How Toxic Are Geraniums to Dogs?

Many plants contain toxic substances which could harm dogs. Your dog might experience severe or mild symptoms depending on the plant’s chemicals and the area of the exposure. The widely used geranium (Pelargonium spp.) , planted in pots and gardens, are toxic to dogs. Puppies are especially vulnerable, because they will try to taste almost anythingelse.


You may be confused regarding which of the two sorts of geraniums is toxic. Every type of geranium comes in hundreds of varieties, but the geraniums of this genus Geranium, also referred to as cranesbill, are not toxic. Cranesbill contains annual, biennial and perennial plants, bearing pink, blue, purple or white flowers with five symmetrical petals. All these low-growing geraniums with stems that spread out make useful rock garden plants. The other common geranium (Pelargonium spp.) Has asymmetrical flowers in enormous variations depending on the cultivar. It’s toxic to cats and dogs. These frost-tender geraniums include the zonal and ivy-leaved geraniums. The stiff leaves of those geraniums have scalloped leaves and dark markers surround the borders. The leaves contain aromatic essential oils.

Geranium’s Toxins

Two chemicals at geraniums — geraniol and linalool — are toxic to dogs, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Geraniol and linalool give fragrance to botanical oils, and also cause skin irritation and skin allergies in susceptible men and women. These substances can also be used as insect repellents.

Toxicity Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of geranium toxicity are vomiting, lethargy, lack of appetite and skin rash. Vomiting, soon after eating geranium leaves, might be the first indication that your dog is sick. Other symptoms, such as lethargy or depression, are caused by the slowing of the human body’s metabolism. Your dog’s heart rate and blood pressure may become lower. Loss of appetite may cause anorexia and nutritional deficiencies if it continues. It your dog’s skin contacts geranium leaves, especially chewed or torn leaves, a skin rash may develop in the affected regions.


Observe your dog if you believe it chewed on geranium leaves or rolled about among geranium plants. Some puppies may only have mild symptoms, but if you become aware of geranium toxicity symptoms, call your vet or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Hotline (888-426-4435) for guidance. Wash affected skin areas with large quantities of warm water featuring some dishwashing liquid.

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