Are Lilacs Poisonous To Dogs? Everything You Need To Know!

Dogs are very friendly animals that are known for their subtle nature and great company to humans. Dogs provide a sense of emotional well-being and unconditional love making them great pets for people who live alone. In short, dogs can be animals to share a space with.

However, the struggles of dog owners do not vanish away. Like any pet, taking care of dogs also demands commitment and carefulness.

You have to ensure that your animal is not messing with the wrong things or getting hurt by any hazardous material. Most of the owners are very vigilant about what their pet is doing and where he is sitting.

However, the area where many people get casual is plants and trees their dogs are nibbling with. When your free-roaming dogs interact with plants, there is a continuous hazard of interacting with any plant that falls in the toxic category for pets.

Lilacs are also one of the popularly arguable flowers that are poisonous to dogs. In today’s article, we will answer the question about lilac toxicity for dogs and everything else you need to know about lilac poisoning in your dogs.

So let’s get into it.

What are Lilacs?

There is a common argument about lilacs being a plant or a tree. However, there is agreement on one thing lilac flowers are very attractive in their appearance, colors, and fragrances.

The botanical name of lilacs is Syringa vulgaris which belongs to the genus Syringa. It is a multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub in the olive family with an average spread of 8 to 12 feet and grows to a height of 12 to 16 feet.

The shrub is popular for its fragrant and beautiful flowers that bloom in spring. The plant has been cultivated in different regions of the world for centuries due to its aesthetic appeal and also the sweet fragrance.

The lilac tree is native to eastern Asia and Southeastern Europe. However, the first-ever lilac originated in Eastern Europe. 

Types Of Lilacs

Depending on the locality, fragrance, color, etc., lilac has several species and cultivars. The commonly known species and characteristics of lilac are as follows:

Common Lilac

Common Iilac, known as Syringa vulgaris, is cultivated in Balkan Peninsula and is the most popular type of lilac. The flowers grown on the shrub have shades of purple and sweet fragrance. The color shades can vary from pink to white and even blue in many cultivars of lilac.

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Persian Lilac

Syringa Persica, known as Persian Lilac, is grown in Asian regions of Afghanistan and Iran. The plant bears smaller flowers that are generally more delicate than common lilacs. The color of the flowers ranges from light purple to lavender.

Late Lilac

Late lilacs, Syringa villosa, are native to china. These flowers are given this name due to their blooming season of blooming. The pale pink to white flower cluster blooms a bit later than the normal flowers.

Chinese Lilac

Chinese lilac, as the name suggests, is native to China, and it’s a hybrid specie of Syringa and Chinensis. This cross resulted in fragrant flowers that range from reddish-purple to white.

Japanese Tree Lilac

Syringa reticulata, known as the Japanese tree lilac, is grown in eastern Asia, and the special thing about these lilacs is that they grow into small trees. The creamy white blooms with a pleasing fragrance are grown on the cherry-like barks of lilac trees.

Hungarian Lilac

Grown in Eastern Europe, Syringa josikaea is known as Hungarian lilac, and the plant bears bluish flowers with a pleasing fragrance. The popular thing about Hungarian lilac is the longer-than-normal blooming period.

Preston Lilac

Preston lilac is also a hybrid of the late lilac when crossed with Prestoniae. The flowers were introduced in Canada, and they’re known for a range of flower colors and cold hardiness in regions like Canada.

Dwarf Korean Lilac

Finally, Syringa meyeri is known as dwarf Korean lilac that is native to Korea. The fragrant, pale pink flowers grow on compact shrubs with the most popular cultivars, Miss Kim and Palibin.

Are Lilacs Poisonous To Dogs?

Now coming to the actual question: are lilacs poisonous to dogs?

Short answer: Yes


Well, the lilac flowers blooming in spring are very pleasant to sight and smell for humans as well as animals. However, too much lilac can be toxic for your four-legged friend.

Lilacs are not highly toxic for dogs or cats. However, excess ingestion of the lilac flowers can pose to be a threat to the dogs.

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We will answer this question in the next section of the article.

Why Are Lilacs Poisonous To Dogs?

So the thing is that if your dog likes to play around with plants or nibble on them, there are no hazards. No matter how much he wanders around the plant, neither the stem nor the flower will cause any harm to your dog.

However, the real danger is when your friend has the intention of snack time with the lilac flowers or leaves. A little bit of snacking might not cause any harm to your dog, but too much will become a threat.

Besides, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals(ASPCA) has declared lilacs to be toxic plants for dogs. Excess lilac can cause discomfort in your dog’s mouth and stomach.

However, severe poisoning by lilacs is unlikely to happen in dogs. Besides, not all dogs are sensitive to lilacs, and there can be certain breeds that get reactions to lilac poisoning.

What substance in lilac works as a toxin for dogs?

No specific substance in the lilac can be recognized as a potent toxin for dogs. However, the digestive system of dogs might not be able to process lilacs, causing discomfort or reaction.

Symptoms of Lilac Poisoning In Your Dog

As mentioned, lilac can cause poisoning to your dog depending on individual sensitivity. Therefore, if your dog is sensitive to lilacs and he has ingested large amounts of the flower, leaves, or stem, the following systems might appear:

  • Vomiting is one of the most common reactions when dogs eat something that their stomachs don’t agree with.
  • Diarrhea resulting in loose, watery stools can result from the ingestion of certain plants, like lilacs in dogs.
  • Some dogs might experience gastrointestinal upset, including a lack of appetite, stomach pain, or other signs of discomfort.
  • Dogs might become less active or seem more tired than usual.
  • Drooling or salivating can also indicate that something is irritating the dog’s mouth or throat.
  • Pawing at the mouth or face can indicate oral discomfort or pain.

What To Do If Your Dog Has Got Lilac Poisoning?

Since lilacs are generally non-toxic to dogs, there is not much to worry about. However, the large amounts can cause discomfort in dogs. In case your dog has developed symptoms of lilac poisoning, here are the steps you need to take:

  1. Don’t react because it will only cause panic. Therefore, stay calm so that your dog doesn’t get distressed.
  2. The next thing you need to do is remove any plant materials from your dog’s mouth. Make sure to be gentle while removing remnants of the lilacs.
  3. Look for any symptoms of development in your dog. Even if you notice mild symptoms, take your dog to a medical professional.
  4. When you consult your veterinarian, don’t experiment with any other thing than what the medical professional has recommended. For instance, if your dog’s vet has not recommended inducing vomit, don’t try to experiment with your dog.
  5. Make sure that your dog remains hydrated after it has ingested the lilacs.
  6. As mentioned before, do not do anything your dog’s vet has not prescribed. It also includes avoiding self-medication for your dog.
  7. Continue monitoring your dog for 24-48 hours for any symptoms or allergies it might develop during this course of time.
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How To Prevent Your Dog From Getting Into Lilacs?

It is always better to take preventive measures at the right time to avoid lilac poisoning. It’s best to better safe than sorry. So here are a few prevention measures you should take in advance:

  • First, you should create secure garden areas for your dog so he is not distracted by live hazards around him. You can put fences or barriers around certain plants to avoid the interaction of your dogs with these plants.
  • You should also train your dog and teach him commands such as ‘leave it’ or ‘off’ for things that can prevent it from getting lilac poisoning.
  • Supervision can also keep your dog away from getting poisoned by harmful plants and flowers, including lilacs.
  • Provide your dog with chewing alternatives so he can get away from its boredom and not get attracted to the lilacs or other harmful plants.


We have shared everything you need to know about lilac poisoning in dogs. Whether your dog is showing initial symptoms or he has got severe symptoms, this guide has everything necessary to take care of your dog.