Will It Hurt a Dog to Eat Ivy Growing on a Wall?

by Carlye Jones
Lush ivy on a wall looks pretty but poses a danger to your dog.

Lush ivy on a wall looks pretty but poses a danger to your dog.

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Your dog's technically a carnivore, but in reality he's an omnivore. He'll eat meat, grains, dairy, veggies and whatever else fits in his mouth -- and nothing about ivy tells him, "Don't." He may munch on a mouthful because he is teething or bored or curious, or because a critter has been nesting in the ivy. Regardless of the reason, ivy is not safe for a dog to consume.

Dangers of Ivy

Most types of climbing ivy are considered mildly toxic to dogs, including English, California, devil's, American, needlepoint and five-leaved, among others. Your dog is unlikely to die from eating ivy but can become seriously ill. The toxic chemicals in ivy cause digestive upset such as vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Excessive drooling is a symptom of ivy poisoning. Toxins in the ivy responsible for these symptoms include polyacetylene compounds and triterpenoid saponins. Ivy leaves contain more toxins than the berries. If you find your dog chewing on ivy, or you suspect that he has ingested portions of the plant, contact your veterinarian or a pet poison hotline immediately.

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