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Poisonous Plants for Dogs 

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Dogs are notorious for getting their snouts into things they shouldn’t. Besides their dog food, they’ll happily snuffle and scarf up anything they come across, from litter on the sidewalk to the newly planted flower bulbs in your garden. And while some of the stuff your pooch comes across is just gross, other items can be downright dangerous. In fact, there are tons of poisonous plants for dogs that can harm your pet.

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center reported that in 2017, 5 percent of all calls were related to pets ingesting plants toxic to them, making it ninth on their list of the top 10 pet toxins.

We spoke with a director at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center and two other veterinarians to identify the most common poisonous plants for dogs.

Below is a quick guide to the most common poisonous plants. Perhaps the most commonly seen in San Diego are the Sago Palm and Pencil Cactus (Sticks of Fire). Both are highly toxic to your pet. 


With its stiff fronds, the sago palm looks like a tiny palm tree and can live indoor or outdoor.

“Sago palms are toxic to all pets and the symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, liver failure, and potentially death,” says Laura Stern, DVM, DABVT, director of client programs for the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

And while the leaves and bark will harm your pup, “the seeds or ‘nuts’ contain the largest amount of toxins,” she claims.


The Euphorbiaceae family of plants has many branches that cause a toxic reaction when trimmed and the sap spills out, or in the case of pets, when the plant is bitten into. Most of the documentation available refers to human poisoning by pencil cactus, but the risk is indeed there if you have this plant in your garden within reach of a curious pet.

Milky sap can be released from any part of the plant, resulting in symptoms like stomach pain upon ingestion or burning of the eyes if the exposure is of an ocular nature. Learn More

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