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Is Spirea Toxic or Poisonous to Dogs? (Read This First!)

Who doesn’t love the pretty foliage and bright colors a spirea plant brings to your garden?

When you are a pet parent, you would always have to think twice before bringing in a plant home. Let’s dig deep to know if you can place spirea in your house while having a pet around.

Is spirea toxic or poisonous to dogs?

Spirea is among the plants that are neither toxic nor poisonous to dogs. Although not listed in the nontoxic list of plants by ASPCA, the plant is not toxic as it does not contain any harmful saponins that can make a dog sick. However, a dog can get ill if they ingest a lot of the plant.

There is a list of types of spirea. As it is mentioned earlier that they are not toxic, is it true for all the types? Dive into the list below to know.

Bridal Wreath Spirea:

Bridal Wreath Spirea is considered to be a non-toxic plant and is as safe as a spider plant or even a prayer plant.

These varieties of spirea a similar to Baby’s breath in looks and nature but it does not possess the toxicity baby’s breath plant contains.

False Spirea:

False spirea are a plant that belongs to the family of Rosaceae and is known to have vivid and bright colors. These plants also do not contain any toxicants that may have any adverse effects on your dog.

Blue Mist Spirea:

Blue mist spirea is also known as Longwood spirea and is a deciduous shrub plant that is also safe to keep around dogs.

But, like most plants, if a dog eats a lot of these plant parts, you may notice that your dog will start to show symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea.

Little Princess Spirea:

Little princess spirea are also non-toxic and safe to be around dogs. These plants are short, so their ono toxic property is helpful to have around pets.

Nevertheless, it is best to keep them away from pets because they might have bacteria infestation from time to time.

Spirea Japonica:

Although, like other spirea plants, japonica does not contain any poisonous substances and would not have fatal effects on your dogs. But since it is an invasive plant, which means it grows and spreads everywhere.

Spirea Bush:

Spirea bush are shrub-type plants that are nonpoisonous but because they are so close to reaching, they should not be around dogs.

3 reasons why spirea is considered safe around dogs

There are 3 primary reasons why spirea is considered to be kept around homes that have dogs:

Spirea does not contain harmful substances:

What makes spirea safe for dogs is the substances that it contains. Fortunately, this plant does not contain toxicants that may have adverse effects on a dog’s health.

Substances that poisonous plants contain glycosides, colchicine, calcium oxalate, and other Steroidal saponins that can poison a dog within minutes if the dog ingests some of the plant’s parts.

Spirea is safe because it does not contain any of these poisonous saponins. If a plant is comprised of such toxic constituents, it can cause a dog to have mild to severe indigestion, breathing, and heartbeat issues, skin irritation.

Sometimes it could also lead to more severe neurological problems, coordination, and movement imbalance, and even death. Spirea has not caused any of these complications in dogs to this date.

Spirea is a thornless plant:

It’s not always what’s inside a plant that causes harm to your dog. Your pet is a curious being and loves to touch and feel plants and even nibble them.

Another reason spirea is a safe plant to have around is that the plant has no poking thorns on its stem. If your dog gets too close to it, even if it doesn’t touch it, there are no thorns to poke its skin or eyes.

Thorns in poisonous plants can also cause harm to dogs to some extent internally, in addition to bruises and scratches.

It is not on ASPCA’s list of toxic plants:

When it comes to deciding whether a particular food or plant is safe for plants, the only way to confirm it is by checking with ASPCA. The animal governing body makes official lists of plants that are toxic for dogs.

Since ASPCA has not included spirea in their list of toxic plants, it is mostly assumed that spirea does not cause any harm to dogs.

It may be that enough research has not been backed up for ASPCA to officially include spirea in any of the lists yet. If the plant was too much danger for dogs, ASPCA would alert pet parents immediately.

What happens if dogs eat spirea?

Dogs should not eat any plants, whether it spirea or other trees or plants. Likewise, if a dog eats spirea, the digestive system will have a difficult time and this might upset a dog’s stomach.

Although spirea will not cause any detrimental or long-term harmful effects on the dog, you might notice that the dog will start to vomit and have diarrhea. If your furry friend eats a lot of the plant, it could experience weakness and possible skin irritations as well.

Moreover, then the spirea plant, dogs get sick because they ingest pesticides and dirt along with the plant bits.

How to stop your dog from eating spirea plants?

Although spirea is not a poisonous plant and is safe around your dog, you must keep your dog from eating the plant. Here is how you can stop your dog from eating the plant:

Plant spirea the right way:

If you have spirea in your backyard, you need to make sure that the area is dog-friendly.

You may need shade and water resources for your dog. Additionally, you should create a path and a barrier where the spirea plant is located so that the dog cannot reach the plant so easily. 

Give your dog distractions:

Toys and treats work as a great distraction if you want your dog away from the spirea plant. Lure them away from the plant every time they want to reach out or have a taste of the spirea plant.

Spray citrus water on the plant:

Since dogs do not like the smell of citrus fruits, you can add lemon to some water and make a solution out of it. Spray it on the plant to keep your pet away.

Discourage the behavior:

Teach your dog commands and discourage them every time they try to nibble on the plant.

Move the plant:

You can also completely move the plant to an area where the dog is not keen on visiting.

How to plant spirea around dogs?

The first step to planting spirea around dogs is to have proper and safe ground covers like Elfin Thyme or Irish Moss. Next, you’d want to make sure that the place you are planting the spirea is dog friendly.

This means you should include a potty area as well as shade and water. These will make sure the dog is not too attracted to the plants.

After you have designed and designated spots for your dog, you should make a path for your dog. Select and add good compost as well. You can also add driftwood pieces on the path just to make sure your dog is away from the spirea.

What bushes are dog-friendly?

The following bushes are dog friendly:

  • Bottle bush
  • Magnolia bush
  • Mulberry greenbrier
  • Chaparral bush
  • Canna lilies
  • Camellia
  • Boston fern
  • black hawthorn

Final Thoughts

Since spirea does not contain any toxic substances like colchicine or calcium oxalate, the plant is completely safe to be kept around dogs. However, since it is a plant and may have bacteria or pesticides on it, your dog should not eat it. Eating the plant might make your dog temporarily sick.