are orchids poisonous to dogs

Are Orchids Poisonous to Dogs? Everything You Need to Know

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Nick Marchek

Nick Marchek is a building information modeling (BIM) specialist at Microsol Resources, an Autodesk Platinum Partner in their Philadelphia office. Nick has a Bachelor and Master of Architecture from Pennsylvania State University.
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Trying to get your dog to avoid knocking over plants and other things in the house is almost as impossible as telling the sun not to shine. So this is why today we're going to answer the question, "Are orchids poisonous to dogs?"

We want you to have a relaxed experience with your pets at home without worrying about running to the vet whenever your dog has a little adventure. If you are a lover of cool house plants or are just a beginner on your plant lovers' journey, this article is for you.

Along with knowing whether orchids are poisonous to dogs, we'll also mention a few other plants that you should keep out of your house if dogs are a part of your family.

Before we dive into the various orchid species, let's first understand what would prompt your dog to start chewing on your orchids.

Why Are Orchids Intriguing to Dogs?

Some of the reasons your dog may find your beautiful orchids fascinating include boredom, anxiety, curiosity, and teething.

This last part is mostly when it comes to puppies. When puppies are teething, they often look for nearby objects to chew on. Therefore, don't be surprised if your new baby starts chewing on your favorite pair of slippers.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way let's see why orchids are such fascinating plants and which species are dangerous to your canine friends.

The Orchid Species

All orchids are part of the Orchidaceae family. There are approximately over 25,000 species of orchids and even more hybrids.

Why are orchids common indoor plants? Because they are elegant, colorful, and delicate. There's something that they do to your home that transforms the ambiance.

The good thing is that orchids are generally considered harmless or nontoxic to dogs if ingested. However, there are still those to watch out for, and we'll look at those in a minute.

What Are Some Orchid Plants to Pay Attention to?

1. Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis)

The Moth Orchid is non-toxic to dogs.

These pet-friendly flowers are easily found in supermarkets and other garden centers. Therefore, if you're looking for orchid plants that are easy to find and won't harm your dog, you can get this Phalaenopsis Orchid.

Nonetheless, you may still want to keep this orchid away from your dog. For one, you don't want your beautiful plant destroyed. Secondly, excessive chewing on this orchid can cause your baby to become sick.

2. Lady Slipper Orchid (Cypripedioideae Orchid)

This orchid plant is toxic to dogs.

The Lady Slipper Orchid is a rare orchid that you should not purchase if you have a dog in the house. Also known as slipper orchids, these orchid plants can easily cause skin irritation and stomach upset to your dog.

The Lady Slipper Orchids are still a no-go to your canine friends, even as garden plants. Therefore, pay close attention when you are outdoors with your dog to prevent them from chewing on any Lady Slipper Orchids out in the wild.

What Should You Do When Your Dog Eats An Orchid?

The first step is not to panic. We've outlined some steps you can follow if you suspect that your dog has eaten some orchid flowers or orchid leaves.

Here they are.

Step 1: Relocate the Orchid Plant

After the initial shock has steadily worn off and you've taken the plants out of the way, the next step is to find a new location for your plant.

Whether it's a moon orchid, valley orchid, Phalaenopsis orchid, or any other plant, it's best to keep it out of your dog's reach. This applies to orchids that are toxic to dogs and those that aren't.

Before moving on to our next step, ensure that you check your dog's mouth to ensure that nothing is left from their little escapade. Remove any remnants of orchid leaves, orchid flowers, orchid bark, or compost that may be left in their mouths.

Step 2: Check for Any Sign of Skin Irritation

The level of irritation may vary depending on the type of orchid that your dog has come into contact with. If you see any rashes on your dog, use some clean, warm water to wash the affected area.

Remove any orchids left on your dog's skin and ensure that you protect yourself. For example, you can use waterproof gloves to protect your hands from the orchids.

Step 3: Call the Vet

The next step is to call your vet. Tell them exactly what happened with your dogs, cats, or any other pets. Give them the details of the type of orchids you have and the rest of the situation.

If you've used any fertilizers in your orchids, ensure that you mention this to your vet as well. Mention all the symptoms that your dog is experiencing, including any skin allergies and visible stomach upset.

Your vet will then advise you on the next steps forward based on the information you've given them.

Step 4: Follow the Veterinarian’s Instructions

This seems like an obvious step, but we felt it necessary to add it for emphasis. The truth is that you may be in so much shock and in distraught that you may not pay extremely close attention to what the vet is saying.

Therefore, take a few breaths before you call the vet to ensure that you are calm enough to understand the instructions. The vet may ask you to call the poison helpline or to take your dog in for examination.

What Are Other Plants Harmful to Dogs?

1. Philodendrons

Pet parents and dog owners should pay attention to this popular houseplant, especially if you have adventurous furry friends. These plants often have long vines and heart-shaped leaves and contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals.

These crystals can irritate your dog's lips and mouth if they ingest the plant material. In addition, these plants are toxic to dogs and can make your dog retch, drool, and suffer discomfort around their mouths.

2. Lily of the Valley

Pet parents should steer away from this plant despite its adorable and sweet-smelling nature. These toxic plants to dogs can thrive in shady places, and therefore, you may find them in unexpected places.

If exposed to these plants, your dog may develop some heart problems. In addition, if they ingest a few bulbs or leaves, your pup may start throwing up, develop seizures, have low blood pressure, or go into a coma in extreme cases.

3. Oleander

If you are a fan of landscaping, you've probably heard of the oleander plant. This plant can grow till it's 12 feet tall.

The worst part about this is that this plant has no non-toxic parts. The flowers and leaves are all toxic to dogs. It will affect your dog similar to how Lily of the Valley affects.

4. Sago Palm

If you love palm trees, you'll like how the sago palm looks like. It looks like a small palm tree. Unfortunately, Sago palm is toxic to all pets. Therefore, all pet owners must keep their pets away from this plant.

When dealing with sago palms, the seeds are the most poisonous. However, this doesn't mean that the bark and leaves aren't also poisonous. Therefore, whether your dog likes to eat plants or not, keep the sago palm away from your dog.

5. Tulips

Tulips are very popular because they are beautiful spring-blooming flowers that make everything better. You can either have them indoors or outdoors. Nonetheless, ensure that they are far away from your dog if you have them.

If your dog eats these leaves, it could develop a stomach upset. One thing to very pay close attention to is the newly-planted bulbs that your dog may dig up from the garden. These ones have concentrated toxins that can cause your dog to have stomach upsets, loss of appetite, and depression.

6. Rhododendron (Azaleas)

Every part of these Rhododendrons has grayanotoxin, which can cause stomach upsets to your dogs. The level of reaction depends on how much of the plants your dog has ingested.

Some other symptoms you may experience include tremors, low blood pressure, weakness, and irregular heart rates.

7. Cyclamen

Cyclamen has amazingly colored booms that last very long. This houseplant makes the perfect addition to the winter season.

These cyclamen plants are not at all pet-friendly. They can cause your dog to vomit, have diarrhea, and drool. But, just like the tulips above, if your dog eats the tubers, they couldn't be in even more danger. So ensure you call your vet immediately you suspect that your dog has eaten one of these.

 8. Japanese Yews (Southern Yew or Buddhist Pine)

These Japanese Yews are like small evergreen trees. This is why they make some of the best hedges there are, and they are very popular throughout the United States.

These plants have small red berries. However, these red berries are not toxic to your dog. However, the seeds, bark, and leaves are.

The symptoms you can expect to see should your dog ingest it are a wobbly gait, vomiting, and lethargy. Some other early signs to look out for include muscle tremors and seizures.

9. Autumn Crocus

These plants also go by the name naked ladies. This is because their delicate flowers often come out of the ground without leaves. The bulbs of these plants often appear in the spring after the flowers have died.

Vomit and diarrhea are some of the symptoms you can expect should your dog ingest these non-pet-friendly plants.

10. Dieffenbachia (Dumb Cane)

Finally, we have these indoor plants that have calcium oxalate crystals. These crystals are what will give your dog a burning sensation in their mouth, lips, and tongue should they ingest it.

Other symptoms also include drooling, vomiting, and a hard time breathing.

Now that we're done looking at the plants, you should keep away from your dog; we'd like to give a word of caution.

No matter how careful you may think you'll be, it's best not to have these plants at all within your household if you have dogs. Prevention is always better than cure.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is pet repellent spray?

The simple definition of a pet repellent spray is a spray that keeps pets away. A good repellent spray is affordable, effective, and safe.

You can either make your own good spray or get buy one. If you hate having strange dogs pooping on your yard and holding to clean up the mess, read this article on dog repellents to see how you can change the situation.

2. Are orchids parasites?

No. Orchids can grow anywhere in the world and are completely independent. They don't need other plants to stay alive.

Nonetheless, don't be surprised if you have an orchid clinging to other trees or bushes. They often do this as a growing habit. However, know that they are not taking any nutrients from the tree or injuring it in any way.

3. Why do dogs eat flowers?

There are various reasons your dog could be eating flowers. The same goes for grass. Curiosity and boredom are some of the reasons.

It could also be that your dog finds the flowers or grass to be tasty. This could be the case if they have a kind of nutritional deficiency.

If you have puppies, you'll notice them chewing on several things around them. They do this when they're teething to take away the discomfort.

4. Are roses poisonous to dogs?

No. Well, the thorns are dangerous as they may hurt your dog's mouth. However, there are no serious effects to chewing the leaves and flowers.

However, you may notice that your dog is experiencing some gastrointestinal upset as a result. If you feel the urge to call the vet after your dog has eaten some roses, you can go ahead. Nonetheless, roses are generally non-toxic to dogs. 

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About the author

Nick Marchek

Nick Marchek is a building information modeling (BIM) specialist at Microsol Resources, an Autodesk Platinum Partner in their Philadelphia office. Nick has a Bachelor and Master of Architecture from Pennsylvania State University.
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