Flowers and Plants That Can Hurt Your Cavalier

Eating almost any plant can upset your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s stomach. However, certain varieties can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and potentially more severe problems for your pet.

When your Cavalier is still a puppy, it’s best to move houseplants and flower arrangements out of reach.  Whenever outdoors, be sure to supervise your puppy to keep him away from dangerous plants.  

By the time your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel reaches adulthood, you’ll have a good idea of his inclination to be tempted by flowers and plants.

Here are some of the most common flowers and plants that may be toxic if ingested by your Cavalier.

Plants Dangerous to Your Cavalier


  • Toxicity: The latex can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and tremors.


  • Safety Note: Most bamboo species are non-toxic to dogs, but it’s crucial to ensure the specific variety is safe.


  • Toxicity: Ingesting the leaves can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and respiratory failure.


  • Toxicity: Toxic both in plant and tea form, causing vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, and bleeding tendencies.

Elephant Ear

  • Toxicity: Contains calcium oxalate crystals that can cause oral irritation, drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.


  • Toxicity: Belonging to the Allium family, it can cause anemia, weakness, vomiting, and breathing problems.


  • Toxicity: The berries can cause vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and decreased energy.


  • Toxicity: Can lead to vomiting, abdominal pain, hypersalivation, and diarrhea.


  • Toxicity: Although often used in aromatherapy for humans, it can be mildly toxic to dogs if ingested in large amounts, causing nausea and vomiting.


  • Toxicity: Contains thiosulfate which is toxic to dogs, leading to gastrointestinal issues and potentially causing anemia.


  • Toxicity: Contains insoluble calcium oxalates, leading to oral irritation, pain, swelling of the mouth, tongue, and lips, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.


  • Toxicity: Contains oxalates that can cause drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Tomato Plants

  • Toxicity: The stem and leaves contain solanine, toxic to dogs in large quantities, causing gastrointestinal upset, lethargy, weakness, and confusion.

Flowers Dangerous to Your Cavalier


  • Toxicity: The bulb of the Amaryllis plant is highly toxic to dogs, containing substances that can cause vomiting, depression, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hypersalivation, anorexia, and tremors.


  • Toxicity: Even ingesting a few leaves can cause oral irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, and a drop in blood pressure in dogs. Severe cases can lead to coma and death.


  • Toxicity: Contains mild toxins that can cause mild gastrointestinal signs and mild dermatitis in pets.


  • Toxicity: The roots contain the most toxins, leading to severe vomiting and even death if ingested in large amounts.


  • Toxicity: Bulbs are the most poisonous part, causing vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and sometimes even heart arrhythmias or respiratory depression.


  • Toxicity: Mild gastrointestinal signs and mild dermatitis can occur if ingested.


  • Toxicity: Can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hypersalivation, lack of appetite, and dermatitis in dogs.


  • Toxicity: The leaves especially can cause vomiting, anorexia, depression, and dermatitis.


  • Toxicity: Although beautiful, it can cause mild vomiting or diarrhea if ingested.


  • Toxicity: Ingesting the bulbs can lead to intense vomiting, diarrhea, depression, and tremors.


  • Toxicity: Contains cyanogenic glycoside, causing vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy if consumed.

Lily of the Valley

  • Toxicity: Extremely dangerous, it can cause cardiac arrhythmias, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, and potentially death.

What to Do If You Think Your Cavalier Has Nibbled on Something Nasty

First things first, quick action is your best friend in these situations:

  1. Check Their Mouth: Gently open your dog’s mouth and see if there are any plant remnants you can safely remove. But, be cautious—only do this if it’s safe and your dog is cooperative.
  2. Resist the Urge to Play Doctor: You might think inducing vomiting is a good idea, but please don’t. This can sometimes do more harm than good. Only a vet should make this call.
  3. Dial Your Vet, Pronto: Time is of the essence. Call your vet or the nearest emergency animal hospital. The quicker you get professional advice, the better.
  4. Or Call Poison Control: The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) is another excellent resource. They’re at (888) 426-4435. Yes, there might be a fee, but can you really put a price on peace of mind?

Why Speed Is of the Essence

Reacting swiftly is not about overreacting; it’s about safeguarding your Cavalier from potentially serious health issues. Some toxic plants can cause rapid onset symptoms, and the sooner you act, the better the chances of a full recovery.

Keeping Your Cool and Your Cavalier Safe

I know it’s scary to think your dog could be in danger, but staying calm can make a huge difference. Your Cavalier needs you to be their hero now, and following these steps is how you can do just that.

  • Document Everything: If you know what they ate, great! If not, snap a quick picture of the plant for identification. This can be incredibly helpful to the vet.
  • Keep an Eye on Them: While waiting for professional help, keep your dog calm and comfortable. Monitor them closely for any changes in behavior or symptoms.

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