Hydrangeas are among the most beloved garden shrubs due to their genuinely fascinating colorful flower heads.
These elegant plants produce some of the most beautiful blooms colored in a wide variety of hues, from vibrant pink to frosty white, clear blue, green, rose, and lavender.
The flowers bloom from spring to fall, and the fun thing is that ambitious gardeners can easily change their flowers’ colors by altering the soil’s pH levels.
They are so impressive, easy to care for, and come in so many kinds, that the chances are that if you have a garden or know someone who does – there is at least one of these impressive bushes.
The problem is that this makes them easily accessible by dogs, and unfortunately, hydrangeas are toxic to canines. The toxicity comes from the cyanogenic glycosides they contain. This poisonous compound is also found in pitted fruits like peaches, in some beans, and in the seeds of apples. Once the body breaks it down, it transforms into highly toxic cyanide.
If you want to find out are hydrangeas poisonous to dogs and what to do if your pup eats some, then go ahead and read our detailed guide.
We have added a list of the most common symptoms of hydrangea poisoning in canines, the treatment for this toxicity, as well as some tips for preventing such unfortunate incidents.
Your Dog Ate Hydrangeas? Here Are the Steps to Take
If you know or suspect that your four-legged companion has ingested some hydrangea, you should immediately contact your vet or an emergency hotline for animal poison control.
In most cases, you will need to take your pup to the clinic to be examined and, if required – treated.
Here are the steps to take as soon as you realize that your pup has munched on hydrangea:
Step #1 – Remain calm and do not panic
Remaining calm will help you and your furbaby get the appropriate treatment faster. Plus, even though hydrangeas are toxic for dogs, it is improbable that there will be severe consequences for their health if you take action quickly.
Step #2 – Secure your pup
Remove the dog away from any remaining hydrangeas or throw out any leftovers to prevent it from eating even more of the plant. Secure it in its crate or a safe room away from any other potential toxins and dangers.
Step #3 – Try to determine the amount consumed
The closer your approximation, the easier it will be for the veterinarian or toxicologist to take the necessary actions and appoint the proper treatment for your furry friend.
Step #4 – Do not attempt to induce vomiting at home
Unless your vet advises you to and gives you detailed instructions, do not attempt to induce vomiting on your own. The reason is that the diluted hydrogen peroxide or other substances that cause vomiting in dogs may cause more harm to your pet than help it if not applied correctly.
Seek the advice of a veterinarian or pet poison service instead!
Step # 5 – Contact your vet or an emergency animal poison hotline or clinic
As soon as you have secured the dog away from eating any more of the plant and flowers, call your veterinarian or a specialized hotline. Time is essential when it comes to poisoning.
The veterinarian may ask you to go to the clinic or office straight away for an examination and treatment.
You will need to provide the expert with your dog’s age, weight, any underlying health conditions, and the estimated amount of the plant it has ingested.
Sometimes, your vet may advise you first to monitor your pup at home for any worrying symptoms.
Make sure to follow the instructions of the professionals closely.
Step #6– Follow the instructions of your vet exactly
If your veterinarian asks you to go for a checkup, it will help if you take a sample of the plant ingested as a reference with you.
The more accurate the information is about the exact plant and quantity ingested – the better the treatment plan for your dog can be formulated.
What Are The Symptoms of Hydrangea Poisoning in Dogs?
The symptoms of toxicity from the ingestion of hydrangeas will differ depending on the quantity consumed, the weight, age, the general health of your dog, and other factors.
The larger the amount ingested – the bigger the risk of toxicity in canines. Also, smaller dogs are more prone to poisoning than larger ones after eating the same amount of hydrangea. Dogs with underlying health issues are also more likely to suffer more severe symptoms.
Some of the first common symptoms to look for are vomiting or diarrhea. These signs of a digestive upset can be expected about 30 minutes after your furry friend ate the plant.
The good news for pet parents is that a dog will need to ingest substantial quantities of the hydrangea plant for actual toxicity to occur. Usually, this is not the case, so your pup will likely experience mild or no symptoms after eating small quantities of this colorful shrub.
You can expect loose stools, vomiting, or a reduced appetite about half an hour after the hydrangea-eating incident. You will need to take precautions to prevent dehydration from losing fluids from diarrhea, vomiting, or excessive drooling.
In rare cases, in smaller dogs or pups with medical issues, or when a considerable amount of the hydrangea has been consumed, the symptoms can become more severe. They can include lethargy, depression, and confusion. You will need to take your pet to the vet as soon as possible if it displays such worrying symptoms.
How is Hydrangea Toxicity in Dogs Treated?
The veterinarian will perform a physical examination and may run some blood and urine tests to determine the best treatment for your pet.
The treatment depends on the symptoms, their severity, blood work, and urinalysis results.
Your vet may induce vomiting or give the dog activated charcoal to remove any undigested toxins from the body. In some cases, hospitalization will be needed. This will ensure that your furbaby is monitored closely and IV fluids are given to flush out its organism from the toxins and to prevent dangerous dehydration.
Your veterinarian may prescribe home treatment and monitoring. Usually, he will recommend a bland diet consisting of chicken broth or boiled white rice until the dog recovers. The vet may prescribe some medications as well.
When the treatment is applied as soon as possible, your pup’s chances of complete recovery are highly optimistic.
How to Prevent Hydrangea Poisoning in Dogs?
The best way to ensure that your furbaby is healthy and happy is to prevent it from eating anything potentially toxic or dangerous.
So, if you have hydrangeas in your garden or near the area where you walk the pup, then make sure to keep it away from them. This can be done by building a fence or pot the hydrangea in a place your dog cannot reach.
Remove any fallen flowers or leaves, or keep your dog away from them. This is especially important for young puppies, which are curious by nature and will chew on anything they see.
If your dog seems attracted to chewing on different plants outdoors, then you will need to train it and restrict it by providing it with a safer chewing option. Use a dog toy, or reward your pup when it responds to your “leave it” command.
Training the dog requires consistency, persistence, and patience, but it is the best way to protect it from eating hydrangeas or other potentially poisonous plants.
Are all hydrangea sorts toxic for canines?
Unfortunately yes, because there are many variations of this plant, they all have the toxin in their buds and leaves. Thus all kinds of hydrangeas should be avoided.
How long after my dog ate hydrangea will the symptoms appear?
Usually, the signs will start appearing about 30 minutes after the incident. They include vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, and in more severe cases – disorientation, confusion, and depression.
The time and the severity of the symptoms depends on the quantity of hydrangea ingested, and on your pup’s weight and health.
Can my dog die from eating hydrangea?
While, in theory, hydrangeas contain toxic cyanide, it is highly unlikely that their ingestion will lead to the dog’s death.
The amount of this plant that can be fatal for pups depends on your furbaby’s health, size, and age.
Smaller or ill dogs are in greater danger of more severe toxicity.
Which parts of the plant are toxic for pups?
All of the parts of this stunning shrub are toxic for dogs. This includes the flowers, leaves, buds, and bark. So, seek advice from your vet no matter which part of the plant your dog has eaten, even if it was fallen leaves, flowers, or twigs from the bush.
Are Hydrangeas Poisonous To Dogs – Final Verdict
Every single part of the hydrangea contains a compound that can be toxic for dogs.
Fortunately, in most cases, the dog will not eat a quantity of the plant enough to cause severe symptoms or harm. So, if your pup has eaten a twig, some leaves, or another small part of your beautiful hydrangea, the chances are that the symptoms may not appear or will be mild.
But you should always contact your veterinarian for instructions and advice to prevent complications such as dehydration from the fluid loss from vomiting, diarrhea, or drooling.
If your dog is small-sized, a young puppy has underlying medical issues, or if it has ingested an alarming amount of hydrangea, you should take precautions immediately and take it to the vet.
Substantial quantities of hydrangea can lead to poisoning, severe symptoms, and if left untreated – even to death.
The best way to prevent such alarming incidents is to keep your pup away from hydrangeas altogether.