Lilac is a gorgeous shrub plant that is exceptionally popular for its tendency to create flowing lengths of purple flowers in the spring. They are a uniquely beautiful plant that makes it easy to see why anyone would be interested in planting one or two lilacs.
Unfortunately, pet owners must consider what’s safe before adding any plants to their home or garden. Some plants are extremely deadly for pets, and it’s important to know what to expect before you bring a plant home. Here’s what you need to know about lilacs and dogs.
Are Lilacs Poisonous to Dogs?
Lilacs are non-toxic to dogs. This doesn’t mean your dog should be allowed to snack on your lilac plant, though. Although, it’s unlikely you’d intentionally let them do this since it would take away from the beauty of the plant and potentially seriously damage or even kill the plant. Some dogs won’t be deterred, so it’s important for you to know that lilacs aren’t poisonous to your dog.
They are also safe for other animals, like cats, but they can lead to stomach upset if consumed. This is especially true if your dog consumes a large amount of the plant.
It’s absolutely necessary for you to know that the plant you have is a true lilac, which has the scientific name Syringa vulgaris. True lilacs are non-toxic to dogs. However, this is another plant that sometimes has “lilac” in its name, and that is the Persian lilac, which you may also see called the bead tree, China ball tree, paradise tree, white cedar, and Texas umbrella tree. The Persian lilac has the scientific name Melia azedarach and it is not related to the Syringa vulgaris lilac at all. It’s worth noting that these plants don’t look very much alike at all.
Persian lilacs are toxic to dogs. While lilacs may cause stomach upset if consumed in large quantities, the Persian lilac can lead to severe nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, weakness, lethargy, and seizures. The berries are the most toxic part of the plant, but all parts contain the meliatoxins present in the berries.
What Do I Do If My Dog Eats Lilac?
If your dog consumes Persian lilac, you need to go to the vet immediately. If you are certain that the plant you have is a lilac, though, then there is likely nothing you’ll need to do if your dog consumes part of the plant. If you’re uncertain of what to do, you can contact your vet with your concerns. If your dog begins exhibiting mild stomach upset, your vet will likely encourage you to monitor the symptoms and call them back with any worsening symptoms, but your vet knows your dog better than almost anyone, so they’ll know if there are additional concerns that are specific to your dog.
While the Persian lilac’s name is confusing, it is not the same thing as a lilac. The lilac is a non-toxic plant that poses little threat to your dog unless consumed in large quantities. Even then, the worst that will likely occur is that your dog will experience mild stomach upset that resolves on its own quickly. If you aren’t sure what type of plant you have, take the plant or parts of the plant with you and head to the vet if you think there is any chance that your dog consumed part of a Persian lilac plant.
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