Ivy is toxic for dogs

Hedera helix toxic

Ivy is a rampant, clinging evergreen vine that can climb very high due to its rapid growth and its adhesive roots. It is found in Central Europe in forests and bushes. Ivy is an Araliaceae plant that can grow up to 20 m high and can become very old.

Ivy is popular both as a ground cover and as a climbing plant on walls and fences in gardens.

Ivy blooms relatively inconspicuously but is popular with bees and insects. The fruits are pea-sized berries that are usually red, blue or black.

All parts of ivy are poisonous to dogs: the leaves, the berries, the shoots as well as the sap of the plant.

Ivy is also known as:
  • common ivy
  • English ivy
  • European ivy
Efeuranken mit typischen Efeublättern

What should I do if my dog ate Ivy?

How toxic is Ivy?

Toxicity:toxic (toxic)
Toxic parts:All parts of ivy are poisonous to dogs: the leaves, the berries, the shoots as well as the sap of the plant.
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 Ivy

Plant species:Shrub
Occurrence:Gardens, Forests
Flowering time:winter, spring
Fruit ripening:summer, autumn


The following symptoms can occur in case of poisoning with ivy:

  • skin irritation on contact
  • drooling
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • abdominal pain
  • diarrhoea

In case of severe poisoning with ivy, the following symptoms may also occur:

  • pale mucous membranes
  • bloody urine
  • movement disorders
  • palpitations
  • muscle cramps
  • shortness of breath
  • coma
  • death may occur due to respiratory failure


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 relieve the symptoms the vet can administer infusions and/or antispasmodic medication or, in an emergency, give the animal artificial respiration.

More information on dog poisonings can be found here: 

Preventing, identifying and treating poisoning in dogs

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