Pet Savvy Before You Go A Rovin’

Originally posted December 2007
by Michelle Harrell aka “Poodlemama”

Michelle's Magical PoodlesSo, it’s that time of the year again. You pack up the car and the pooch and head down the highway to warmer ground.
But, do you know what possible dangers lurk outside of your own backyard. People are often surprised to learn there are actually hundreds of plants potentially poisonous to dogs.
Here are the top 10 most common poisonous houseplants and landscape plants dog owners should avoid.

  1. Autumn crocus (Colchicum): Its active ingredient, colchicines, triggers an anti-metabolic effect that can cause rapidly dividing cells, shedding of the gastrointestinal tract, bloody diarrhea and vomiting.
  2. Azalea (Rhododendron): This popular plant can harm dog’s cardiovascular system and trigger vomiting or gastrointestinal upset.
  3. Daffodil (Narcissus): Toxic ingredients in the bulbs cause convulsions, tremors, lethargy, weakness and upset stomachs.
  4. Hyacinth (Hyacinth): This popular plant can cause heart failure, coordination problems and vomiting.
  5. Japanese yew (Taxis): Extremely toxic to dogs, this group of ornamental plants can cause seizures or cardiac failure. The plant and red berries are toxic.
  6. Lilly of the valley (Convalaria): This plant can cause heart failure, coordination problems and vomiting.
  7. Oleander (Nerium): Extremely toxic, this popular outdoor plant contains caridac glycosides that harm the heart, decrease body temperature, cause abnormal pulse rate and can cause death. Beware: Even people have died eating hot dogs roasted on an oleander twig.
  8. Rhubarb (Rheum): Although the stalks are used to make pies, the leaves pack the potential to cause kidney damage.
  9. Sago palm (Cycads): Resembling an upside down pineapple, this plant thrives in sandy soils, especially in warmer states such as California, Texas and Florida. A few seeds can kill a dog.
  10. Tomato (Lycopersicion): Surprisingly, the greenery of this common plant, not the tomato itself, contains solanine, a toxic ingredient that can prompt gastric upset, depression, weakness and a decrease in heart rate.

Always assume any ingested mushroom by a dog is toxic and will cause liver failure. The problem is many poisonous mushrooms grow together with non-poisonous mushrooms.
For more information visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at or the American Veterinary Medical Association website at www.

Until next time, happy trails and tails.

Michelle’s Magical Poodles is a show full of classic and traditional circus style tricks. For more information about Michelle and her Magical Poodles, please visit her online at