We are still in the process of Leroy proofing the backyard and everything is coming along nicely but slowly and I am starting to get a little impatient for the finished project to get done.

I am all ready to start enjoying my “Leroy proof” backyard and I want to plant my flowers now.

The plan was to wait until all the messy construction stuff was done and then I could started prettying the area up. However, I don’t like to wait so I went to the store this weekend and started buying flowers.

I already knew what I wanted.

I wanted purple petunias.

I always use petunias. They are my favorite and I know that they are not toxic to dogs.  It would be perfectly safe for Leroy to take a bite out of one and that is the whole point of “Leroy proofing” the backyard, to keep Leroy safe.

However, when I was at the store, these flowers caught my eye:

I’m not a flower expert so I had no idea what they were until I looked at the little flower card.

Hmmm. They’re geraniums. They sure are pretty. I’ll take 3 pots of them.

I was so excited about my pretty purple geraniums.

So when I got home instead of planting the purple petunias that I had planned on for my flower box I planted the geraniums, and put the petunias in hanging baskets.

They looked so pretty! I was so proud of them and I even put my St.Francis statue in there for an added touch!

I thought maybe I had finally found my green thumb.

Then I started thinking.

Then because I am paranoid, I went inside and googled “are geraniums toxic to dogs?”

Wouldn’t you know that they are!

Yup, all parts of a geranium are toxic to dogs and cats! Symptoms occur within minutes to a few hours after the dog ingests the geranium or rolls in the geranium bed. According to the ASPCA, symptoms of geranium poisoning in dogs includes depression, anorexia, vomiting and dermatitis.


Leave it to me, the person who thinks she knows every possible thing that could harm her dogs, to buy toxic plants and put them right in fair territory for ingestion.

Double awesome.

Yeah. That’s exactly what I kept seeing in my head. Geraniums and Leroy and dermatitis and vomiting.

Back outside I went and dug up the beautiful geraniums and replanted them in hanging baskets. Far out of reach of curious pooches.

In went the petunias.

Not as pretty, but safer, and St.Francis can relax a bit.

Have you planted your summer flowers yet? If you haven’t, don’t make the same mistake I did.

Before you plant any flowers in an area that your pet has access to make sure it isn’t going to harm them!

Just in case, here is a great resource for toxic and non-toxic plants for dogs and cats.





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35 Comments on Geraniums Are Toxic to Dogs. I Didn’t Know That!

  1. This is a great post! My husband and I are about to move into a new house that has lovely trees, flowers, and plants in the backyard. Our plan is to bring in a landscaper to identify everything, then remove whatever is toxic to dogs. I’ve already recognized hydrangea and daffodils, both of which will have to go! It really is important to create and maintain an environment that’s safe for the pups. Thanks for including the great resource link. :)

    • Thanks Diana! Congratulations on your new house! I bet you are going to have a great time making it all your own!

  2. Roooo this is a grrrreat post! My humans haven’t planted anything in the garden since they got me. I think its because I like to help out! But this is great to know for when they do decide to tidy up the garden and re-introduce some flowers!

    • Thank you! I usually don’t keep flowers down on our patio either, due to Leroy. However this year I thought I would give it a try. I should of done my research!

  3. we did NOT know that about geraniums either. We have always had them on our deck. No more now. But Mom said we won’t have any pots on the deck this year anyway due to a certain unnamed pup.

    Woos- Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

    • I always keep flowers on our deck and they are usually pansies, and the dogs don’t spend much time on the deck. I have never put flowers down on our patio. Figures I would pick a toxic one!
      So Lightning likes flowers I take it?)

  4. Awesome of you to remind us of this important consideration. Those are amazingly gorgeous geraniums! If it’s any consolation, I love the scent of petunias, especially after a rain – and you’ll probably be able to enjoy that more with them in the flower box than above…

  5. Those really are beautiful geraniums. My mom person hasn’t seen any like it before.

    Thanks for the link, it will come in handy.

    Nubbin wiggles,

  6. Well my lil Becky is a special helper in the garden.. NOT. So I need to be on top of what is toxic and what is not! Till her, all my other dogs were *cough* well behaved 😉 love her anyways! Your flowers are beautiful!

  7. At least you can still enjoy them in the hanging basket 😉 Last year I bought a houseplant and brought it home, only to give it away after learning that it was toxic to cats. :( My cats really enjoy eating all of my plants . .little stinkers!

  8. First time in my life that I think it’s fine with me to be someone who has no green fingers and never think of getting any flowers or plants for the garden. I finally find a perfect excuse for not beautifying my yard! Tee hee!!!

  9. I usually save geraniums for the front yard, which has no dog access, so at least we’re safe on that front! I once planted Foxglove in the back, though, which I learned later is toxic to dogs, but it died off on its own. If we ever get that fence for the back yard, I’m going to have to do a lot of research!

  10. I didn’t know that geraniums were toxic to dogs either!

    My fiance is allergic to most things blooming, so I don’t plant a garden. For once, it’s a good thing!

  11. Thanks for this post.I didn’t know that either. My dogs have never eaten plants and I do have geraniums within reach so just to be safe I will make them hanging baskets.

    • Your welcome! Before Leroy I never had a dog who had eaten plants either! He is the reason why I have to be careful now! I will tell that I have realized after a few days that the flowers fall off quickly and I have had to move the hanging baskets!

  12. Interestingly, I think natural flea repellents contain pyrethrin which is made from geraniums. Hopefully it’s okay as long as the dog doesn’t eat it.

    I’m puzzled by dogs and toxic plants. I always assumed dogs would be smart enough to avoid something poisonous to them. Of course humans overdo nicotine and sugar so what was I thinking?

    • As far as I know the substances that are toxic in the plant are geraniol, which can cause skin irritation and linalool which has been said to cause stomach irritation.
      One of the things that I liked about the geranium was that they have been said to repel mosquitoes, funny that I knew that but didn’t know that they were toxic to dogs and cats if ingested!

      Read more: Are Geraniums Poisonous to Dogs? | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/facts_7308027_geraniums-poisonous-dogs_.html#ixzz1uWpzxk3r
      I have always assumed the same thing and I have to say that I have never had a dog that ate flowers, however I know have Leroy who has been known to eat rocks and my part of my Azalea bush!

  13. I didn’t know geraniums were either! Thanks for the heads up! I’ll make sure Mom only plants them in the front yard :)

    At least you only needed to do a switch-er-roo! The petunias look lovely in the flower box :)

    Waggin at ya,

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