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My Dog Ate a Rose, Do They Need to See a Vet? Vet Reviewed Facts & FAQ

Kristin Hitchcock

By Kristin Hitchcock

Sheltie Shetland Sheepdog dog smelling pink rose

Vet approved

Dr. Lorna Whittemore Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lorna Whittemore

MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Roses aren’t toxic to dogs. Therefore, if your dog eats some of your roses, there is typically no reason to visit a vet. As curious creatures, dogs are known to take bites out of plants that aren’t a common addition to their diet. Because roses are safe, they are a better option than toxic flowers for landscaping and decorating.

With that said, roses aren’t completely okay for dogs to eat. No part of the rose is toxic. However, the thorns can pose a threat if your dog eats them. Your canine may also be unable to digest large volumes of roses, which can cause intestinal distress and similar issues.

Luckily, these more serious complications are rare and only occur if a dog consumes a lot of roses. Small amounts aren’t an issue for most dogs.

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Potential Complications When Your Dog Eats a Rose

Roses are generally considered very safe for dogs to eat. They don’t have any toxic substances or chemicals, so your dog won’t develop toxicity from the rose. Furthermore, the flower part of the rose is somewhat digestible and soft, so impactions and choking are less common.

Sadly, though, complications can occur in some cases. If your dog consumes a lot of roses or eats the thorns, it may be more at risk for complications.

1. Blockages

If your dog consumes a ton of roses, there is a chance that it won’t be able to digest the plant thoroughly. The stems of the plants are tougher to digest than other parts (and they also contain thorns). If your dog cannot digest the plant, there is a chance that it will get stuck in the intestines. Eating enough roses to be a problem would be unusual and the occurrence of a blockage isn’t common. However, intestinal blockages in general are one of the most common emergencies in veterinary medicine.

Sometimes, these blockages are partial and can work out by themselves with supportive treatment. However, more often than not, surgery is required to take care of it. The vet will need to perform testing, such as X-rays, to see where the blockage is. Then, an exploratory surgery allows the vet to remove some or all of the blockage.

dog having it's heart rate checked at the vet clinic
Image Credit: Tyler Olson, Shutterstock

2. Thorns

Thorns are not the safest thing for your dog to be eating. Luckily, because thorns are sharp dogs don’t usually persist in eating them. However, your dog may develop injuries inside their mouth and throat from the thorns. These may heal without any complications. However, because the mouth contains many bacteria, there is an increased risk of infection.

Luckily, this doesn’t mean you must rush your dog to the vet immediately. If you notice minor injuries in an otherwise healthy dog, keep an eye out for infections. Of course, if you notice an infection, lodged thorn or the dog has difficulty eating, then get to your vet soon. Infections are very treatable if caught early. Otherwise, they can easily get worse and cause complications.

3. Chemicals

If you spray your roses with pesticides or other chemicals, your dog is at risk for complications. While the roses are non-toxic, many of these chemicals are toxic. Even dyes commonly used on roses sold in bouquets can be toxic to canines.

Most pesticides are toxic to dogs in large amounts. Depending on your dog’s size and when you sprayed the plant, there may not be enough left to cause severe signs. However, other canines may experience side effects from small amounts of the pesticide.

Many fertilizers are also toxic. For instance, disulfoton is often used in rose-specific fertilizers and is deadly to dogs. Therefore, don’t let your dog eat soil treated with fertilizers. You can also choose products without toxic ingredients, making your rose bed safe for your pet.

Contact your poisons helpline for advice on any chemicals you think your pet may have consumed.

Thoroughbred Corgi dog is examined. Veterinary clinic
Image Credit: Andrii Medvednikov, Shutterstock

4. “Fake” Roses

Not all plants commonly called “roses” are actual roses. Instead, many of these plants belong to other plant families. In this case, they may not be safe for your dog to eat. Be sure the plant you’re worried about belongs to the “Rosa” family. There are quite a few toxic lookalikes.

Divider 5What Should I Do If My Dog Ate a Rose?

If your dog consumes a rose, there are several quick checks you should do. First, have a quick look in your dog’s mouth (safely) to ensure there aren’t any scratches or stuck thorns. Minor scratches from eating the thorns aren’t usually a huge deal. However, you may want to pay extra attention to that spot when brushing your dog’s teeth to prevent potential infections. Thorns caught in your dog’s mouth should be removed if possible. You may need to take your dog to the vet for removal.

Next make sure it was actually a rose. Just because something looks like a rose or even has a common name of “rose” doesn’t mean it is a rose. Finally, make sure the rose doesn’t have anything else on it. While roses are not toxic to dogs, the chemicals often sprayed on them or used as fertilizer can be. If the rose is grown without these chemicals, you can consider it safe.

When in doubt, we always recommend calling your vet. Roses are generally safe, but they aren’t always safe. Therefore, if you suspect that the rose was sprayed with chemicals, it is best to contact your vet. They can explain what signs to watch out for and may suggest that some dogs be brought in just in case. Smaller, older, and sickly pets are more at risk for complications.

Dog Pill Mouth
Image Credit: Jeanette Virginia Goh, Shutterstock

Are Rose Petals Edible for Dogs?

Rose petals are the safest part of the rose for your dog to eat, as they do not contain any thorns. For the most part, these petals are entirely safe and shouldn’t cause any problems for your canine. However, petals can be treated with pesticides and similar chemicals, which may be poisonous to dogs. There are rose petals available for human consumption but these are not a necessary part of your dog’s diet and we don’t recommend sharing them.

While your dog snatching a bite or two usually isn’t an issue, we wouldn’t recommend letting your dog consume roses in significant quantities. Adding them to your dog’s food is unnecessary.

Why Does My Dog Eat My Roses?

If your dog consumes your roses repeatedly, it is likely due to their taste or sheer boredom. Many dogs will take a bite out of a plant due to curiosity. However, continual consumption likely isn’t caused by curiosity. It can be caused by boredom, however. Dogs may munch on the roses because they don’t have anything else to do.

Canines can also eat roses due to their flavor. There is a slightly sweet flavor that many roses possess, and some dogs like this flavor. In this case, your best bet is to train the dog not to eat roses, remove the plant, or assume that your dog will eat them.

Rarely, consuming roses could signify hunger or a nutritional deficiency. However, you’ll often notice other signs of these causes. Your dog may also try to eat different things, for instance.

pink roses in basket
Image Credit: Piqsels

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Roses are not toxic to dogs. Therefore, if your dog starts snacking in your garden, there usually isn’t any reason to be concerned. However, the chemicals used to help roses grow aren’t usually safe for your dog to eat. If you know the roses have been treated with pesticides or other chemicals, you should assume that they aren’t safe for your dog to eat. Many of these chemicals are very toxic.

Thorns can also be a problem for dogs that eat roses. Thorns can puncture your dog’s gums or throat, causing sores. Sores can become infected, especially when they are in the mouth. Of course, infections bring a whole list of potential complications and require treatment by your vet.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Lindaze, Shutterstock

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