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Dog Eating Hibiscus

16 years ago

Can anyone offer suggestions to keep our 9 month old Golden Retriever from eating every new bloom off my hibiscus? It's driving me nuts!

I tried boiling serrano chiles and spraying the water from them on the plant, and it doesn't keep her away. I have sprinkled cayenne pepper on the plant, and nothing. Even tried black pepper and it didn't work either. Even the soap and water that I spray on it for the whiteflies hasn't kept her away!

The plant is lush and green, but I have yet to have a flower completely bloom before she gets to it! She stays away from all my other plants, so what gives?

Comments (20)

  • 16 years ago

    The only thing that seems to keep my brothers Golden away from plants is peppermint spray- few drops of peppermint oil, not extract, added to a spray bottle and then sprayed around and on plants. Doesn't hurt the plants but the dogs seem to hate it! Helps keep ants away too, always a plus in my book! HTH

  • 16 years ago

    Your post is so timely! I have 2 new babies, 2 yellow Lab pups & they eat/attack everything. They knocked over my hibiscus 2 x & ate every bloom. This week they practically decapitated my new TX sage & pulled it out of the ground!

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  • 16 years ago

    Aren't all parts of the Hibiscus poisonous?

  • 16 years ago

    I have wondered about that also. Half of the things I read on the internet say they're poisonous, and half say they're not. In any case, she has never gotten sick from eating them, and thankfully she doesn't do it often because I try to stay on top of her when she's outside. She's funny because she knows she's not supposed to go near that plant. If I point to it and tell her NO, she puts her tail between her legs and skulks off. Trust me, she doesn't listen that well to anything else I tell her!

    This weekend I boiled habanero peppers and put the water from the pot in a spray bottle. I sprayed it all over the plant. When she tried to eat a bloom, she actually spit it out. Hopefully it was too hot for her. I know I cough up a storm when I spray the plant! : )

  • 16 years ago

    I don't know about the other parts, but flowers are entirely edible, and I would assume tasty as the tortoises we used to have had an addiction to them :)

  • 16 years ago

    YES YES YES - Hibiscus is in fact posinous to dogs! They are not posinous to all creatures. However, they are great for a tortoises diet. My tort also has an addiction to them.

    Even though you are not seeing outward signs of your dog becoming sick, it does not mean that what they are eating is not causing eternal damage. You try placing some wire cages around them to stop access.

    Good Luck!

  • 16 years ago

    I've been looking and find no reference that the flowers are poisonous to dogs, but rather the plant itself is.

  • 16 years ago

    I've actually researched this before. I won't put any posinous plants in my backyard because one of my dogs is about 10 lbs. It takes a much smaller amount of consumption for it to affect them.

    My resource is The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). They have short lists of toxic and nontoxic plants.

    Hibiscus is not on their list. However, you can call them and enquire about any plant. Which is what I did about a year ago and they confirmed the entire plant is posinous. Usually when something says the plant itself is posinous it means the entire plant. Foliage, flowers, seeds, etc.

    On these ASPCA toxic plant list you can click on the name of the plant and it will tell you what the toxic principle us (usually calcium oxalate crystals) and the clinical signs, some of which are death. Unfortunatly, I do not remember what the clinical signs are for the hibiscus, just that it was a no go in my dog area!

    Also, some plants are only posinous to cats and not dogs such as the lily. Oh, and for horse owners, their is a list of poisonous plants for horses!

    I placed a link below for the ASPCA. They are invaluable resource for pet owners. In addition, they have a 24 hour animal posion control line which, at your request, they will send you a free magnet for! I linked directly to the poison control page, on the right hand side you will see a list of links. In that you will find the toxic and ontoxic plant lists.

    Some plants, such as the Tropical BOP, only have seeds that are posinous. So on those I just clip the flower when it blooms and place it in a vase inside!

    Here is a link that might be useful: ASPCA

  • 12 years ago

    I have a golden puppy and it keeps pulling the flowers off the plant and any that drop along with everything else in the yard. I've been trying to find out about the flowers too and can't find out anything. I think calling the ASPCA is a great suggestion. Thanks,

  • 12 years ago

    My 2 female dogs ate all the leaves off my hibiscus- they have a problem with incontinence- saw a reference to diuretic property of rosa sinensis...vet thinks there's kidney damage. Anyone have any info? Seems to happen only in growing season.

  • 12 years ago

    I think to clarify things we need to distinguish between hibiscus species. I have done a little research and it appears that Sinensis (Chinese/tropical hibiscus) is not toxic to animals. However, Syriacus (Rose of Sharon) is toxic to animals according to the ASPCA website. You should call your vet if your pet consumes any amount of Syriacus, but if your pet only consumed a small amount of the plant, you probably don't need to induce vomiting (your vet will give you instructions on how to do this). The primary danger if your pet consumed a lot of it is fluid loss through vomiting/diarrhea. The vet will likely assume any hibiscus is Syriacus out of an abundance of caution.

    If your pet consumes a large amount of a known non-toxic plant or small amount of a plant of unknown toxicity, I would still call your vet's office.

  • 9 years ago

    Hibiscus (Hibiscus spp.) flowers can be edible or toxic to dogs
    depending on the type of hibiscus. Tropical hibiscus plants such as
    Chinese hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis), which is an evergreen that
    grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through
    11, is used to make tea. It is also grown in zoos as a reptile food.
    This particular hibiscus is safe for dogs, as are most tropical
    hibiscus. Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus), a deciduous hardy hibiscus
    that grows in USDA zones 5 through 8, is toxic to dogs, however.

    Make sure that the Chinese hibiscus is NOT the tree in your yard, TOXIC! All the other varieties are fine. I make hibiscus tea (great for the heart) sweetened with stevia, and both my dog and I love it (hers is cooled first PETA). She eats the spent flowers on her food in the evening. Lots of vit C

  • 9 years ago

    I'm trying to keep my cat from eating the leaves of my azaleas. I read they are poisonous and he likes to nibble pieces of the leaves off occasionally. I only let my cat out in the back when I'm there so now I just pull him away when he goes near them, but I worry I'll not be watching one of these times and he'll go to town on them like he does my borage.

  • 8 years ago

    Per Home Guides....


    Non-toxic Hibiscus

    Most hibiscus plants, such as the Chinese hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis), which thrives in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11, or the rose mallow (Hibiscus lasiocarpos), growing in USDA zones 5 through 9, are safe for canine consumption. In fact, hibiscus flowers are used in the making of many herbal teas sold in the U.S., according to WebMD. You aren't likely to make tea for your pup, but there's no need to worry if you see him tasting the sweet blooms or other parts of a safe variety of hibiscus.

    Toxic Variety

    While most hibiscus pose no threat to canines, a couple do. The ASPCA lists one main hibiscus variety in its database of varieties toxic to dogs. The rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus), also called the rose of China, grows in USDA zones 5 through 8. It blooms all summer and into fall, traditionally with pink blooms or blooms that are pink with red centers. Modern cultivars create other bloom colors including blue, white and red. As a deciduous shrub, it loses its leaves for the winter and grows new ones -- which might look tasty to your dog -- in the spring. It can grow up to 12 feet tall, but it creates blooms and leaves all along the branches, meaning there will be plenty at your pooch's eye level to tempt him.


  • 8 years ago

    I don't know what kind of Hibiscus I had, but I had two Labs who ate my ENTIRE 4ft something Hibiscus tree. They never got sick, so it must have been the non-toxic kind.

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hibiscus is toxic to dogs.....remove the plant!

  • 4 years ago

    My Labs have always loved hibiscus flowers. One of them(the addict!) actually ate the plant leaves and all!!

    The Rose of Sharon (hibiscus family) is actually the flower that is highly toxic to dogs! The tropical hibiscus has not harmed my labs tho I do try to keep them away- I like the flowers! Friends & family tend to give them free reign:(

  • 3 years ago

    Not according to ASPCA that is actually on their website as non toxic. There are some bad reports on the web confused with

  • 26 days ago

    Eh, I've tried bitter lime etc, nothing worked. maybe a vinegear spray might work? stat away from Rose of Sharon hibiscus, the others are safe.