red roses outdoor

If your dog just took a bite off a rose bush while out on a walk, you’re likely concerned about whether roses are toxic to dogs. You may also be worried about your dog sustaining an injury from rose thorns. The good news is that roses are non-toxic to dogs! Here’s what to do if your dog eats roses and when it’s time to call the vet.

Are Roses Toxic to Dogs?

Roses are non-toxic to dogs, cats, and people. They can cause your dog an upset stomach if they eat a large volume of roses, but this is only because your dog’s digestive system isn’t accustomed to plant matter.

Red rosehips can also irritate your dog’s GI tract and sometimes cause vomiting. However, they are edible. The flesh of rosehips was purposefully collected during World War II for its high vitamin C content.

The danger of your dog eating roses is with the thorns, which can cause trauma to the mouth, lips, and throat when your dog decides to chow down. Roses that are treated with insecticides, fungicides, or fertilizers can also be a health concern for your dog.

pink roses in a vase
Image courtesy of Pixabay

What Do I Do If My Dog Ate a Rose?

If your dog has already snacked on a rose bush, the next step is determining if there has been any harm. Here are a few basic steps to follow:

  1. Separate your dog from the roses. If the bush was in your yard, don’t make the problem worse by allowing your dog to have more access. Clean up or remove any roses left on the ground after the incident.
  2. Determine what and how much your dog ate. This will help you decide what you are looking for. Were multiple flowers consumed or just a bite of a petal? Did your dog eat the stems with thorns? Do you know if the roses were treated with chemicals? Take note of what time your dog ate the rose.
  3. Observe for illness or injury. Is your dog bleeding anywhere or showing distress? Are there signs of abdominal pain or discomfort? Note: Even if your dog is bleeding from the mouth, it is not recommended that you attempt to look inside. Dogs that are in pain can lash out through biting. It is best to contact your veterinarian and get assistance.
  4. Call your vet. If your dog isn’t showing any signs of illness or injury, continue to monitor it for the next 2 to 3 days. If your dog is hurt or showing discomfort, it is time to seek care.
  5. Follow your vet’s advice.

Rose Chewing Prevention

If your dog likes to chow down on rose bushes, it is worth training them to institute behavioral corrections. If it’s your own rose bushes that are creating this problem, it may be worth fencing them off so your dog can’t access them.

Final Thoughts

Rose bushes are non-toxic to dogs but can cause stomach upset in large quantities. The primary concern with dogs eating roses is injury from the thorns. If your dog is injured or in distress, contact your veterinarian immediately. In most cases, dogs will only sustain minor injuries or no injuries at all. If your dog has a habit of getting into rose bushes, it may be time to restrict access.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay