Weeds That Are Dangerous To Dogs

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Dogs can be very energetic and curious creatures. Especially in the puppy stage, they like to put things in their mouth and chew on or consume things that they shouldn't. This behavior can be very dangerous, especially if a dog eats the wrong plant. Some plants may only cause a dog mild pain or diarrhea but some can cause seizures, vomiting, and even death.

Bishop's Weed

Similar in appearance to Queen Anne's Lace, this weed is toxic to dogs, cats, and other animals. This weed looks like a thin green stalk at the end of which grow individual sprigs of white flowers. If consumed, this plant causes irritation and burning in the mouth, tongue and lips of dogs and may also result in excessive drooling. Vomiting and difficulty swallowing are additional symptoms that may occur. If your dog consumes this weed, consult your local veterinarian or the ASPCA poison control center as soon as possible.



Not related to wheat in any way, buckwheat grows quickly and produces small white five-petaled flowers. This plant is common throughout the United States and some species are used as crop plants. If consumed by dogs, this plant can cause photosensitization, a condition in which the skin becomes hyperactive following exposure to sunlight. This condition typically results in tissue damage and discomfort. If you notice these symptoms in your dog or have reason to believe it consumed buckwheat, contact a professional immediately.



Also called Water Hemlock and Poison Parsnip, this plant is extremely toxic to dogs and other domestic animals. This plant grows in the shape of long, hollow stems topped with umbrella-shaped formations of tiny flowers. Cowbane typically grows in damp meadows and other wet meadows and exudes a smell similar to that of parsnips or carrots. If consumed by a dog, this plant can cause diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, bloating, seizures, tremors and even death. Ingesting this plant is extremely dangerous for dogs so contact your local vet or the ASPCA poison control center immediately if your dog consumes it.



Around 50 species of flowering plant belong to the conyza, or horseweed genus and they are mainly found in the warm and temperate regions of the world. This plant, also called fleabane and butterweed, can cause mild vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Though consumption is not typically fatal, prolonged vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration. Consult a professional as soon as possible if your dog consumes this plant.


Also called thorn apples, Jimsonweed is a plant commonly found in fields. These plants produce soft leaves and trumpet-shaped flowers as well as spiny egg-shaped seed capsules. Toxic to both humans and animals, this plant can be fatal if consumed. In humans, Jimsonweed can cause hallucination, hyperthermia and photophobia. In dogs, the results of ingestion can be even more extreme. If your dog consumes even the smallest amount of this plant, seek professional help immediately.


By Katherine Barrington


ASPCA; Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants
Humane Society; Plants Potentially Poisonous to Pets

About the Author
Katherine Barrington has written on a variety of topics, from arts and crafts to pets, health and do-it-yourself projects. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English with a creative writing concentration from Marietta College.