Is Lily Of The Valley Poisonous To Dogs?

If your garden is already home to a lily of the valley plant, or you’re thinking of introducing one, it’s only prudent that you have a full understanding of any risks that it may present. Particularly if you have a do or are due to get a young pup. There are several plants out there that are poisonous if consumed by our dogs, and below, I’ve looked into whether the lily of the valley is one of them. 

So, is lily of the valley poisonous to dogs? Lily of the valley plants is poisonous to dogs. Every part of the plant poses a risk. If a dog consumes its leaves, flowers, or roots, a range of serious symptoms may emerge, from nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In high enough doses, it can be fatal.  

Colorado State University, state that this plant is toxic to all animals, including people.

So if you do consider to grow it, you will need to be especially careful, anyway.

With this in mind, let’s continue to look at the relationship between these plants and dogs.

I’ve detailed exactly what these symptoms are below, as well as shared more information on how attracted we can expect our dogs to be to lilies of the valley in the first place and tips on how to effectively keep the two apart. 

Will Dogs Eat Lily of the Valley?

Lily of the valley flowers smell sweet and are soft, making them relatively enticing overall for dogs. Hence, dogs may eat them, given the opportunity.

Thus, if your dog is out in the garden and feeling a bit restless, hungry, or even just curious, there’s a chance that they may just head over to the poisonous plant and try to eat it.

What Would Happen To A Dog If They Ate Lily of the Valley?

If a dog ate lily of the valley, symptoms can range from mild sickness through to fatality. It ultimately depends on how much was eaten, the size of the dog, their health status, what they have eaten that day, among other factors.

As mentioned above, every part of the lily of the valley plant, including its flowers, stems, leaves, and roots, are poisonous. 

The lily of the valley contains cardiac glycosides, which are toxins that can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and an irregular heartbeat when ingested by dogs. 

If a dog ingests a large amount of the plant, the repercussions can even be fatal. 

Plus, the less robust the dog and the weaker its immune system, the more likely it is to suffer more severe symptoms.  

Symptoms of poisoning can develop within minutes or hours after ingesting the plant, so it’s fundamental to seek medical attention immediately. 

How To Keep Dogs Away From Your Lily of the Valley

The severity of possible symptoms deems it essential to take the necessary steps to keep your dog away from your lily of the valley plant. 

Below, I’ve outlined several methods that are worth looking into. 

Install A Physical Barrier

One way to prevent your pup from accessing your lily of the valley is to create a physical barrier. 

This could include fencing off any areas in your garden where your lilies of the valley are planted or putting up a gate around the area. 

Placing chicken wire around their perimeter should work too.

Alternatively, if you’d rather not install an outright structure, you could look to alter the surface of the ground around your lily of the valley instead. 

For instance, by placing the likes of mulch, or even gravel, around the plant, you’ll make the texture of the ground rough and uncomfortable and entirely unappealing to your dog.

The likelihood is that it’ll refrain from walking across it and leave your lily of the valley in peace. 


Scent Deterrents

Many would argue that the best way to repel your dog from your lily of the valley is to use a scent deterrent. 

Scent deterrents work by sending out smells that your dog will find unpleasant, of which there are many, thus keeping them away from the plants. 

You can find these deterrents in many pet stores, or you can make your own. 

If you opt to make your own, try mixing eucalyptus oil, vinegar, and lemon juice in a spray bottle and spraying it around your lily of the valley. 

You could add garlic or chili powder to the mixture to make it even more powerful and effective. 

Alternatively, you could use a commercial scent deterrent.

They’re easy enough to find and tend to be rife with essential oils that dogs have long disliked. 

Just try to opt for an environmentally friendly one, if you can, to avoid inflicting harm on the environment. 

Nonetheless, it’s important to remember that scent deterrents are not a permanent solution. 

To ensure that the scent deterrent is continually effective, it’s essential to reapply it regularly. 

Additionally, it’s worth noting that scent deterrents may not be effective on all dogs and that some dogs may be more stubborn than others. 

If you find that you have a particularly stubborn dog, you may need to use a combination of different deterrents to keep it away from your lily of the valley.

Monitor Your Dog

If your dog is prone to exploring, it’s important to keep an eye on it when it’s outside to make sure that it doesn’t wander towards your lily of the valley. 

To prevent it from doing so altogether, you could provide your dog with extra mental and physical stimulation. 

You could introduce new toys such as balls to your garden or simply go outside with your dog more and engage in traditional games such as fetch. 

Your dog will be so busy having fun with you and its new toys that it may just forget all about the lily of the valley! 

Keep Your Dog Feeling Full 

The below tips will help you to keep your dog’s stomach full, thus making it less likely that it will snack on your plants. 

First, start by ensuring your dog’s meals are nutritionally balanced. 

Look for dog food that is specifically designed for your pup’s age and weight, and make sure the food contains a quality source of protein, complex carbohydrates, and good fats. 

Another great way to keep your dog feeling full for longer is to give it regular meals throughout the day. 

A small breakfast and dinner with an occasional snack in between will help keep your pup’s energy levels stable and prevent it from feeling hungry. 

Finally, portion control is key. 

The amount of food your dog receives is just as important as the type of food it gets. 

The key to success here is to find the balance between ensuring its portion sizes are sufficient and avoiding overserving and leading to a larger appetite and more scavenging for snacks. 

Other Suggestions When Keeping Lily of the Valley Around Dogs

Seek Medical Attention

If your beloved dog consumes your lily of the valley plant, it is essential to seek medical attention right away. 

A vet is the best person to assess the situation and determine the level of toxicity and the best course of action moving forward. 

This could entail administering an antidote, putting the dog on a course of treatment to prevent further complications, and additional care and monitoring of the dog.

Ignoring any signs of poisoning in a dog can have disastrous consequences. 

Stay Calm 

It can be a worrying and stressful time when our pets fall ill.

However, when it happens, it’s important to stay calm and take a rational approach.

Your positive attitude may help with the healing process, keeping your dog calm and comfortable too. 

So stay calm and in control, and head to the vet.

With the right care and support, your pet can make a full recovery.

Reconsider Your Garden 

Considering the danger that toxic plants can pose to dogs, many pet owners feel that it’s best to keep them out of your garden altogether.

Fortunately, there are plenty of other plants you can choose from that are safe for animals and can be enjoyed without fear of toxicity.

So if you already have a lily of the valley, you may want to think about rehoming it.