Are orchids poisonous to dogs? Plant experts reveal all

Worried about your pooch nibbling on your orchid plant? Experts have revealed that you may not have to fear

picture of small dog near orchid plants
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you've noticed your dog showing attention to your orchid plant you might have started to worry about the possible risks of them eating it. However, experts reveal that you may not have to be so worried after all. 

With all the hard work that comes with knowing how to care for an orchid, the last thing you want is for your furry friend to take a bite out of it and potentially fall ill. Whilst you may already know if orchids are poisonous to cats, it's quite a different tale when it comes to dogs.

Considering this, we asked veterinarians and plant experts whether consuming any part of an orchid plant can cause illness for a dog and here's what they said. 

Are orchids poisonous to dogs?

Orchids are considered one of the hardest houseplants to keep alive, so it's no surprise that many people will do all they can to keep them out of harm's way. However, it can be nearly impossible to protect them from a curious pet and to protect that beloved pet from harm too. 

"Most orchids are not toxic to dogs, including the popular phalaenopsis variety also known as the moth orchid, which is considered non-toxic to dogs," explains Peter Ivanov, gardening expert at Fantastic Gardeners

Despite this, if your dog ingests any plant material it can sometimes cause some mild gastrointestinal discomfort in pets such as vomiting or diarrhoea. Peter suggests trying to monitor any potential plant consumption and contacting a vet should you have any concerns.

Peter says, "It's always best to consult the ASPCA's database or a veterinarian if you are unsure about a specific type of orchid. Generally, the Phalaenopsis orchid is widely regarded as safe."

picture of two white orchids on a dining table

(Image credit: Getty Images)


What to do if your dog eats an orchid?

If you notice bite marks the next time you're carrying out your houseplant watering routine, don't panic. Whilst it can cause some minor discomfort, your dog would have to ingest a lot of the plant to make them seriously ill. 

Peter says, "If your dog eats an orchid, monitor them for any signs of distress. Mild symptoms such as drooling, vomiting, or diarrhoea may occur but usually subside without medical intervention." 

Should the symptoms persist or your dog starts to show signs of lethargy, loss of appetite and unusual behaviour it may be best to contact a vet. 

Your vet may want to see your dog and examine them in person, if this is the case, Peter suggests bringing a sample of the plant with you to help the vet diagnose. 

Why are dogs attracted to orchids?

Even though orchids are one of the best indoor plants for your health and well-being, your dogs have several other reasons for finding them interesting. 

"Dogs may be attracted to orchids because they are naturally curious and may be drawn to new or unusual objects in their environment, including plants," says Peter. "The texture of the leaves and flowers might be appealing for some dogs to chew on, and if a dog is bored or lacks mental stimulation, it might investigate and chew on houseplants as a form of entertainment." 

Luckily there are a few things you can do to keep your prying pooch away.

picture of a pinscher sat next to an orchid

(Image credit: Getty Images)

How to stop your dog from eating your orchid 

Placing your plant in an unsuitable spot is one of the most common houseplant mistakes and whilst that usually refers to lack of sunlight, placement can also leave your plant at risk of your pet too. 

Leading vet and Head of Telehealth at Vets Now, Dave Leicester says, "The best way to avoid a trip to the emergency room is to keep a close eye on your dog to ensure it's not eating anything it shouldn't be and keep indoor plants like orchids out of reach from curious noses, up high on shelves or window ledges."

He also stresses the importance of having distractions at the ready for your dog to keep them occupied whilst relaxing at home. Dave recommends using chew toys as they can help avoid them looking for stimulation elsewhere, this also works if your dog has a particular interest in your table legs too.

RepellShield Anti-Chew spray for Dogs: £10.99 at Amazon 

RepellShield Anti-Chew spray for Dogs: £10.99 at Amazon 

Whether you're trying to stop your dog from peeing on your favourite plant or chewing your beloved orchid this spray will work to deter them from any area. Whilst it's made with safe ingredients it's also best to check before use whether your pets could be allergic to anything. 

So while you don't have to panic about your orchids upsetting your dog's tummy, it is best to keep any plants that are toxic to your pets away and out of reach. 

Emily Smith
Digital lifestyle writer

Emily joined woman&home as a staff writer after finishing her MA in Magazine Journalism from City University in 2023. After writing various health and news content, she now specialises in lifestyle and home writing where she covers all things cleaning, interiors and homeowning.