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Protect Your Dogs and Pets from Accidentally Ingesting Poisonous Plants

Updated on December 7, 2015
Caster Bean
Caster Bean
Sago Palms (Cycads)
Sago Palms (Cycads)

It is a ruff question, but how do you really view your relationship with your pet? Are you a devoted owner who coddles your pup, or do you often forget that you even have your four-legged friend?

I have discovered that living in Paradise (Hawaii) has several plants (some very beautiful) that are poisonous to dogs.

Usually when you get a new dog, they go through several stages. One is the "biting stage". This is like a normal human baby, anything within eye site goes into the mouth. For your dog, if it moves, he will chew on it, if it smells he will chew on it. So it is wise to be aware of what plants pose a hazard to your dog if it is consumed.

The first is the Caster Bean which contains the toxin Ricin. Symptoms that your pet may have eaten it is an increase in body temperature accompanied by depression. Then he will start vomiting and have profuse diarrhea with our without blood.

To relieve symptoms and give first aid, prevent further ingestion of the plant and contact your veterinarian immediately. They can instruct you on appropriate medical procedures.

Another common plant in Hawaii is the Sago Palms (Cycads) which contains the toxin Cyeasin.

Symptoms include bloody vomiting, diarrhea, bloody stool, bruising and increased thirst. Only a few of the seeds of this plant can kill a dog. Seek veterinary attention as soon as you suspect consumption of this plant.

Azaleas are very pretty, but the whole plant is poisonous, especially the foliage. Symptoms of ingestion could include excessive drooling, diarrhea, weakness, vomiting, abnormally low blood pressure, suppression of the nervous system, coma and death.

Seek veterinary attention if you suspect that your dog has been into the azaleas as soon as possible.

Bird of Paradise
Bird of Paradise

Bird of Paradise are beautiful flowers but they can make your dog very sick. They contains a toxin that is presumed to be hydrocyanic acid of tannins.

Symptoms includes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Try to induce vomiting with a solution of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and provide symptomatic treatment. Your pet will usually make a full recovery within 24 to 48 hours of ingestion. If not, consult your veterinarian.

The Oleander contains deadly toxins that slow down the heart.

Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, heart irregularities, decreased body temperature and death.

Seek emergency veterinary treatment. To treat, induce vomiting by stomach pumping to remove any undigested plant matter.

We have plenty of these flowers in Hawaii. You might want to study what plants in your area of the world are toxic to dogs also.

There are other plants than can be dangerous to your dog which include aloe, avacado, chrysanthemum, anthurium, coral plant, elephant's ear, eggplant, grapes, Japanese yew, macadamia nut, morning glory, milkweed, onion, poinsettia, tomato, potato and star of bethlehem. Who knew?

As a precaution, I have been told that if you spray some pepper spray on the plants when they are wet it will keep the dogs away. Also, you can use a foul-tasting spray (like bitter apple or bitter herbs), formulated to repel pets. Try household vinegar in a spray bottle as a natural deterrent. Tobasco or hot chili oil also work if you dog is determined.

If you are out on a walk and your dog starts eating plants, tug gently on his lead, but only very slightly so that knows he should not touch it. Praise him in a happy voice and give him a treat like a dog biscuit. Be aware of what plants are in your neighborhood or where you often walk your dog. Make sure you give your dog enough chewy toys and bones to get his fill of chewing.


Submit a Comment

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Thank you Seb. Many people are not aware of what plants can harm pets. It is unfortunate some find out the hard way. I appreciate your comments.

  • profile image

    Seb at Cozy Pink Dog Bed 

    8 years ago

    Great advice. I used to live in Kenya. One of our dogs ate a Bird of Paradise flower that had fallen on the ground. He was so sick, but thankfully recovered. Friends recently bought a Sago Palm, I knew they were poisonous and managed to warn them to keep their new puppy away from it. He was chewing everything, I'm sure he would have tried the Sago too.

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Glad you stopped by brethodge and that you also care about pets. I hope I have made a few people more aware of the poisonous plants that are hazardous to pets.

  • brethodge profile image


    8 years ago from USA

    Pets need a lot of care in each way... there are many poisonous plants that can harm them.. you have shared some of the great tips and info.. thanks..

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    sorry isi about your mishap with the dog, but glad it had a happy ending.

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    9i learned about charity--God's love through a relation with a puppy a creature that I grew up hating because I was bit by one and the scars is still there to remind me, however I had a change of heart when I grew to care for puppy as if he was just one of my children. When he was lost for a while we prayed for him to return and surely he came back with many sores and we needed to nurse him back to good health. I think the scars is there to remind me to remember the outcast and downtrodden. If I can pray for a puppy that I feared and hated, surely I can pray for all my friends and enemies. Great hub.

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Glad you liked the article about pets and toxic plants. Interesting that such beautiful plants can be poisonous. Thanks for commenting.

  • pmccray profile image


    8 years ago from Utah

    Rated up and shared. This was a very informative and beautiful hub. I'm sharing it to others because it is a subject that is not written on enough.

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    @rprcarz50 - yes it is ironic isn't it. Nature can fool you.

    @LianaK - I'd love to see your miniature schnauzer. This one reminded me of her.

  • LianaK profile image


    8 years ago

    Love the picture of the puppy. We have a minature schnauzer too and would be so sad if she ate something poisonous. Thanks for the great reminder.

  • rprcarz50 profile image


    8 years ago

    Very good topic , very good content .

    How can such beauty be so dangerous to some animals.

    Great Hub !

    Thank you


    As Always also a2z50

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    @drbj - I would love to travel to Florida. I have not had the opportunity to yet. I appreciate all you said.

    @JannyC - You are so right that we sometimes forget that plants can be poisonous to our animals. It is good to be aware and cautious.

    @Butterfly Lady - like many things in nature, they are deceivingly beautiful. Glad that we have science to help us know which plants are dangerous to our pets.

  • Butterfly Lady profile image

    Butterfly Lady 

    8 years ago from Broken Arrow, OK

    Wow, I did not know that about Azaleas. Glad I stopped by. I was just going to put some out in my front yard. Will try the pepper trick and will be sure to monitor my cat's comings and goings. Good Hub.

  • JannyC profile image


    8 years ago

    Very informative. Im an animal lover so really like this article to advise pet owners on this. A lot of pet owner can forget this.

  • drbj profile image

    drbj and sherry 

    8 years ago from south Florida

    Elayne - I, too, am fortunate to be living in paradise - south Florida in my case, and like Hawaii (which I do like very much!), there are many plants poisonous to small animals. Thanks for the needed reminder.

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Wow, you are quick stopping by. I appreciate that. Hope you are enjoying the Spring. Aloha!

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 

    8 years ago from London, UK

    Thank you for such good advice.


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