26 house plants and garden blooms that are toxic to dogs

I love summertime for how beautiful our back garden looks in bloom, from our pink hydrangea to my climbing sweetpeas. But what many people don’t realise is that there are a number of plants and flowers that are toxic to dogs, and could have seriously harmful effects.

Hidden hazards in our own home environment can have devastating affects on our dogs. Last year, Frank managed to eat some compost from the bin whilst we were filling the vegetable boxes, which led to him having a terrifying seizure. Because of this, we’re super careful about what we plant – and if any of the blooms are toxic to dogs, we plant them in a separate part of the garden where they won’t be able to get them.

According to findings made by Postman Pooch, tulips are one of the most dangerous flowers to have in your back garden or in your home as the potent plant can make your dog experience extreme sickness and heart problems. Other plants and vegetables commonly found in UK gardens are equally harmful to keep around your four-legged friend.

Here are 16 garden plants that are poisonous to pets, according to veterinary experts at Postman Pooch, and Lazy Flora:

  1. Tulips – These potent flowers can irritate dogs’ mouths and gastrointestinal tracts, causing drooling and vomiting and breathing problems.
  2. Snowdrops –  These small bell-shaped flowers can cause vomiting and disorientation and can also result in seizures if the petals and inside of the flower are consumed in large amounts.
  3. Rhododendron – “These popular woodland shrubs can cause nausea committing, difficulty breathing and can lead to commas or fatalities if consumed in large quantities.
  4. Rhubarb – Whilst this popular ingredient in crumbles appears innocent enough, the mistake is made when people or pets attempt to eat the leaves of the plant. They are high in toxins, such as oxalic acid, which could affect the kidneys. In high doses, these toxins can lead to kidney failure and in some cases, death.
  5. Geranium –  If a dog chews and swallows this [pelargonium flower it can cause vomiting, depression, and skin irritation.
  6. Ragwort –  This Jacobaea Vulgaris plant is toxic to a variety of animals including cattle and horses. However, if this plan is consumed by a dog it can cause irreversible liver and kidney failure and can cause fatalities even in small amounts. 
  7. Daffodils – Narcissus is one of spring’s most popular bulbs and are spotted all over the UK come spring. However, these yellow flowers can be fatal to dogs and can give them diarrhea and sickness.
  8. Hyacinth – Hyacinths bloom in mid-spring, filling our gardens and local parks with a burst of pastel colours. However, these seasonal plants can irritate dogs’ mouths and gastrointestinal tracts, causing drooling and vomiting.
  9. Iris – This plant is named after the Greek goddess of the rainbow, however, irises bring color to the garden as it can cause dogs to have severe digestive upset and can lead to dermatitis.
  10. Bluebells – Hyacinthoides non-scriptas contain chemicals that can reduce dogs heart rate and cause vomiting, diarrhoea, and disorientation.
  11. Larkspur – Belonging to the buttercup family, Larkspur is a flowering plant that is grown for its graceful, vividly coloured blossoms. This plant is low maintenance, making it a favourite among newbie gardeners. However, all parts of the Larkspur plant are toxic to pets, with the leaves and seeds containing the highest levels of alkaloids. These alkaloids are toxic and can cause vomiting, nausea, painful burns in the mouth and a slow heartbeat.
  12. Foxglove – These pretty bell-like blossoms add a bright pop of colour to the garden but watch out, as the plant is packed with toxins. Accidental ingestion of any part of the plant could lead to nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and irregular, or slow heartbeats. The berries are bright and juicy looking, meaning they are more likely to attract pets.
  13. Lily Of The Valley – This beautifully dainty, fragrant flower is surrounded by bright gorgeous green foliage, but be warned, it is highly toxic to human beings and animals alike. The flower naturally produces a whole range of cardiac glycosides, a highly toxic compound that is powerful enough to send a grown adult to A&E. Accidental ingestion may lead to headaches, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, irregular heartbeat, and skin rashes, but severe poisoning without immediate treatment can be fatal.
  14. Oleander – Popular among gardeners for its pretty pink flowers, the oleander looks like an unlikely danger. There have been reports of death, as a result of adults ingesting a single leaf of the plant, due to how toxic it can be. Pets who eat any part of the plant may suffer from heart arrhythmia, vomiting, cold extremities, and even death.
  15. Lantana flowers – All parts of the incredibly pretty Lantana flower are particularly toxic to dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, and horses. In large volumes, it can cause damage to the liver and increased sensitivity to light.
  16. Deadly nightshade – As the name of the plant suggests, these pretty plants can have deadly consequences. The round purple and black juicy looking berries are highly toxic and eating them can potentially cause drowsiness, facial flushing, fever, vomiting, confusion and hallucinations.

In house expert for Postman Pooch, Jessica Kelly, comments on the things that pet owners can put in place to prevent their dogs from taking an interest in things around the garden or park that could be harmful. She said: “Make sure your garden is secure to eliminate any risk to your pet and eliminate as many risks as possible by removing all toxic plants.

“Pet owners should supervise their dogs training them to explore certain things in the garden. For example, when they approach a harmful plant say ah or use a clicker, and when they look away from the plant give them praise or a treat. Make sure your dog has plenty of enrichment games and toys to keep them entertained and keep their mischievous time at bay. Dogs also can’t stand the smell or taste of citrus, and diluted lemon juice sprayed on plants works wonders.”

But it’s not just our gardens we need to be mindful of, with houseplants becoming a growing interior decor trend! Houseplants have varying levels of toxicity to dogs, with some more poisonous than others.

Here are 10 of the most popular houseplants that could be harmful to your dog, according to London Furniture Disposal:

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  1. Pathos (Devils Ivy) – Devils Ivy as it’s commonly referred to is an extremely popular houseplant because of its attractive drape and ease of care. It’s a great houseplant for kitting your home out on a budget. Like the Peace Lily, it’s safe to touch, but toxic to pets when consumed.
  2. Peace Lily – The Peace Lily not only has detoxifying qualities for the home, but it’s also beautiful to look at. Considered one of the most popular flowering houseplants with its dark leaves and low maintenance, it’s a good spring/summer décor addition to your home. But be warned, it’s toxic if consumed.
  3. Caladium or Elephant Ear – Known for its bright aesthetic colours, this houseplant is great for adding sass to your home – the leaves are velvety to the touch. But be cautious when around pets and children as it can cause swelling, eye pain, diarrhoea, and vomiting when eaten.
  4. Calla Lily – Although this plant is typically cared for outdoors, it’s becoming increasingly fashionable to stylise indoor spaces with. However, like its family counterparts, this lily is harmful to humans when ingested because of calcium oxalate crystals which can cause swelling and pain when swallowed.
  5. Sago Palm – These houseplants are super fun additions to the home because of their spiky and ancient look. However, don’t be fooled, as they’re highly toxic when ingested, causing vomiting, diarrhoea, and sometimes liver failure.​
  6. Philodendron – This spectacular looking houseplant originated from the South American rainforests and most certainly deserves its Greek name of ‘loving tree’ thanks to its heart-shaped leaves. But be wary that it’s potentially harmful.
  7. Snake Plant (Mother-in-Law’s-Tongue) – This plant is primarily known for its long sword-like leaves and for being a slow-growing plant, making it incredibly low maintenance. And whilst the Snake Plant may be among the top plants known by NASA to be useful for its air-purifying qualities, it is moderately harmful to humans and pets.
  8. Dieffenbachia – Dubbed as the Dumb Cane or Leopard Lily, it is one of the easiest indoor houseplants to care for, whilst being one of the most common. This tropical shrub has beautiful hues of cream, yellow and white making it the perfect plant to brighten your home.
  9. Arrowhead – Related to the Philodendron plant, the Arrowhead is relatively easy to care for. Bushy in its appearance and with heart-shaped leaves, this plant is mild in toxicity.
  10. English Ivy – English Ivy is probably one of the most well-known plants, probably for its pointed leaves and delicate tree-climbing abilities. It is also famous to cause weakness, vomiting, throat swelling, dermatitis, rash, and ataxia.