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Why are Honeysuckle Plants Poisonous to Dogs?

Updated April 13, 2018

Honeysuckle is listed on nearly every list of plants that is toxic to pets. This alone is enough to deter most dog owners from allowing their pet to chow down on the plant. In some cases, it can be helpful to know exactly the reason honeysuckle is considered toxic.

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Honeysuckle exists in many varieties. Most are toxic to humans, although a few have edible berries or nectar. They are all, without exception, considered toxic to dogs.


Two types of toxins specific to the honeysuckle family make this plant unsuitable for canine consumption: saponic glycosides and cyanogenic glycosides.

Saponic Glycosides

Saponic glycosides, when mixed with water, create a permanent frothing effect. They can cause not only stomach upset or rupture but also the rupture of blood cells, leading to inadequate oxygen supply throughout the body.

Cyanogenic glycosides

Cyanogenic glycosides are turned into the chemical hydrogen cyanide, a powerful poison, when ingested.


Emergency veterinary care should be sought immediately. Ingestion of vomit is not recommended.

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About the Author

Elizabeth Tumbarello

Elizabeth Tumbarello has been writing since 2006, with her work appearing on various websites. She is an animal lover who volunteers with her local Humane Society. Tumbarello attended Hocking College and is pursuing her Associate of Applied Science in veterinary technology from San Juan College.

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