Are Mums Poisonous To Dogs? Avoiding Canine Chrysanthemum Poisoning

Joan Agie
Oct 17, 2023 By Joan Agie
Originally Published on Oct 23, 2021
Dog nose peeks out of yellow and pink chrysanthemum flowers.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.8 Min

Mum is a common name for all the species of the chrysanthemum family.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), they are toxic to cats, dogs, and horses. They contain irritants in their leaves, stems, and flowers that act as poison to pets if they eat them.

If your cats or dogs have eaten the plant, always treat the situation as an emergency and take them to the vet or contact Poison Control Center. Mum poisoning can cause vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, skin irritations or dermatitis, and when extreme, even death.

Check their mouth, skin, and other parts of the body for symptoms, this way can tell the vet about everything when they ask.

Read on to know more and if you like this article, then also check out our are lilacs poisonous to dogs? And are orchids poisonous to dogs?

Species Of Mums That Are Toxic To Dogs

Large numbers of chrysanthemums can be seen around the world. People plant them in their garden or indoors in pots, but many don't know that all types of chrysanthemums pose a great threat to dogs and other pets.

Florists have cultivated more than 100 species of chrysanthemums by selective breeding and other than those, there are still more. In total, there are more than 200 species of plants and flowers in the chrysanthemum family.

People plant them in their homes for the bright, colorful, big flowers, and fresh air. Florist's chrysanthemums can work wonders as air purifiers.

The florets eliminate a lot of toxins from the air. They are also widely used at homecomings or proms in American high schools.

Even with all the good this plant and flower does, owners should know that according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and other official animal organizations, like the American Kennel Club, chrysanthemums, be it garden mums or fall mums, are toxic to dogs.

They are also known to be toxic to cats, horses, and fish.

You can have this plant and flower at your home but keep it far away from your dog. Other flowering plants that can be toxic to dogs if they eat them and you should know which ones to plant to keep your pet safe.

Some of these toxic plants and flowers are lily, iris, begonia, tulip, daffodil, geranium, foxglove, hyacinth, and autumn crocus.

All of these flowering plants include one or more irritants that can harm your dogs just like chrysanthemums. If you have a dog and any of these plants or flowers at your home, then stay attentive.

The Breeds Of Dogs Susceptible To Mum Poisoning

There are hundreds of breeds of dogs around the world and they are quite different from one another. However, chances are, if something is toxic to a dog, it will be toxic to all breeds of dogs.

Dogs are descendants of wolves. They belong to the family of wolves, jackals, coyotes, and other dog-like animals. There are about 34 species in their family. However, dogs or domestic dogs all belong to one single species, Canis lupus familiaris. All breeds of dogs around the world belong to this species.

There are more than 350 breeds of dogs in the world today. Some are recognized by official kennel clubs and breeders are still coming up with new dog breeds.

All breeds are quite different from each other. They come in all sizes, colors, characteristics, temperamants, and behaviors. However, if there is something that could be toxic to one breed, chances are it will be toxic to all breeds of dogs.

There is a multitude of allergens, toxins, and lactones present in natural shrubs, trees, and flowering plants that can cause harm to all dogs. For example, shrubs of peonies contain a toxin called paeonol in their bark which can act as a poison and cause diarrhea and vomiting in dogs.

Horse chestnuts contain saponin, which is a poison that can affect their central nervous system and can cause coma and convulsions.

Autumn crocus plants, including the flowers and leaves, contain colchicine, a poison that can be extremely toxic to dogs.

It can cause severe damage to their health, like liver and kidney damage, gastrointestinal bleeding, respiratory failure, and more. Hence, if your dog has ingested any plant, look for the symptoms cautiously next.

Chrysanthemums flowers in the Botanical Garden.

Symptoms Of Mum Poisoning In Your Dog

Plants like larkspur can kill your dogs, and so can mums. Chrysanthemums can cause mild to severe health issues in a dog depending on how much your dog has come in contact with the plant. The signs or symptoms can be anything starting from just a rash to even death if it's too severe.

All species of mum plants including the flowers and leaves contain pyrethrins, sesquiterpene lactones, and many other irritants. Pyrethrins are such a chemical that it's present in almost all types of pesticides. This is why chrysanthemum plants and flowers don't have pest problems.

They act as natural pest repellents. However, this chemical can be extremely harmful to dogs, cats, and horses. It can cause many health issues depending on the amount of the chemical that has reached your dog.

If your dog has only brushed against the mum plant, then the poisoning might be very mild. The symptoms, in that case, could be skin irritations or dermatitis, they might lose their appetite, lose coordination, or hyper salivate where there will be excessive drooling.

If your dog eats leaves or stems of the plant, the poisoning might be moderate. In this case, the symptoms will include vomiting, diarrhea, dilated eyes, shaking or they might have difficulty breathing. It can also cause them to have high body temperature.

The most amount of irritants of the plant can be found in the flower heads. If your dog eats the flower or another big part of the plant, then left unchecked, toxicity can be extremely severe.

The symptoms, in that case, will include your dog losing sight, paralysis, respiratory failure, seizures, coma, and even death. Now, don't worry too much about the mention of death as death can only occur if the toxicity is left unchecked. Therefore, treat this situation as an emergency.

What To Do If Your Dog Ate Mums

The first and foremost thing to do the moment you realize your dog has ingested or come in contact with mums is treat it as an emergency and take them to the local veterinarian or Poison Control Center. Tell them all the symptoms and they will start treatment and tell you further steps.

First of all, take a sample or photo of the plant your dog has come in contact with so that the veterinarian can diagnose it better. Tell them the amount of the plant they have ingested and record the symptoms, and timings.

It will also help if you have your dog's record of medical history with you. These will help your vet with your dog's treatment. The vet might do tests, like an electrocardiogram (EKG), oxygen level, breathing sound, reflexes, blood pressure, body temperature, bloodwork, and more.

Once the diagnosis is done, the vet will move on to getting the toxins out of your dog's body by inducing vomiting or by giving your dog hydrogen peroxide by mouth. The toxins that will still be left in the body will be absorbed by the activated charcoal given to your dog next.

Gastric lavage will be done to detoxify the plant particles in your dog's stomach that stayed undigested.

Then intravenously fluid therapy will start to keep your dog hydrated and flush the kidneys.

More medication will be given to them if they're having severe health issues, like intense vomiting, diarrhea, or seizures, paralysis, or anything similar. If these severe health issues are happening, the vet might recommend observation for the next 24-48 hours.

How To Keep Your Dog Away From Mums

To see that your dog doesn't eat the plant or come in contact with the plant, you will either have to remove the plants and flowers from your house or take some measures, so that your dog can't reach them or doesn't go near them.

Spread smells they don't like: most pets, including cats and dogs, don't like citrus and coffee smell as they tend to be very strong. You can spray some lemon, lime, or orange juice or spread some ground coffee on the soil of your plant, so your dog will stay away.

Fence your garden or yard: for this, you will need to know how high your dog can jump. According to that information, build a high and strong enough fence around your garden or yard, so that your dog can’t jump inside or force its way inside.

Hang your plants: you can hang pots or containers with plants from the ceiling. This will not only keep your dogs far from the reach of the plants or flowers, but it will also enhance the beauty of your house indoors.

Train your dog: start training your dog from a very young age with positive reinforcement. Firmly call them and say 'no' if you see them approaching a plant or your garden. If they listen to you or start to back away by listening to your call, then pet them and give them treats for their behavior.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for are mums poisonous to dogs? Then why not take a look at are geraniums poisonous to dogs? Or Siberian husky facts pages?

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Written by Joan Agie

Bachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

Joan Agie picture

Joan AgieBachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

With 3+ years of research and content writing experience across several niches, especially on education, technology, and business topics. Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as a researcher and writer for organizations across Nigeria, the US, the UK, and Germany. Joan enjoys meditation, watching movies, and learning new languages in her free time.

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