Many plants that are poisonous to dogs are very common in backyards. These toxic time-bombs range from being only mildly toxic (for example, causing vomiting) to being responsible for serious canine health problems. If you wish to err on the safe side, thoroughly research all the vegetation and berries that your dog has access to.
As if weeds did not already give us fits while trying to control them, there are also some weeds that are poisonous to dogs. Yellow dock has an upside: namely, its leaves can be crushed to create a salve for stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) burns. Meanwhile, Mayapple, baneberry, bloodroot, and jack-in-the-pulpit have a place in wildflower gardens, and mistletoe is, of course, a classic for Christmas decorating, as is another poisonous plant, the poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima):
Cold-Hardy, Perennial Flowers
The following list of plants poisonous to dogs is not a complete, exhaustive list. Rather, it should be a springboard for further research. Many (but not necessarily all) of the examples on this list are also toxic to cats and humans, as well.
In the North, where lantana is treated as an annual, it is popular in hanging baskets and other container gardens, in which its lively flowers grace many a porch or patio space. Not only is lantana an invasive shrub in warmer areas (where it is not annual), however, but it is also toxic. Grow the plant up high in a hanging basket thus serves two purposes: keeping the plant contained so it does not spread and keeping the plant at a height where the dog cannot reach it.
Some landscaping stalwarts (including some tropical plants) are grown for their flowers, but others are grown for their vegetation. We sometimes refer to them as foliage plants. Some of the plant specimens poisonous to dogs that follow are also known for having large leaves, such as castor beans and the aptly-named “elephant ears.” By contrast, bird of paradise and angel’s trumpet are grown for their sensational blossoms. Meanwhile, aloe vera may be toxic for your puppy, but it is found in many skin-care products for humans. As for snake lily, this unusual specimen is in a class all by itself:
Our family almost lost our first miniature dachshund puppy to sago poisoning because, though I was aware that the seeds were very toxic, I did not realize at the time that the entire plant was also toxic. Luckily, I saw what he was eating (a sago pup had fallen off a large plant removed from the landscape) and I searched Google for Cycas revoluta to see if the entire plant was poisonous.
Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius) – invasive large growing shrub, the red berries and leaves can cause vomiting and the sap can cause a rash in sensitive people.
Lantana (Lantana camara) – invasive shrub, all parts are poisonous but especially the leaves and green berries. This plant can be fatal to children, horses and dogs.
Queen sago (Cycas circinalis) – ornamental plant, all parts of the plant but especially the seeds. Ingestion of the plant or seed is also poisonous to dogs.
King sago (Cycas revoluta) – ornamental plant, all parts of the plants are toxic, but especially the seeds. Two seeds are enough to kill a dog and the ingestion of any part of the plant can cause liver damage and death.
Generally, when we think of plants, we have good thoughts about them.
Castor bean (Ricinus communis)- invasive herbaceous shrub/weed, eating the seeds can cause death.