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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Wednesday - February 05, 2014

From: Del Mar, CA
Region: California
Topic: Poisonous Plants, Trees
Title: Are magnolia trees toxic for dogs?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Del Mar, California- are magnolia trees, (their bark, roots, pods) toxic to small dogs? My Westie terriers are exhibiting lack of appetite and diarrea this late winter. Tonight I saw on our local news that a labrador puppy died recently, and they suspect the pup ate magnolia pods that are the same that are in my new house's back yard. What do you know? please advise asap. Thanks!

ANSWER:

The American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has a list, Toxic and Non-Toxic Plant List – Dogs.  If you do a search on that list for "magnolia", you will find an entry for Magnolia stellata (star magnolia) and it is listed in the "Non-Toxic" section.   There is no listing for any magnolia species in the "Toxic" section.

Neither the Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System, Cornell University's Plants Poisonous to Livestock, nor the the University of Pennsylvania's Poisonous Plants Database lists any magnolia species in its toxic plants database nor do any magnolia species appear in the Toxic Plants section on the University of California's Safe and Poisonous Garden Plants page.  Here is more discussion about toxicity of magnolias to dogs and other pets from The Nest.

Of course, eating large quantities of any plant might be bad for your dogs' health.  If you see that your dogs are eating any parts of the magnolia—either the fruits, leaves or bark—you should monitor them carefully.   If they show signs of illness, contact your vet.

 

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