5 Common Garden Plants That Are Toxic to Dogs


” Yew and lupins both common garden plants toxic to humans and dogs “

There are many garden plants that are poisonous if eaten by dogs. While the effects of these plants vary depending on the dog’s breed, size, and amount eaten, some plants can be deadly in small quantities.
Some breeds are more likely to eat plants than others. Labradors are notorious for eating almost anything, but other breeds, such as retrievers and spaniels, can also have this trait. All dogs rely on their taste and smell to explore their environment, however, so any canine has the potential to eat a poisonous plant.
To help keep your dog safe, here are five common UK plants that are dangerous for dogs. If you have a dog, it’s best to avoid growing these plants in your garden.
Note: If you suspect your dog has eaten a potentially dangerous plant, you should contact a vet immediately. Symptoms can develop rapidly after eating a toxic plant.

1. Rhododendron

All species of rhododendron are toxic to dogs. This is because the plant contains a toxin that disrupts natural processes in the muscles and skeleton.
If eaten by a dog, this group of plants can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, drooling, pain, and increased heart rate. In severe cases, ingesting rhododendron can lead to blindness, seizures, and coma.
It’s worth noting that all parts of the rhododendron are toxic if ingested. It’s best to avoid these plants in your garden if you have a canine companion.

2. Wisteria

Wisteria contains lectin and wisterin glycoside, which are both toxic to dogs. Eating it can cause a dog to vomit, have diarrhoea, and become depressed.
While these symptoms can be mild, eating enough wisteria can cause bloody stool and dehydration. If your dog eats enough, wisteria can lead to collapse or even death.
Wisteria seed pods are even more toxic than the plant. They may cause severe symptoms if eaten.

3. Ragwort

Ragwort isn’t just a nuisance weed – it’s also highly toxic if ingested by dogs. In fact, even a relatively small amount can be fatal. Symptoms include staggering, liver failure, neurological problems and even death.
Fortunately, ragwort is usually easy to keep under control. The exception is if your garden is near grazing fields or uncultivated land, in which case you may need to work a bit harder to ensure your dog doesn’t have access to it. 

4. Yew

Yew is a common evergreen conifer that’s toxic to all animals, including both humans and dogs.
Ingesting yew foliage can cause a variety of symptoms in dogs, such as drooling, vomiting and a dry mouth. It can also lead to dizziness and stomach cramping. In the worst cases, eating yew can cause seizures, coma, and even death.
The berries are also poisonous, although not as dangerous as the foliage.

5. Daffodil and Tulip Bulbs

Daffodils and tulips are common spring flowers, but the bulbs can be dangerous if your dog digs them up. This is partly because bulbs contain a type of crystal that can cause vomiting, pain, and diarrhoea. Severe cases can also cause cardiac problems and issues with breathing.
To keep your pet safe, supervise them in the garden to ensure they don’t dig up flowerbeds. Keep bulbs that are waiting to be planted out of reach.

Other Tips for Keeping a Dog Safe in the Garden

Make sure you thoroughly audit your garden for potential dangers, such as toxic plants and water features (not all dogs are strong swimmers). This is especially important if you’ve installed a dog door to allow unrestricted access to the garden, as you likely won’t be able to supervise him at all times.
Fruit trees can be a hazard for dogs. Many pits, such as those found in peaches and plums, contain cyanide and can obstruct the digestive system if eaten. Apple seeds can also be toxic.
Some dogs can be persistent if they want to escape a garden. Make sure that all fences or boundary hedges are properly maintained. Some breeds can jump surprisingly high, which is something to keep in mind! It’s usually best to install solid fences, so your dog can’t react to other people or animals in adjacent gardens.
Additionally, be careful when applying pesticides or weed killers. Many of these are poisonous to both cats and dogs.


The five plants above are just a few that are potentially dangerous to dogs. There are many more, including snowdrops, hemlock, lily of the valley, and bracken.
The best way to keep your dog safe from poisonous plants is to take preventative action. Try to remove dangerous plants, or at least restrict access to them. It’s also important to avoid leaving clippings or fallen berries on the ground.
If your dog may have eaten a poisonous plant, or you’re noticing symptoms such as vomiting or changes in behaviour, contact your vet immediately.