Is a Bird of Paradise Toxic or Poisonous to Dogs? Or Safe?

The Bird of paradise is a beautiful tropical plant that is beloved for its size, adding a tropical feel to any room. If you have a bouncy, curious pup, however, you may want to think twice before adding one of these to the family.

Which part of the Bird of paradise is toxic?

The leaves of a Bird of paradise contain hydrocyanic acid, sometimes also called prussic acid. This acid is toxic to dogs, and any small bite to the plant will expose your pooch to harm.

Even more dangerous is the plant’s flowers. These contain a toxin called tannin which is dangerous to your dog, as exposure to it could negatively affect your dog’s ability to eat, their digestion, and their productivity.

Symptoms of toxicity

If your dog has ingested any part of the plant, they will begin displaying symptoms within 20 minutes of consumption. The symptoms will include:

Take notice if your pet appears to have staggered breathing or is drooling. The acid can cause dehydration, vomiting, and muscle tremors.

Biting the plant may cause irritation to the mouth or eyes. Muscle tremors, vomiting, diarrhea, or the inability to defecate are all red flags and a sign to seek urgent medical care.

If your dog begins to show any of these symptoms, action should be taken immediately. Contact your local vet and follow the instructions given.

Do not induce vomiting unless instructed by a licensed veterinarian. Do not wait for symptoms to disappear on their own.

Diagnosis and treatment

Once at the vet, they will likely perform a physical exam and assess your dog. They may want to sedate your dog in order to perform an endoscope. During the procedure, a small camera is inserted into your animal’s mouth and down their throat.

This will give your vet a better idea of what is happening internally.

Provide them with as much information as possible. Try and include a sample of the plant and bring it along with you.

If your dog is showing signs of severe toxicity, your vet may need to put your dog on a drip, and keep them under observation for several days.

Recovery

After you get home, it’s best to keep your pet as calm as possible so they can recover. Continue with any prescribed medication until the treatment is done.

If you do not notice any improvements, or your dog’s symptoms worsen, contact your vet immediately. 

Will ingesting the Bird of paradise kill my dog?

How sick your pet becomes will depend on how much of the plant they consumed, their size, and how long it took to receive treatment.

Your animal is unlikely to die unless they consumed a large amount. It will, however, make them feel very sick, just from eating a small piece, so avoid them coming into contact with each other where possible.

Prevention

Prevention is always better than treatment. As you know by now, the Bird of paradise and pets don’t mix well. If you are set on owning one of these, but also have a curious pooch in the house, then some separation might be best.

Unlike with cats, if you are able to place your Bird of paradise somewhere elevated, it might be safe from wagging tails.

Another way to keep your pooch safe might be to keep it in a room that your pet has restricted access to.

In Conclusion

The bird of paradise is sure to be a showstopper no matter which room you place it in. While your dog may be curious from time to time, ingesting even a small part of this plant can cause painful symptoms in your dog’s GI tract. Keep your pooch away to ensure happy wagging tails.