Are hostas toxic to dogs

Are hostas toxic to dogs

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Are hostas toxic to dogs and other pets?


The main concern in poisoning pets with Hosta hosta is that some dogs will eat the leaves and leaves, which the saponin can poison them. Hosta sp has been demonstrated to be toxic to domestic pets by the ASPCA.

Hostas do not have the same concerns if ingested as they are less of a concern for pets.


The main problem with Hosta (or 'Ivy') poisoning is that the saponins can also be toxic to dogs, and can even be fatal.

The plant consists of a central stalk bearing leaves and flowers on

separate plants. Leaves contain saponins, which are strong laxatives

that cause vomiting and diarrhea, so should never be fed to pets.

The toxicity risk comes primarily from the leaves being fed to dogs.

The risk of toxicosis is related to the amount consumed, the length

of time it is consumed, and the presence of other toxic substances

in the pet's diet.

The above reference is for dogs, but the same risks apply to cats:

A single overdose can be fatal to cats.

So feeding your hosta to your dog could be fatal for them, and can have serious health consequences for you.

However it is quite easy to eliminate risk of this happening. Remove the leaves, and rinse them before you cook them.


Yes, they are toxic.

You can see the link in the comments for the official hosta site that mentions that plants/foliage can be toxic to animals.

Ivy Poisoning

Hostas are commonly used for landscaping and as ornamentals. Many are ornamental evergreens that form attractive clumps. They are grown for their fragrant flowers, which appear in spring, and may be red, blue, lavender, white, pink or rose. The plants spread by vegetative growth, although they may also self-seed, and have a very wide tolerance for environmental conditions. [1]

Hostas are usually safe to feed to dogs or other animals, but the risk of toxicity should never be ignored. When handling or feeding hostas, do not touch the sap, which can cause irritation or skin problems in people. Remove the leaves before feeding.

If pet food is fed to your dog or cat, always make sure that the ingredients have been inspected and tested by a reputable laboratory. It is important to make sure the feed does not contain any dangerous contaminants, such as aflatoxins, or other compounds that could be harmful to your pet.

Many plant species are known to be poisonous to animals. They may also cause allergic reactions in people. These plants include, but are not limited to, azalea, camellia, daylilies, dogwoods, hydrangea, japonica, magnolia, mimosa, morning glory, ornamental grasses and many others.




We just had ivy growing on our fence (the plants were bought to discourage deer) and my dog ate it up. I would definitely not feed ivy to my dog as there are lots of different toxicities like myosotoxin and cyclopamine.

Ivy poisoning is fairly common.

Most species of Ivy are poisonous, although ivy poisoning is not usually fatal. [20] However, ivy poisoning can cause some symptoms of kidney and liver damage. Symptoms can include sudden weakness and paralysis, tremors, convulsions, nausea, and a headache. [21] In rare cases, these symptoms progress to muscle spasms and can cause death. In the first 3 to 5 hours, poison exposure, symptoms occur, with symptoms becoming more severe. In the first 8 to 24 hours, toxic effects to the central nervous system occur. During this stage, the poisoned animal may appear lethargic, nauseous, and weak. This can progress to seizure and death. [22] Symptoms of ivy poisoning in dogs are similar to those in cats and can include gastrointestinal upset, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, ataxia, and weakness. [23]

The danger to humans from ivy or other ivy related plant products is due to the presence of the alkaloids. It does not make sense that a dog would die from eating just a few leafs, but ivy poisoning does have a fairly high fatality rate. There are some ivy related plants, not just ivy, that could be dangerous and not be eaten by a dog.

Ivy leaves may be a potential source of the alkaloid, cyclopamine. Cyclopamine has been found to cause reproductive problems and even cancer in humans. Cyclopamine can cause problems with the skin, mucus membranes, liver, lungs, kidney, eyes, and nerves. [1] Cyclopamine exposure may also lead to reproductive problems, including male and female sterility, testicular atrophy, and hypospadias. [2] Some people who eat foods containing cyclopamine may experience nausea and vomiting. [3] Cyclopamine can also cause cancer in humans. [4]

Ivy does not directly have this poisonous alkaloid or any of the others mentioned, but a few other plants are a concern.

Asperula arvensis, also known as Carrot Ivy, Asperula odorata or Common Spotted Asperula, and also called 'Spotted Ivy' is a toxic plant, the leaves and roots contain several potent toxic substances such as pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA). This plant is known to cause liver damage in animals. In addition to liver damage, the other symptoms include blindness, coma, ataxia, paralysis, spasms and respiratory problems. The most common route of exposure in animals is by ingestion. [1] [2]


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