Are Geraniums Poisonous To Dogs? What To Do If They Eat It

Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Oct 19, 2022 By Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Originally Published on Oct 22, 2021
Are geraniums poisonous to dogs is an important question.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.6 Min

Dogs are a well-loved species.

They are easily one of the most popular and cherished pets. There are over 195 recognized dog breeds in the world, and almost every species can be adopted and domesticated.

This cute animal may be an absolute delight to have at home, but looking after them can be quite an adventure. Your pet's diet needs to be properly maintained, because there are some food items that are toxic to common pets like dogs and even cats.

A few of these are chocolates, grapes, caffeine, raisins, nuts, and even more. But, did you know that there are common plants and flowers like geraniums (Pelargonium) that can be toxic to your beloved pet, too?

A helpful guide to what plants are not suitable for your furry friend will certainly come in handy if you're looking to bring a new pet home.

If you're enjoying this article, you might have questions like, are cats supposed to eat catnip and are carnations toxic to cats? Check out these articles here on Kidadl.

What to do if your dog eats geraniums?

Dogs and cats are not immediately compromised if they consume the geranium plant or flower, but their health will slowly and steadily decline if not treated properly. These pets will vomit sporadically, develop festering rashes on the skin, and experience a loss of appetite that could lead to anorexia and nutritional deficiencies.

If you find that your pet, be it a dog or cat, is suffering from loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, and dermatitis, it is advised that you turn to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).

Their poison control services have experts on staff who understand what your pet's symptoms mean and will give you a solution.

But, if you find that your dog is experiencing severe vomiting and is giving you indications that they have an upset stomach, you should rush them to the nearest veterinarian for an exam.

What happens to a dog if it eats geraniums?

If your dog has ingested a considerable portion of the geranium (Pelargonium) plant, the situation can quickly escalate to something dangerous. This is truer if your dog is small and lightweight. Immediate action is strongly recommended under such circumstances.

Geraniums are potted plants that are native to the continent of Africa. The houseplant is known for its beautiful flowers and thick foliage and can make a great addition to your garden.

Geranium plants contain alcohol in the form of geraniol and linalool, which could poison dogs. Geraniol can cause skin irritation that may develop into rashes or inflammation. The component linalool may cause stomach pain or irritation.

When ingested, your dog could suffer symptoms of poisoning like loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, dermatitis, poor coordination, low blood pressure, and depression. The condition will worsen with time if proper treatment is delayed.

Geraniums are harmful or toxic to cats and dogs alike.

How to keep dogs from eating geraniums?

If you have got your hands on geraniums and you really want to keep them, you have to be cautious about where you place them around your house. There are a few ways you can keep this pretty potted plant without endangering your pet's health.

The easiest way you can ensure that your pets stay away from your houseplants is to make sure they are out of reach. Hang them in coir baskets or anywhere else your dogs and cats can't access.

You could also spray your geranium with diluted lemon juice. The tangy smell of the juice will act as a natural deterrent.

Pets will only go after plants, leaves, and flowers if they are bored or don't have enough toys to keep them distracted. Get your pup a variety of safe toys that will keep them occupied and away from your plants.

Are geraniums poisonous for dogs?

As we all know, dogs and cats are the kinds of animals that typically do not feed on leaves, flowers, or plants. But, if you own a backyard or garden, there is a very good chance they may consider the space their own personal playground.

And sooner or later, they might be tempted to bite a flower or plant that could prove to be extremely toxic to them.

So, are scented geraniums toxic to dogs? According to the ASPCA, the plant isn't highly toxic, but it could prove to be quite dangerous depending on the situation.

The plant's toxicity is proportional to the amount ingested. For example, a dog that weighs 75 lb (34 kg) will likely experience minimal symptoms if they consume no more than a petal of the geranium flower. But, if a smaller dog ingests a petal or two, the symptoms could be severe.

Did You Know...

You should only take your dog or cat to the veterinarian if you suspect that they may have ingested a considerable portion of the geranium leaves or flowers. If its vomiting is not severe and your pet is not showing extreme signs of irritation, you could resort to some home remedies to treat your furry friend.

To reduce vomiting, you should shift your dog to a bland diet of only boiled chicken and rice. This will help relieve toxic indigestion. Remember to avoid overfeeding your dog.

There should be a gap of at least 10-12 hours in between meals. To alleviate any symptoms of diarrhea, you can feed your pet a serving of canned pumpkin, which may help firm up its stool.

Just make sure it does not contain any spices. Famotidine, an over-the-counter drug, can also be given to dogs and cats for an upset stomach. However, it would be best to contact a veterinarian before administering any medication.

The Geranium pelargonium plant is toxic to dogs and cats, but there is another group of plants containing substances that are harmful to these household pets. Some of these include chrysanthemums, dahlias, daisies, begonia, Boston and English ivy, boxwood bushes, daffodils, hyacinths, crocus plants, tulips, morning glory flowers, wisteria plants, rose of Sharon bushes, and clematis vines.

Geraniums may only be poisonous to dogs and cats, but eating or ingesting some of these other plants can kill them.

There is a variety of garden plants that do not contain any toxic substances. These include the hibiscus flower, marigolds, cilantro plants, African violets, Magnolia bushes, spider ivy, thyme, sage, sunflowers, cornflowers, blue-eyed daisies, aster plants, impatiens, tiger lilies, petunias, and pansies. Your pets are welcome to play with all of them (and even ingesting them wouldn't hurt).

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for how is blue cheese made, then why not take a look at are begonias poisonous to dogs, or are azaleas poisonous to dogs?

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Written by Rajnandini Roychoudhury

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

Rajnandini Roychoudhury picture

Rajnandini RoychoudhuryBachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

With a Master of Arts in English, Rajnandini has pursued her passion for the arts and has become an experienced content writer. She has worked with companies such as Writer's Zone and has had her writing skills recognized by publications such as The Telegraph. Rajnandini is also trilingual and enjoys various hobbies such as music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading classic British literature. 

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