10 Common Plants Harmful to Dogs, Plus Practical Tips for Dog-Friendly Gardening

plants harmful to dogs

Who is your best friend? You know, the one who loves you no matter what you look like and is always happy to see you with her wagging tail. My best friend is a 14-year-old dalmatian who loves carrots and freshly baked bread but hates baths and pedicures. Spending time with your four legged BFF in the garden sounds like a great idea during summertime. And, it is, but you need to be aware of some plants harmful to dogs.

Common plants harmful to dogs:

1. Autumn Crocus causes burning of the mouth.

2. Azalea causes oral irritation.

3. Daffodil causes heart arrhythmia, convulsions.

4. Dieffenbachia (a.k.a. Dumb Cane) causes oral irritation.

5. Tulip causes oral irritation and excessive drooling.

6. Kalanchoe (a.k.a. Mother-in-law plant) causes heart arrhythmia.

7. Sago Palm causes bloody vomiting and diarrhea as well as bleeding disorders and liver failure.

8. Oleander causes fatal heart abnormalities.

9. Cyclomen causes oral irritation.

10. Amaryllis causes depression.

All of these plants also cause vomiting and diarrhea.

Petmd.com is a great source for additional information about poisonous plants; also check out the ASPCA’s site.

What should you do if your dog consumes a toxic plant?

Pet poisoning is a serious veterinary emergency so call your veterinarian immediately. Depending on what plant your dog ate you may or may not want to induce vomiting. Here’s a helpful site with a list of which plants require you to induce vomiting and which don’t.

Helpful tips for dog friendly gardening:

Do some dogscaping. My new favorite word is dogscaping, and I can’t take credit for it. What is it? Landscaping with your four legged BFF in mind.

This may mean growing harmful plants in containers so that they can be moved out of reach of your dog. It could also be planting plants that are distasteful to dogs around the perimeter of your garden to keep them out. Some dogs are deterred by strong herbs. (Mine isn’t, but maybe yours will be.)

Dogscaping could also include sprinkling spices such as dried mustard or crushed dried pepper around harmful plants to deter your dog. Stong flavors such as coffee grounds and bitter orange may also keep your dog away. (Thanks to rover.com for this helpful tip.)

Give your dog her own spot to relive itself. By leading your dog to the same place to relieve herself every time she’ll learn that it should only go there. Hopefully this will keep her from destroying your garden with her waste.

Most dogs like to dig. When Fido starts digging direct him to a specific spot designated for that purpose. Hopefully he’ll catch on and learn that all his digging should happen there and not in your garden.

Basic training goes a long way. Whether by using an invisible fencing system or another training method, boundary training your dog will keep him out of your garden. Be patient as this will take time but hopefully pay off with a happy dog and garden.

Remember, it’s a dog. And dogs need exercise. Maybe Spot is destroying your garden because she’s not getting enough exercise or stimulation elsewhere. Take her for a walk, play fetch, or let her run free at the local Bark Park and hopefully she’ll get her energy out there and not in your garden.

Related on Organic Authority
7 Things Dogs do Better than Humans: Canines Know Best
Sun Protection for Cats and Dogs (Yes, it’s a Thing)
How To Make Dog Poop Compost That Won’t (Totally) Gross You Out

photo of dalmatian via Shutterstock

Chris Hull

Chris is a gardener living in southern Maine.