Do you have gorgeous dahlias blooming in your garden from summer to late fall? If you have a dog, you may be wondering whether they pose a threat to it.
Unfortunately, the answer to the question “are dahlias poisonous to dogs?” is yes. Dahlias are known to be toxic to cats as well.
But luckily, these beautiful flowers are not as deadly as some of the other plants you may be growing in your outdoor space. So, the adverse effects for your dog after eating a few of them will usually be mild and include nausea, diarrhea, and a loss of appetite or dermatitis.
In most cases, your dog’s symptoms of toxicity from eating a dahlia will disappear.
Still, it is recommended that you keep your furry companion away from the mildly toxic dahlias.
Please keep reading to learn more about what makes dahlias toxic to canines, the symptoms, and whether they are dangerous for felines and humans.
How To Grow Dahlias Safely When You Have Pets?
The best way to keep your pets safe is to grow non-toxic flowers, shrubs, herbs, and other plants in your garden.
But this, of course, is not always possible.
Dahlias come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes, all of them stunningly beautiful. In some countries, people eat the flowers of this plant. But all parts of the dahlia can be mildly poisonous to dogs and cats.
Even though they may not be as dangerous as some other toxic plants, your dog may suffer from a range of unwanted and unpleasant symptoms if it happens to eat part of them or, in some cases, even if it comes into contact with a dahlia.
So, if you want a garden full of blooming dahlias and yet to keep your pup safe, then you should ensure that the flowers are planted well out of reach by your dog.
This can be done with a fence or another barrier, like a wireless dog fence. Or you can plant the flowers in pots on a stand or a hanging pot, which is out of reach by your four-legged companion.
Are Dahlias Poisonous For Humans?
Dahlias are native to Central America and Mexico, where they are perennial plants with over 30 species and more than 20,000 cultivars. Today, they are grown on other continents in private gardens, parks, and other spaces, usually as annuals. They are available as cut flowers and are also used for cosmetics, the production of natural dyes, and the pharmaceutical and food industry.
These tuberous flowers bloom in various vibrant colors, sizes, and shapes. In some countries, their petals are used for garnishing and decorating different dishes. Being related to sunflowers and Jerusalem artichokes, even their bulbs are edible to humans.
But please be warned that people with sensitivities may suffer from skin irritation if they handle their tubers or leaves, especially in direct sunlight.
Also, consuming the petals or any part of the dahlia is not recommended if you are unsure of the pesticides or other chemicals used for growing them.
But overall, if you have grown your own flowers, they should be safe for you and your family.
The same is not true for your furry friends, as dahlias can be mildly poisonous for dogs and cats.
Are Dahlias Poisonous To Dogs?
Although they are not as toxic and potentially deadly as some other common flowers and plants like cyclamen, mistletoe, oleander, hemlock, castor oil plant, dumbcane, and others, dahlias are still mildly poisonous to canines.
All parts of the plant are considered toxic for dogs and cats, including the petals, leaves, stems, and roots. They can cause adverse effects if your pup eats any part of the flower or even if it just comes into contact with its leaves or tubers.
While it is very unlikely that ingesting a dahlia plant will kill your pup, this plant can cause mild gastrointestinal upsets as well as dermatitis in dogs. The exact toxin that causes these adverse effects is not scientifically determined yet, but dog parents should be warned to monitor their pets if they eat or get into contact with dahlias.
For peace of mind, you may want to keep your furry companion safely away from dahlias when playing in your garden or enjoying a walk in the park.
Are Dahlias Poisonous To Cats?
According to the ASPCA, dahlias can be mildly toxic to dogs, cats, and horses. So, if your feline friend has chewed on or touched some dahlias, you should watch it for telltale signs of poisoning and contact your veterinarian if needed.
The most common signs of dahlia toxicity in cats are skin irritation and inflammation, constant scratching, loss of whole clumps of fur, oily skin, pawing, and mild digestive upsets such as soft stools or diarrhea.
Even though they are not as dangerous to felines as some other common flowers and plants, it is best to keep your cat away from dahlias in your garden, home, or neighborhood. Call your veterinarian for advice if you suspect that your furbaby has ingested some dahlia flowers and plants.
What Are The Common Symptoms Of Dahlia Poisoning In Dogs?
If you catch your pup in the act of munching on dahlias, you should monitor it closely for any worrying symptoms of toxicity.
Thankfully, dahlias are only mildly poisonous to canines, so most adult healthy dogs should not have very severe adverse reactions, and the prognosis for full recovery is quite good.
Still, it is recommended to keep an eye for any of the following common symptoms that your pup may suffer from dahlia toxicity:
- Mild dermatitis
- Irritation and itching
- Red, painful patches on the skin
- A rash
- Mild gastrointestinal upset
- Pain in the abdomen
If you notice any of these symptoms or are worried that your furbaby has eaten a dangerous amount of dahlias for its age, size, and health, then you should call your veterinarian.
Your vet may ask you to take your dog to the clinic, where a physical examination will be performed. If possible, take a sample of the plant which your pup has ingested for a faster and exact diagnosis. Also, try to determine the number of plants or amount of dahlia which your furbaby has consumed.
The veterinarian will check its reflexes, its heart rate, and more.
In some cases, vomiting will be induced, and activated charcoal may be administered to prevent the toxins from being further absorbed by the dog’s organism.
Your veterinarian may prescribe topical medications to relieve the itching, inflammation, or pain if the pup has skin irritation.
The good news is that in most cases, and with timely treatment, chances are that the symptoms will disappear within 24 hours without any more severe complications or effects on your pup’s health.
But since prevention is the best cure, it is recommended to ensure that your four-legged companion stays away from any dahlia flowers and plants inside your home, in the garden, or in the public spaces where you go for walks or playtime.
This will help lower the risk of poisoning, save you time and money for veterinary care, and keep you and your pet happy and worry-free.