close up of fern leaves

Ferns are popular house and landscaping plants because they often look lush and welcoming. Ferns are plants don’t have flowers or seeds but release spores to reproduce. They are vascular plants with roots, stems, and leaves. So, if you have ferns around your property and want to know if they are toxic to dogs, you need to know what kind of fern you are considering.

The good news is that most true ferns aren’t toxic to dogs. Common indoor and outdoor ferns usually don’t pose much of a risk, but there are some caveats to this. If your dog overeats any plant, it could have digestive problems or other side effects. So if it is eating a lot of a particular fern, you’ll want to keep your pet away from it. Secondly, some plants that aren’t true ferns are called ferns, so you have to be careful to research each variety.

Which Ferns Are Safe For Dogs?

Ferns are adaptable plants that can easily grow around your home or yard. Luckily, most of the popular varieties of true ferns are not toxic to your dogs. You can use these ferns for decorating your home, and you can be confident knowing your dog is protected:

  • Boston Fern
  • Staghorn Fern
  • Mother Fern
  • Sword Fern
  • Button Fern
  • Carrot Fern

Although these plants are not toxic, your dog could still have digestive issues if it consumes a large quantity of any non-poisonous plant.

leaves of fern plant
Image courtesy of Pixabay

Which Ferns Are Poisonous To Dogs?

Unlike most true ferns, other feathery-looking plants can cause health problems. Plants like asparagus ferns aren’t true ferns, but you may have them around because they look similar and have the same name. These plants are toxic, so you need to keep them away from dogs. Your pet could experience vomiting, diarrhea, and other symptoms if it eats the leaves of these plants.


If your dog consumes the true fern varieties, it will probably be just fine. Just monitor your dog closely for any symptoms. However, if it has consumed an asparagus fern, you should contact the vet for advice.

Because “fern” is such a widely used term for various plants, you should always consult your vet and this list of toxic and non-toxic plants to ensure your dog stays healthy. It’s always best to be extra cautious, but true ferns are usually a safe bet.

Luckily, most common ferns look great and aren’t going to make your dog sick.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay