laurel
lily of the valley
passion flower

Which shrubs are poisonous to dogs?

Laburnum, lilac, hydrangea, angel’s trumpet, oleander, ivy, mountain ash, and holly can also cause poisoning in dogs. It is best to avoid chemicals such as weed killers or slug pellets altogether.

Which grasses are dangerous for dogs?

Attention dog owners: beware of foxtail grass. There is hardly anything better than letting your dog romp around outdoors. But only if a certain plant is not nearby, because it can cause dangerous wounds. This is foxtail grass.

Are dandelions harmful to dogs?

Dogs can eat dandelions, but be careful not to overeat. Dandelions also ingest pollutants. It is best if you feed dandelions to your dog in your garden. This way you can be sure that the dandelion has not been sprayed with pesticides.

Are hydrangeas poisonous to dogs?

Hydrangeas are also poisonous to dogs and cats. They contain toxic substances such as hydrocyanic acid, saponins, hydrangea, and hydrogen. High consumption of these substances can lead to poisoning in animals.

Is clover toxic to dogs?

Finally, some houseplants are safe for dogs. Some of these safe plants include busy Lizzie, maidenhair fern, Crassula, gloxinia, lucky clover, spider plant, golden fruit, kentia, and areca palm.

Is bark mulch dangerous for dogs?

Bark mulch can contain toxic substances, which in the worst case can be deadly for your dog. Pesticides and color are not always labeled or recognizable. In addition, bark mulch is not produced selectively and can therefore contain plants that are poisonous or at least dangerous for your dog.

Are pine cones poisonous to dogs?

If your animal swallows acorns, chestnuts, or pine cones, this can lead to severe constipation or even intestinal perforation.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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