Are Elephant Ears Poisonous to Dogs?

by Betty Lewis
Your dog may take to his sick bed if he snacks on some elephant ears.

Your dog may take to his sick bed if he snacks on some elephant ears.

Chris Amaral/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Elephant ear plants make a showy display in a garden, reaching up to 6 feet in height and sporting heart-shaped leaves up to 3 feet long. Your pup may be a daring explorer, prone to tasting everything, but keep him away from these plants because they're poisonous to dogs.

Toxic Calcium Oxalate

Elephant ears contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals, toxic to dogs and cats. If your dog decides to take a nibble of this vegetation, the act of chewing or biting releases the crystals, which penetrate his tissues, leading to symptoms such as drooling, pawing at the face, foaming at the mouth and vomiting. Other signs of elephant ear poisoning include loss of appetite and swelling of the upper airway, mouth, lips and tongue, which can make it difficult for your dog to breathe. Call your vet immediately if you suspect your dog has ingested elephant ears.

Other Outdoor Hazards

Other plants containing insoluble calcium oxalate crystals include peace lily, calla lily, philodendron, umbrella plant and dieffenbachia. If your dog has free run of your garden, check to make sure your landscaping choices are dog-friendly. Don't limit your vigilance to your plants; make sure to keep all gardening chemicals and additives out of your dog's reach as many are toxic -- and potentially lethal -- for your pup.

Photo Credits

  • Chris Amaral/Digital Vision/Getty Images