How Toxic Are Geraniums to Dogs?

by Naomi Millburn, Demand Media
    Dogs and geraniums don't belong together.

    Dogs and geraniums don't belong together.

    If you're both an avid gardener and a dog lover, you may experience severe anxiety and stress when it comes to the thought of your pet exploring the greenery on her own. After all, a lot of very common plants are highly toxic in man's best friend -- yikes.

    Toxicity

    The ASPCA says geraniums are fully and totally toxic in all dogs, not to mention cats, too. The toxicity of the plant is due to chemical linalool and the alcohol geraniol, both prominent presences in geraniums. Since the plants are 100 percent toxic in dogs, it's important to make sure your little one never even goes near one.

    Jungle Geranium

    Don't allowing the name of a plant to fool you. The bright and jovial-looking "jungle geranium" is from a totally different plant family than true geraniums -- the Rubiaceae rather than the the Geraniaceae. According to the ASPCA, this "geranium" is in no way poisonous to either dogs or cats, so you can breathe a sigh of relief if you happen to have one in your garden.

    Symptoms

    Geraniums are toxic enough in dogs that they can trigger a variety of uncomfortable and noticeable symptoms. If you think your pooch may be undergoing geranium poisoning, stay alert for any telltale signs, including skin inflammation and itchiness, mood changes, depression, appetite loss, weight loss and throwing up. If your doggie is indeed suffering from geranium poisoning, it's important to seek veterinary help for her as soon as possible. When it comes to your pet's health, time is always of the essence, so waste not a millisecond of it.
    If you caught your dog eating the plant or even just a small part of it, get rapid veterinary attention, even if she's behaving like she's totally fine and everything's just dandy.

    Other Poisonous Plants

    When it comes to dogs, geraniums aren't even close to being the only potential hazard in your garden. Keep your pet safe by being as well-versed as possible in the toxicity levels of common plants. Poisonous plants in many cases can lead to fatal consequences in pets -- no, thank you. Some other harmful plants to dogs include yellow oleander, mistletoe, hyacinth, buttercup, azalea, daffodil, Jerusalem cherry, bird-of-paradise, English ivy and lily of the valley.

    About the Author

    Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

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