Are dogs allergic to hydrangeas? Tips and Tricks

Signs of Hydrangeas Poisoning in Dogs

With plants continuously ranking on the ASPCAs top 10 pet toxins list, its important to know what signs of poisoning to look for if your dog has gotten into hydrangeas.

When it comes to hydrangea poisoning, Schmid says the most typical symptoms are those related to gastrointestinal (GI) irritation.

“Vomiting, lethargy, and diarrhea are most common to see,” she says. “If true cyanide poisoning were to occur, signs include: hypotension, brick-red gum coloring, heart rhythm abnormalities, almond-flavored breath, hyperventilation, difficulty breathing, low oxygen levels, cyanosis, ataxia, and tremors/seizures.”

Why Are Hydrangeas Poisonous To Dogs?

All parts of hydrangeas (buds, flowers, leaves, stems) are poisonous to dogs, making no part of this plant safe to chew on. But what exactly is it about these stunning shrubs that makes them toxic to our canine companions?

“They [hydrangeas] contain cyanogenic glycosides similar to that found in apple seeds, peach, apricot, plum, and cherry pits,” says Renee Schmid, DVM, DABVT, DABT, and Senior Veterinarian Toxicologist at the Pet Poison Helpline.

Although it may be tempting to remove all hydrangeas and anything that resembles them ASAP, there is some good news that might ease your worries and make you reconsider.

“Even though hydrangeas contain cyanogenic glycosides that are toxic to animals, the amount of hydrangea plant material a dog would need to ingest for cyanide poisoning is very large, so poisoning rarely occurs,” Schmid says.

Want to keep your hydrangeas or begin to grow them in your garden? Try placing them in the front yard away from your pets or using a gate to fence them off from your furry friend.

What Happens if a Dog Eats Hydrangea?

Are dogs allergic to hydrangeas?

Warning signs, such as vomiting after eating hydrangea, might be evident around 30 minutes after ingesting the plant. Hydrangea poisoning is dose-dependent, meaning your pup would need to eat a certain amount of the plant to be in danger of poisoning. Smaller dogs will get ill from smaller amounts, while larger dogs would need to ingest more hydrangea to cause ill effects.

Unlike other toxic plants, a dog would need to consume a large quantity of hydrangea to cause a serious problem. This means in most cases the dog may experience either no symptoms or very mild symptoms. A dog with pre-existing medical problems may be more vulnerable to side effects as a result of eating hydrangea.

If you have seen vomiting or noticed loose stools you might also notice they have a reduced or poor appetite. Digestive upset can lead to fluid loss through drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and some dogs may become dehydrated.

In rare cases where a significant amount of plant is eaten, more serious symptoms may be seen such as lethargy, confusion, and depression. This is much less likely, though it is best to be vigilant for these more serious symptoms.

Are hydrangeas poisonous to dogs

Now let me ask you, is there one of us who doesn’t appreciate the opulent appearance of blooming hydrangeas? Although hydrangeas are, without a doubt, beautiful and one of the most sought-after flowering bushes, there’s a caveat here.

According to the PetMD, hydrangeas are poisonous to cats and dogs, but a very large amount of hydrangea must be consumed by pets to become ill. Since symptoms are usually mild, cases often go unreported. Generally, if enough leaves, flowers or buds are eaten, an animal can suffer from diarrhea and vomiting. Plus, pets may experience lethargy, depression and confusion.

According to the Pet Poison Hotline, the leaves, flowers and buds of the hydrangea plant contain a chemical known as amygdalin. Amygdalin is a cyanogenic glycoside found in many plants. In its natural form, amygdalin is not toxic; however, when it is metabolized by the body (whether it be human, dog or cat), it produces cyanide, which can be toxic to mammals. All parts of the hydrangea plant contain amygdalin, but the highest concentrations are believed to be in flowers and young leaves.

A pet must eat a certain amount of the plant in order to show signs of poisoning. Smaller pets are at a higher risk of poisoning simply because they must consume less than larger pets do to become sick.

I have always displayed in front of our fireplace a large vase full of fresh or dried hydrangeas from our yard. Hmmm . . . maybe dried hydrangeas are not as poisonous as when they are fresh. But this writer will no longer take any chances with neither freshly picked nor dried arrangements with hydrangeas.