Is it bad for dogs to eat plants? A Complete Guide

What to do if your Dog is Eating Plants

When your dog eats plants, be aware of what plants they have ingested. If you suspect that the plant is toxic to your dog seek veterinary care immediately. It is always best to know what plants are growing in your dog’s environment and remove any that are potentially poisonous.

Dogs that are suffering from a nutritional deficiency would benefit from being fed a higher quality food or a nutritional supplement. Speak with your veterinarian about what food would be best for your dog’s nutritional needs.

Mild nausea and gas may not set off any alarm bells, however, if the situation becomes more serious and your dog is exhibiting symptoms including excessive bloating, vomiting or pain you need to consult your veterinarian. There may be an underlying cause that needs to be addressed.

Bored dogs do not make good pets, they can become destructive and an overall nuisance. Be sure to provide plenty of interesting toys for your dog as well as training and social interactions that are stimulating and fun for them.

Dogs that are experiencing boredom and are eating the leaves and flowers of plants because they have nothing better to do are not happy dogs. You will need to ease their boredom by playing with them more and giving them more exercise. Fetch is a great way to get your dog moving and give them that one on one attention that they need. Rotate their toys each week so they do not become bored with the same old toys. Look for interactive toys, food puzzles and activities that will challenge their brain and make them think.

You can prevent your dog from eating plants by removing any plants in your yard and home that your dog has shown an interest in. Research your plants and know which ones, if any, are toxic to your dog.

Provide plenty of opportunities for your dog to play, exercise and interact with you and/or other dogs. This will prevent your dog from becoming excessively bored. Have enough toys that can be regularly changed so your dog does not become uninterested in the same old toys. Always have an upbeat attitude during your time with your dog and provide plenty of positive reinforcement.

If your veterinarian diagnoses a medical condition that is causing your dog to eat plants, the cost of treatment will vary depending on the diagnosis and your demographic. You can spend anywhere from $300 to $2000 for diagnostic tests and treatments.

Worried about the cost of treating your pets symptoms?

Pet Insurance covers the cost of many common pet health conditions. Prepare for the unexpected by getting a quote from top pet insurance providers.

Why Eating Plants Occurs in Dogs


Some of the ornamental plants that we use in our landscaping or put in our homes are actually very tasty to our dogs. When you are deciding on your landscaping and houseplants, be sure to research each plant carefully to ensure that they are not toxic to your dog.

Nutritional Deficiency

There is a wide range of commercial dog foods on the market for you to choose from and they should all be nutritionally complete. Ensure you are feeding a complete diet rather than a filler or a complementary food. Some dogs with underlying medical issues, such as IBD or EPI, may not be absorbing their food as they should. This can lead to deficiencies over time.


Generally, dogs will chew on grass to alleviate nausea by inducing vomiting. This will help them feel better, but if you notice that they vomiting excessively you need to take them in for a check-up with your veterinarian. There may be a more serious underlying problem that needs to be diagnosed and treated.


Gas is simply a sign of gastrointestinal upset and if your dog is feeling gassy they will try to lessen the uncomfortable sensations they are having. They will alleviate gassy feelings by eating certain plants, causing them to have a bowel movement or vomit. Be aware that certain commercial dog foods and treats can cause your dog to become bloated and full of gas.


Dogs that do not have stimulating interactions often will become bored and will look for things to do. They may eat plants as a way of occupying themselves. Provide your dog with plenty of interesting toys and allow them to have plenty of exercise time. Some dogs that are high energy or high intelligence would benefit greatly from interactive or puzzle toys.

Does Your Dog Eat Leaves for the Taste, Texture, or Attention?

Is it bad for dogs to eat plants?

Is it bad for dogs to eat plants?

Some people have also proposed that dogs of all kinds gained a taste for plant material when they ingested it in the stomachs of other animals that they ate. You know what they say, “Once you go grass, you never go back!”

Maybe, they just like eating grass and leaves. It could be a texture thing! When you pay more attention to them after they eat leaves or grass, it could also act as positive reinforcement so that they continue doing it for more attention.

We do know that the ingestion of grass and other plant materials can make dogs vomit. Of course, pet owners are very concerned when that happens, and it led to the idea that perhaps dogs eat grass and leaves because their stomach is upset and they’re trying to induce vomiting or to otherwise relieve their upset stomach.

The only problem with that idea is it’s like the question about the chicken or the egg and which came first. Did your dog eat the plant material because he had an upset stomach or did eating grass give your dog an upset stomach in the first place? It’s also true that many dogs eat leaves and grass and never vomit.

11 Plants To Avoid Keeping If You Have Pets

When pet parents think of what can be poisonous to their dogs, the things that come to mind are usually chocolate, grapes, antifreeze – the usual suspects. However, it’s easy to overlook commonplace items like the plants we use to spruce up a room or cultivate a vibrant yard.

While certain plants can be aesthetically pleasing, they can also cause a whole bunch of problems if your dog chows down on them. That’s why it’s essential for pet parents to know which indoor plants are toxic to dogs, in addition to outdoor plants as well.

While this certainly isn’t an exhaustive list of toxic plants for dogs, the following are some of the more common toxic plants that may be around our homes or found in the yard:

Popular during the spring holidays, this plant can cause vomiting, depression, diarrhea, excessive drooling, and tremors

Prevalent in many backyards, this common plant can cause vomiting, diarrhea, a drop in blood pressure, weakness, cardiac failure, coma, and can even be life-threatening

Not to be confused with the less toxic Strelitzia reginae, this plant, if consumed, can cause oral irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, mild nausea, drowsiness, and difficulty swallowing

A favorite of gardeners, this plant can cause vomiting, hypersalvation, diarrhea, arrhythmia, convulsions, and low blood pressure

A common flower both in gardens and flower arrangements, if consumed, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, incoordination, and dermal allergic reactions

While the entirety of this plant is toxic, the rhizomes (underground stem) are most potent and, if ingested, this plant can cause vomiting, drooling, lethargy, and diarrhea

If one of these uniquely shaped flowers is ingested, it can cause oral irritation, a burning sensation on the tongue and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing

It only takes consuming a few leaves to create a severe reaction, including excessive drooling, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, colic, depression, weakness, stupor, paralysis, cardiovascular collapse, or worse – your dog may become comatose or even die

The jade plant is toxic to dogs. Consumption can cause vomiting, a slow heart rate, incoordination, and depression, which can be hard to spot

Are tomato plants toxic to dogs? While the popular fruit produced by this plant isn’t poisonous, unripe tomatoes can still pose a danger. Plus, the plant itself is toxic to dogs. If consumed, symptoms produced can include: hypersalivation, severe upset stomach, depression, weakness, dilated pupils, and slow heart rate

Pretty but poisonous, the bulb of this plant, if ingested, can cause oral irritation, excessive drooling, and nausea

For a more complete list of plants that are toxic to dogs, check out this list compiled by our strategic partner The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®).

If your pal consumes something poisonous, a plant or other hazardous material, there are some telltale signs, as noted above, that will alert pet parents. Common symptoms of poison consumption include:

If you believe your dog has consumed a poisonous plant – or anything poisonous for that matter – contact your veterinarian or an emergency clinic immediately. It can be helpful to the veterinarian if you know or can identify the plant your pooch ingested. If your dog vomited, bringing a sample with you may be beneficial for testing, analysis, and for determining the proper treatment.

While you are on your way to the veterinarian or emergency clinic, consider contacting the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435 for more information from poison control experts. The center offers a 24-hour emergency hotline.

Depending on the situation, treatment can go in a few different directions. While this can certainly be a scary situation, it’s in your – and your pooch’s – best interest to be calm and collected. If you act frantic or extremely distressed, it can have an adverse effect on your buddy.

The simple way to prevent pets from getting into poisonous plants is to keep the toxic ones out of your house and yard. However, even for the most vigilant pet parents, that can be easier said than done.

Poisonous plants can find their way into our homes in bouquets and other floral gifts that often include baby’s breath. The tiny decorative flower, if eaten by a curious canine, can cause tummy troubles. So even when you’ve been extra careful, you can still bring hazards into the home with something as seemingly innocuous as a flower arrangement.

It’s also important to know what’s growing in your yard and to plan your landscaping accordingly.

There is no surefire way to prevent all accidents and illnesses when it comes to our pets and the troubles they can get into. This is why taking some precautionary measures and knowing what to do in an emergency is highly recommended for dog parents. By preparing yourself ahead of time, you will be more likely to remain cool, calm, and collected if an incident ever were to occur.

The information presented in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute or substitute for the advice of your veterinarian.