Are Lilies Poisonous to Dogs?

Did you know some lilies can be lethal to your dog? Find out which ones are dangerous, the symptoms to watch for and what action to take.

Most pet parents know lilies are poisonous to cats, but what about dogs?

Yes, many lilies are poisonous to dogs as well as cats. Symptoms can range from oral irritation to seizures and death, depending on which lily they come in contact with.

Not all lilies are poisonous, but it’s always best to err on the side of caution. Having seen a friend’s dog accidentally ingest a lily petal from a bouquet in their living room, the frantic rush to the veterinarian’s office, and the costly and unpleasant treatment, I won’t take any chances. There will never be lilies in my house or garden.

I’m an experienced dog mama and a master gardener, so I made sure to create a dog- (and cat-) safe garden with no lilies, daffodils, tulips, hyacinths or other poisonous plants. Instead, I made a pet-safe sensory garden with plants they can sniff, rub against and even chew on when they feel like it.

Are Lilies Poisonous to Dogs?

Yes, many varieties are. It’s all parts of the plants, from flowers and pollen to tubers and rhizomes. Ingesting even a small amount of a lily can cause severe health issues and even death in dogs.

While not all lilies are poisonous, and not all will kill a dog, many do have that potential. So unless you’re absolutely certain the variety you have is 100% safe, it’s best to avoid keeping lilies in your home or yard, even though they’re pretty.

Are calla lilies poisonous to dogs?

Yes. The entire plant is toxic, with the highest concentration of toxins found in the underground stem called the rhizome. Calla lilies, scientifically known as Zantedeschia aethiopica, contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals, the primary cause of toxicity.

If your dog tries to eat parts of a calla lily, the calcium oxalate will cause irritation and swelling in the mouth, throat and gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms of calla lily poisoning in dogs include drooling, difficulty swallowing, vomiting, pawing at the mouth and loss of appetite.

In severe cases, the swelling may obstruct the dog’s airway, making it difficult for them to breathe and potentially leading to asphyxiation. Explore the reasons behind your dog’s fear of fireworks.

Are peace lilies poisonous to dogs?

Yes. The entire peace lily plant (Spathiphyllum spp.) contains calcium oxalate crystals. The poisoning action is the same as calla lilies, so they share the same unfortunate symptoms.

Are Easter lilies poisonous to dogs?

Easter lilies (Lilium longiflorum) are extremely dangerous to dogs due to their high toxicity. Every part of the Easter lily, even the pollen, contains toxic compounds that can kill your dog.

If your dog is unfortunate enough to eat an Easter lily, you’ll first notice vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and food refusal. As their condition worsens, you’ll see more severe issues as the dog’s kidneys start to shut down. Acute kidney failure is lethal without early veterinary intervention.

If you have the slightest suspicion that your dog ate an Easter lily, don’t wait for symptoms to appear. Seek veterinary advice immediately. The sooner you act, the better the prognosis for your dog.

Are Asiatic lilies poisonous to dogs?

Yes. As with Easter lilies, all parts of an Asiatic lily (Lilium spp.) are toxic. When ingested, these compounds can cause serious health issues, including kidney failure and even death.

Symptoms of Asiatic lily poisoning are the same as Easter lily ingestion, so it’s a very serious and dangerous situation. Early treatment is vital to your dog’s survival.

Are canna lilies poisonous to dogs?

Canna lilies (Canna spp.) are not considered toxic to dogs, making them a safer alternative. These plants do not contain the harmful compounds found in many other lily species.

However, you still shouldn’t let your dog just chow down on canna lilies, or any other plants that you’re not sure of. Even safe plants can cause mild gastrointestinal upset if ingested in large quantities, and some dogs may have individual sensitivities.

What To Do If Your Dog Ate a Lily

If you suspect your dog ingested any part of a lily, act fast but be calm. You want to minimize stress for your dog to avoid accelerating heart rate and increasing blood pressure.

I can’t understate how important prompt action is to get a good outcome and reduce the risk of severe health complications. Here are the steps you should follow:

  • Remove any remaining plant material: Gently check your dog’s mouth for any residual plant matter and carefully remove it, taking care not to cause injury.

  • Contact a veterinarian or emergency animal clinic: Don’t wait for symptoms to appear — reach out to your veterinarian or the nearest emergency animal clinic right away. Time is of the essence when dealing with lily poisoning.

  • Provide relevant information: When speaking to your veterinarian, provide as much information as possible about the situation, including the type of lily, which parts of the plant were ingested and the approximate quantity consumed. This will help the veterinarian determine the best course of action.

  • Follow your veterinarian’s advice: Do whatever your vet instructs you to. They’ll most likely tell you to bring your dog to the clinic immediately so they can begin treatment.

  • Monitor your dog for symptoms: Keep a close eye on your dog for any signs of distress or discomfort, like drooling, vomiting, difficulty swallowing or lethargy.
  • Learn from the experience: After addressing the immediate concern, take steps to prevent future incidents. Evaluate the plants in your home and yard and remove any potentially dangerous ones to keep your furry friend safe.

Katy Willis
Katy Willis is a master gardener, herbalist and certified canine nutritionist. She focuses on sustainability and green living on her organic homestead, where she uses permaculture techniques to grow food and raise chickens. She's an experienced pet parent who adores her dogs and strives to give them the best possible life. Katy's commitment to sustainability extends to her DIY and home improvement skills, minimizing waste and promoting self-sufficiency in every aspect of her life.