First Aid for Dogs: How to Handle Poisonous Plant Ingestion


If you have a dog and live in an area where there are plants, then you're probably aware that dogs can get sick from eating these plants. But did you know that certain plants can actually be poisonous to dogs? If your dog has ingested any of these poisonous plants, then it is best to seek medical attention immediately:


Nutmeg is a spice that comes from the dried kernel of an evergreen tree and has a sweet, warm flavor. It's used in many baked goods, including cakes and pastries.

The toxic dose of nutmeg for dogs is unknown; however, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and tremors if ingested. The onset of these signs typically occurs within 30 minutes to 2 hours after ingestion--these symptoms can last up to 24 hours or more depending on how much was consumed by your dog (the more they ate). If you think your dog has eaten any amount of this plant material please contact your veterinarian immediately!

Potato Leaves

Potato leaves are toxic to dogs. If your dog has ingested potato leaves, you should call the vet immediately. Symptoms of potato leaf ingestion include drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea in addition to depression and lethargy. Different plant species can have different symptoms; some plants are toxic in all parts of the plant (leaves or fruit), while others only have toxins in their leaves or fruit.


Lilies are poisonous to dogs, cats, and other pets. Lilies can cause gastrointestinal irritation and vomiting in pets that ingest them. Symptoms of severe toxicity include kidney failure, seizures, and respiratory problems. The severity of the symptoms depends on how much plant material is consumed by the animal and whether or not there was any water available for drinking after eating the plant material (which would dilute some of its toxic effects).

Lily toxicity is dose-dependent: small amounts may only cause mild gastrointestinal irritation while larger doses could be fatal within a few hours if left untreated by an emergency veterinarian! If you think your pet has ingested any part of a lily (including pollen), seek emergency medical treatment immediately!

Tomato Plant

Tomato plants, like other members of the nightshade family, contain solanine. Solanine is a glycoalkaloid poison that protects the plant from pests by making them taste bad and causing them to vomit. It's also poisonous to humans and animals if ingested.

Tomato plant leaves are toxic to dogs because they have higher levels of solanine than any other part of the tomato plant--up to 100 times more than the fruit itself! If your dog ingests several leaves at once (or even just one big leaf), it could cause vomiting, diarrhea, gastrointestinal upset, and sleepiness or lethargy in addition to extreme thirst and urination as well as weakness in some cases--so if you suspect poisoning take your pup straightaway for treatment by a veterinarian

Azalea and Rhododendron

Azaleas and rhododendrons are common ornamental plants in many homes. They're also toxic to dogs, who can ingest the leaves, flowers, and nectar of these plants.

Symptoms of azalea poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, and seizures. If you suspect your dog has ingested any part of an azalea or rhododendron plant--or if you see him chewing on one--contact your veterinarian immediately because this is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. Nutmeg isn't actually toxic to dogs but ingestion can lead to diarrhea, depression, and vomiting; symptoms will usually go away on their own within 24 hours.

Castor Bean Plant

The castor bean plant is a member of the same family as the castor oil plant. While they look similar, they are not the same plant. The castor bean plant is poisonous to dogs and humans, while its cousin--the castor oil tree--is safe for humans and animals alike.

To make matters more confusing, there's another type of African wonder tree that looks very similar to both types of toxic plants: it has similar leaves and flowers but has yellow-colored berries instead of red ones like their poisonous cousins have!

Don't let your pet ingest any of these plants

  • Don't let your pet chew on the plants or eat their seeds or flowers.
  • Don't let your pet eat berries from any plant in this list, as they may be poisonous too!
  • Be sure to keep all parts of these plants out of reach--even if they don't look like they're edible (e.g., roots), don't take chances! If your dog ingests something he shouldn't have eaten, contact us.


We hope you'll keep this list of poisonous plants in mind and be sure to keep your pet away from them. If you suspect that your dog has ingested any of these plants, it's important to see a vet immediately so they can administer the appropriate treatment.


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