Foods & plants poisonous to dogs

Written by pamela gardapee
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Foods that humans consume on a daily basis are potentially harmful to dogs. Plants that attract birds, bees and butterflies outdoors can harm dogs if eaten. Indoor plants look nice on a table or floor, but can be toxic to dogs if eaten. Keeping toxic foods and plants away from dogs is the only way to prevent a serious reaction and possibly death.

Inside Plants

Inside plants to keep away from dogs include the dumb cane, which contains proteolytic and insoluble calcium oxalates, and giant dracaena, which contains saponins. Other indoor plants toxic to dogs include aloe, peace lily and palm lilies, which contain saponins. Also keep out of your dog's reach poinsettia, pencil cactus and mother-in-law's tongue, which contains saponins. Some toxic plants such as mums and croton varieties will cause cardiovascular problems, and Easter lilies and scheffelera plants can cause kidney and organ failure.

Outside Plants

Outside plants toxic to dogs include amaryllis, which contains lycorine, and bishop's weed, which contains insoluble calcium oxalates. Keep dogs from eating Chinese jade, Christmas rose and coleus. Hibiscus plants are toxic, but the principle toxin is unknown. Morning glory plants are toxic plants if eaten by a dog; the principle toxins are indole alkaloids. Some toxic plants such as bleeding heart and hydrangea will cause cardiovascular problems, and calla lilies and Asiatic lilies can cause kidney and organ failure.


Foods that humans eat every day can be toxic and dangerous for dogs to eat. Although these foods are good for human consumption, onions, chocolate, garlic and raisins or grapes are toxic and harmful to dogs. Onions and garlic contain disulfides and sulfoxides that can cause anaemia due to damage done to kidneys. Garlic, however, is less toxic than onions. Grapes and raisins have an unknown toxin, but can damage the kidneys. Foods containing caffeine, such as chocolate, contain theophylline and theobromine, which can affect the nervous system and heart of a dog.

Common Signs of Poisoning

Depending on the plant consumed by a dog, some common symptoms of a toxic reaction include vomiting, diarrhoea, nausea, uncoordination, depression and bloody stools. Other symptoms of a toxic reaction include drooling, lethargy, laboured breathing and irregular heartbeat.

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