Is Cactus Poisonous For Dogs

Although cactus are not poisonous when eaten, their sharp spines make them dangerous for animals. With species of the Opuntia (Prickly Pear) genus, exercise special caution. They occasionally have short spines, but they frequently have tiny glochids that are barbed. Glochids can penetrate the skin and are easily contagious (especially when attached to fur).

If my dog eats a cactus, what happens?

Dogs are innate explorers that will always want to smell or taste the things they are around, including your indoor plants like cacti.

These animals love to eat cacti for a wide range of reasons, and it is your responsibility to ensure that the plants are kept out of reach of your pet.

While the majority of cacti don’t harm pets, the chemical makeup of the sap from these plants might nonetheless give your pup stomach problems.

Dogs who have consumed cacti may exhibit the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, stomach pain, and excessive salivation.

Be sure to call your veterinarian right away for assistance if you see any of these symptoms and think your pet may have eaten cacti. Don’t stare as your small companion groans in anguish.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera, one of the most well-liked succulents, is regularly utilized for therapeutic and medicinal purposes. The plant’s extracts can be found in dietary supplements, cosmetics, and flavored waters, and its sap is traditionally used to heal sunburns.

However, pets may be poisoned by this succulent. Aloe has a reputation for causing nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in animals, as well as making them lethargic.

Long, pointed tendrils are a distinguishing feature of aloe plants. Some types have foliage with white spots, while others bloom sporadically. Pets should not be allowed near any types.


Kalanchoes are prized for their profusion of flowers, which come in a variety of hues from soft pink to flamboyant orange. Popular as a houseplant, this tropical succulent is known by a number of nicknames, including devil’s backbone, mother of millions, and mother-in-law plant.

This plant primarily causes vomiting and diarrhea by irritating the digestive system. Heart arrhythmias, however, can also happen.


Euphorbia is a vast and diverse genus of plants that encompasses anything from tiny, low-growing plants to gigantic giants.

Many succulents of the genus Euphorbia are harmful to both cats and dogs, including the pencil cactus and crown of thorns.

Ingestion of this succulent can cause a variety of poisoning symptoms, including gastrointestinal distress and eye and skin irritation.

It is advised to stay away from all euphorbia species, including the deadly poinsettia, if you have pets.


Similar to aloe vera, jade is a widespread, simple-to-grow houseplant that is common on windowsills. Jade plants resemble trees because to their thick, woody stalks and hefty, oval leaves.

There are various types of jade, and each one should be kept out of reach of animals. Your cat or dog may exhibit signs such as gastrointestinal distress and uncoordination if they consume jade.

Which cacti are safe for dogs to consume?

Thanksgiving cactus, Christmas cactus, and Easter cacti are all suitable houseplants for pet owners to have. These pet-friendly succulents are great houseplants to add some color to your Christmas décor because they require little maintenance. They are a fantastic substitute for other seasonal plants like holly, lilies, and poinsettias that can be seriously poisonous to pets. Despite its name, holiday cactus are actually epiphytes that are native to damp, tropical areas rather than cacti.

What cactus has poison?

Due of its pointed spines, most people frequently choose to avoid cactus. Most cactus are not venomous, which may surprise you. Nevertheless, you might want to keep your kids and pets away from the following ones!

The most lethal cacti include the prickly pear, San Pedro cactus, Echinopsis Peruviana, Peyote, Barrel cactus, Saguaro cactus, Cholla cactus, and Euphorbia canariensis.

How to handle a dog who accidentally steps on a cactus

We reside in a desert, and there are many varieties of cacti everywhere you look. There are about 20 different types of cactus in the Valley, including tall, short, plump, prickly, and flowery varieties. While we are unable to list them all, we can instruct you on how to remove the uncomfortable needles from your pet.

Always consult your veterinarian if you are unsure. If you’re able to do this on your own, these are just a few suggestions that might be useful.

Cactus needles that become stuck need to be treated like puncture wounds. The opening that the needles leave in the skin allows bacteria to enter. If you’re performing the removal yourself, prepare your removal tool of choice and some antibiotic ointment beforehand. The majority using tweezers.

Start by removing any loose needles with a coarse comb, but be careful—blood may oozing out of the entry hole. As a result, keep gauze and a styptic stick—an anti-hemorrhagic agent—on available.

Your pet might use their jaws or their legs to kick the needles out. Be cautious since dislodged needles might also pierce your flesh. Keep your pet stable and tranquil as much as you can.

The removal of the needles will be simpler if you have assistance. If needles have pierced your pet’s mouth, it can also salivate or foam there.

Remove any stray needles from the dog’s fur with the comb. Using tweezers or forceps, take out any remaining needles in the direction of the fur development. Remove needles that are angled sharply backwards from the direction of the fur as gently as you can in that direction.

It’s preferable to let experts remove the cactus if your dog was unfortunate enough to have a needle in the eye. Even while not all eye punctures necessitate surgery, it is extremely important to remove any visible or even microscopic needles carefully.

Your veterinarian should decide whether to remove all needles, though occasionally they might not. Under general anesthesia, cactus needles are typically removed from dogs; other procedures like grafts or reconstructive surgery can be required. Prior to taking any action on your own, kindly seek advice from your neighborhood Phoenix veterinarian.

Cacti are they poisonous?

There are many people who enjoy cacti, but the majority avoid handling them frequently because to their thorns. So, are the spines of cacti poisonous? Are the spines of cacti harmful? You may learn more about different varieties of cactus spines, whether they are poisonous or harmful, and other information in this post.

The spines of cacti are not toxic. However, some cactus spines (such as Cholla or hairlike spines) can be harmful if they penetrate deeply into tissues and can result in bruising, bleeding, and even dead tissues.

Which plants are harmful to dogs?

The following plants should never be made available to dogs under any circumstances since they are the most harmful to them: Castor oil or castor bean (Ricinus communis) Cyclamen (Cylamen spp.) Dumbcane (Dieffenbachia)

How can I convince my dog to stop biting cactus?

There are many different kinds of needle-bearing cacti, and they are particularly common in some regions of North America.

Unfortunately, the spines (needles) of cacti can get lodged in our pets’ eyes, mouths, feet, ears, and many other locations.

You’ll probably reach for the tweezers at the sight of a dog coated with needles, but there are instances when you should let the pros deal with the spines.

If your pet becomes distressed, kindly seek professional veterinary assistance. It could be preferable to sedate the animal than to let it suffer.

Tools for Safe Removal

The skin is penetrated by the spines, which allow germs access. If you’re performing the removal yourself, prepare your removal tool of choice and some antibiotic ointment beforehand. Others who have hunting dogs choose [easyazon link] while some people utilize tweezers. asin=B000W1Y9YU cloaking=default localization=default popups=default][locale=US new window=default nofollow=default tag=petsadvi-20 add to cart=default] hemostats[/easyazon link].

Start by removing any loose spines with a coarse comb, but be careful—blood may oozing from an opening, so be prepared with a styptic stick and gauze.

Removing Cactus Spines From Your Dog

Your pet might use her teeth or her legs to kick the spines out of the way. Be cautious since dislodged spines could pierce your flesh. Keep your pet stable and tranquil as much as you can.

Get assistance; it can be much simpler to get the needles out with their guidance. If spines have pierced your pet’s mouth, it might also foam or spit there.

Remove any stray spines from the dog’s coat with the comb. With tweezers or forceps, pluck any remaining spines out in the direction of the fur growth. Remove any spines that are firmly angled away from the direction of the fur by working as gently as you can in that direction.

Stop Any Bleeding Quickly

Clean up any blood as you remove the spines, and stop any bleeding where it has started. Apply the antibiotic ointment to one area of the dog’s body first if there are spines there before going on to another.

Pulling out the spines and keeping your pet calm and steady may be challenging. If a spine gets caught somewhere, it may bleed excessively or continuously if it is released or removed. Get ready to go to the local animal emergency room or your veterinarian’s office for additional treatment and removal.

Watch this news report about a small puppy who became well-known around the world after becoming entangled in a cactus:

Cactus Spines in a Dog’s Eye

It’s preferable to leave removal to the experts if your dog had the misfortune to receive a cactus spine in her eye. Although not all eye punctures require surgery, some of them may leave visible spines or even tiny spines that must be removed with great care.

Your veterinarian should decide whether or not to remove certain spines. Under general anesthesia, dogs’ cactus spines are typically removed; other procedures like grafts or reconstructive surgery can be required.


Check the entry points for infection after removal and/or treatment, and use antibiotic ointment as necessary. Make a vet appointment right away if the area swells, discharges, or does not get better.

Let’s hope that in the future, your dog will learn to stay away from cacti and spare you the anxiety.

The authenticity of this information about pet health was checked by Dr. Pippa Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS, a veterinarian. It was last updated and reviewed on February 4, 2019.

How should I react if my dog eats succulents?

If you suspect that your pet has eaten a toxic succulent, you need to identify the plant right once and contact your neighborhood vet. However, you might want to get in touch with a poison control center if your veterinarian is unfamiliar with houseplants or succulents. The two animal poison control centers listed below are both open around-the-clock and both charge a nominal consultation fee.

Which cactus does not contain poison?

Here is a thorough list of five popular cacti varieties that are safe to eat if you want to add some edible cactus plants to your home garden:

Prickly Pear Cactus

The genus Opuntia contains roughly 180 species of cactus that are collectively known as prickly pears. Prickly pear fruit and pads can both be consumed. In fact, prickly pear pads are frequently marketed as “nopales” in grocery stores.

However, because the pads contain microscopic, sharp spines, you must make sure they are properly prepared before consumption. You can cook the pads as you would any vegetable after removing the prickly spines on the pads, or you can eat them raw in a salad.

The prickly pear’s ripe, scarlet fruits have a delicious flavor. However, you must first remove the fruit’s irritant-filled glochids and skin in order to reach its luscious inside.

Cholla Cactus

The most common edible feature of this particular species of cactus—rather than the leaves or the fruits—are the flowers. Even though cholla fruit is equally tasty, it is difficult to ignore the plant’s unopened flower buds for their nutritional advantages.

Calcium, a mineral that supports the growth of bones and muscles, is abundant in cholla buds. The thorny glochids on Cholla buds must be removed before eating. After that, you may eat them with beans or include them into an antipasto salad.

Dragon Fruit Cactus

Natives of Central America adore the dragon fruit cactus for its palatable stems, flowers, and fruits. The stems, on the other hand, can be fairly challenging to chew, therefore we advise combining them to create a smoother. The flavor can range from bland to mildly sweet.

In the interim, you can add Dragon Fruit flower buds to a stir-fry or soup. The blossoms can be dried and then used to flavor hot drinks. Finally, by slicing through the fruit’s inedible skin, you can also consume the fleshy interior.

Barrel Cactus

The barrel cactus, which is distinguished by its notably long and sharp spines, has edible blooms, fruits, and pads/stems. The tiny, black seeds inside the fruits of the barrel cactus are also edible, which sets it apart from other cacti species with edible fruits.

The seeds don’t taste very good when eaten raw, therefore you should avoid doing that. Instead, you can crush them and add them to flatbreads like tortillas for a strong, nutty flavor after toasting them.

The plant’s bright red blossoms are frequently used to season food. The edible cactus fruits, meanwhile, have a sharp, lemon-like flavor. The absence of glochids in barrel cactus fruits makes them simpler to handle and consume than the majority of other cactus fruits.

Saguaro Cactus

Saguaro cacti are well known for their palatable fruits and seeds. There are numerous methods to prepare and consume saguaro fruit. For instance, you can consume the fresh fruit or juice it. As an alternative, you might dry it and store it for future use as dried fruit.

Additionally, wine, jam, and syrup are all made from saguaro fruit. The tiny black seeds can be dried and ground into porridge with a nutty flavor. The edible saguaro cactus seed can also be extracted for oil, which you can then add to your favorite dishes.