Common box is toxic for dogs

Buxus sempervirens toxic

The common box is an evergreen shrub or tree that can grow up to 4 metres high.

The branches are short and densely covered with small, egg-shaped, slightly leathery leaves.

The common box is popular as an ornamental plant cut into shape in gardens and parks. It is often seen cut into spherical shapes in a wide variety of sizes or as small hedges surrounding flower beds.

The flowers of the boxwood are yellowish white. The fruits of the box tree are blue-green capsules containing black seeds.

All parts of the common box are poisonous to dogs.

Common box is also known as:
  • European box
  • boxwood
Boxwood as a pot plant

What should I do if my dog ate Common box?

How toxic is Common box?

Toxicity:toxic (toxic)
Toxic parts:All parts of the common box are poisonous.
Toxic time:winter, spring, summer, autumn
If your dog shows symptoms of poisoning, it is always an emergency! Time is critical for your dog's life. You should immediately call your vet or the animal emergency services and make sure that a vet is on site and then go there immediately. For the treatment, it helps the vet a lot to know what your dog has ingested.

Occurrence Common box

Plant species:tree
Occurrence:Gardens, Parks, Forests
Flowering time:spring
Fruit ripening:autumn


The following symptoms may appear in case of boxwood poisoning:

  • vomiting
  • abdominal pain
  • severe and sometimes bloody diarrhoea

Ingesting large amounts of boxwood may cause the following additional symptoms:

  • dehydration
  • movement disorders
  • muscle cramps
  • difficulty swallowing
  • circulatory collapse
  • coma
  • death due to respiratory paralysis


The vet will always try to remove the ingested poison from the body and alleviate the specific symptoms of poisoning.

There are different methods to remove the poison from the body:

1. ACTIVATED CHARCOAL: Activated charcoal can absorb toxins. If possible, it should be administered within 2 hours after ingestion of the poison, so that the toxin does not enter the bloodstream.
2. LAXATIVES: The vet may combine the administration of activated charcoal with a laxative.
3. VOMITING: The vet can also induce vomiting using medication to remove the toxin from the body

To alleviate the symptoms of poisoning, the vet may administer infusions and, if necessary, medication to reduce pain and nausea.

More information on dog poisonings can be found here: 

Preventing, identifying and treating poisoning in dogs

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