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Are Irises Poisonous To Dogs? Are They Toxic? Symptoms, Treatment & More


Last Updated: April 21, 2023 | 3 min read | Leave a Comment

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As the weather warms up for summer, it’s natural that we’ll all be spending more time outdoors. And this includes our furry family members. But being out in the fresh air does mean more access to plants and berries that could harm your dog. So, what about irises? Are irises toxic to dogs? And what should you do if your dog has eaten some?

What Are Irises?

Irises are elegant, tall, brightly colored flowers that bloom in spring and summer. They are perennial plants that pop up every year, bringing color to any garden. Depending on their features, Iris can be called flag irises or bearded irises. They grow from bulbs and usually have tall stems with elongated leaves. The flowers can vary in color but are often yellow, blue, or white combinations. The bulbs can be planted from late fall to early spring for blooms the same year.

Are Irises Toxic To Dogs?

Plants from the iris family (Iridaceae) are toxic to dogs and are listed in the ASPCA list of toxic plants. This is because they contain pentacyclic terpenoids, including zeorin, missourin, and missouriensin. The highest concentration of these toxic compounds is found within the rhizomes or bulbs of the iris plant. 

What Are The Symptoms Of Iris Poisoning In Dogs?

If your dog has eaten part of an iris plant and has iris poisoning, you might notice symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea. Often, the gastrointestinal signs are pretty mild. However, in severe cases, diarrhea may contain blood. Your dog might also drool or dribble excessively. They might also cause your dog to be lethargic and stop eating their food. As well as a stomach upset, iris poisoning can also cause a skin rash or skin irritation.

pug sitting behind iris bulbs outside on a path

What Should You Do If Your Dog Has Eaten Irises?

If you know that your dog has eaten irises, you should contact your veterinarian right away. Your veterinarian might decide to give an injection to make your dog sick if they’ve eaten the irises within an hour or two, especially if they’ve eaten the bulbs or rhizomes. If it has been longer, they might choose to monitor your canine companion closely and give symptomatic treatment to control any nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

If your dog is acting unwell and you have irises in your garden or know that they have been somewhere with irises, iris poisoning could be a possibility. Therefore, it’s worth seeking veterinary advice and letting them know that your dog may have eaten irises.


What happens if a dog eats an iris?

If a dog eats an iris, you should take it to the vet for a check-up. The veterinarian might be able to make your dog sick so that they avoid the nasty symptoms associated with iris poisoning. However, the signs of iris poisoning are not usually severe. So, they may choose to give supportive treatment to help your dog feel better while the toxic compounds are working their way out of their system. The symptoms you are likely to see if your dog eats any part of an iris plant are vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, and skin rashes.

How toxic are irises?

Thankfully, although irises contain multiple toxic compounds, the symptoms they cause are usually only mild or moderately severe. While your furry friend is likely to show signs of nausea, vomiting, excessive dribbling, and diarrhea, it’s unlikely to be too serious. It should respond to symptomatic treatment from your veterinarian. If you are concerned that your dog is very unwell or not responding to treatment, you should always ask your veterinarian for advice.

Are iris tubers poisonous to dogs?

All parts of the iris plant contain toxic compounds called pentacyclic terpenoids, including the leaves, flowers, and bulbs or rhizomes. The highest concentration of these pentacyclic terpenoids is in the rhizomes, so these are the most toxic part. The enlarged part of the rhizome is known as the tuber. If your dog has eaten an iris tuber or any other part of an iris plant, you should contact your veterinarian right away.

Is yellow flag iris poisonous to dogs?

All irises are poisonous to dogs. However, the symptoms aren’t usually life-threatening. On the other hand, it’s best to be safe, so speak to your veterinarian if you think your dog might have eaten yellow flag irises. If you have irises in the garden and your dog has started hyper-salivating, vomiting, or having diarrhea, it’s also worth speaking to your veterinarian and letting them know that your dog has had access to irises. 

Final Thoughts

Keeping your furry family member safe and well is the most essential thing for every pet parent. However, when so many plants are toxic to dogs, it can be hard to keep up. Therefore, you should always do your research before planting anything new in the garden to make sure it’s perfectly safe for your paw-some pal.

Dog gazing a lily

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