“Are bonsai trees poisonous to dogs?” is a question that bonsai owners ask themselves before bringing a pup home. Bonsai trees should be avoided when having a pet because the toxins will make them feel sick. Most of these plants are poisonous to dogs and some can be even fatal.

Those who eat bonsai trees are likely to experience mild aftereffects to severe consequences. These can include vomiting, drooling, foaming at the mouth, abdominal pain, coma, and even death.

Dogs can be very playful and quite destructive at times. They are likely to chew cables, bite pillows and dig holes in the garden. Plants and flowers are no exception to this behavior.

If there are bonsai trees at home and a family wants to bring a puppy, check to find out which of them are lethal.

What Are Bonsai Trees?

Bonsai trees are intended to be a miniature representation of nature, normally planted inside decorative pots or containers. Almost any tree can be grown as a bonsai, but only some of them are preferred because of their adaptability when it comes to pruning.

Bonsai is a Japanese word meaning "potted tree". Beyond that, this term originally comes from the Chinese word "penjing". In Chinese, "pen" means pot and "jing" means landscape.

Which Bonsai Trees Are Poisonous to Dogs?

Many of these plants can wreak havoc on the pet`s health. Dogs should always be away from them if they are already at home The following list will provide owners with the necessary information regarding bonsai trees.


Azaleas are really spectacular shrubs, with flowers that are very elegant and bright. This plant, also called Rhododendron, is one of the most toxic to pups. The flowers and leaves are its most dangerous parts.

The adverse effects will depend upon the amount that the pet ingested. A small dose causes hallucinogenic effects in dogs.

A larger dose causes mouth burning, foaming at the mouth, alterations of the central nervous system, muscular weakness, gastrointestinal disorders, hypertension, difficulty breathing, coma, and death by asphyxiation.

It is a must to refrain from getting Azaleas if there is a dog at home already.


The ficus is characterized by its robust, shiny leaves and distinctive trunks. This plant is highly regarded since it not only has great resistance but also impressive adaptability. Because of these traits, it is ideal for bonsai enthusiasts.

The toxicity level is moderate. The ficus is unlikely to be fatal to dogs, but it is able to cause rashes and gastrointestinal issues. The most common symptoms after consuming this species include vomiting, stomach pain, lethargy, diarrhea, skin rashes, and mouth salivation.


Also called Crassula Ovata, the jade is one of the most known bonsai trees around the world. The fleshy leaves, sapling-like habit, and drought resistance is what makes them so popular. Dogs feel attracted to jades due to the fleshy leaves.

The level of toxicity in pets ranges from low to moderate. The consequences of consuming this plant may be vomiting, depression, heartbeat irregularities, and abdominal pain among others.

Even though these aftereffects do not seem to be fatal, some professionals believe that jade can cause serious issues in the long term. In addition to this, some toxins and effects of this plant are still unknown.

Japanese Juniper

Also known as Juniperus procumbens, it is also one of the most popular bonsai trees across the planet. The Japanese Juniper is a short, hardy, slow-growing, and horizontal growing shrub that can reach up to 4 m wide and up to 50 cm high.

It is estimated the toxicity is low for pets. Although they are not very poisonous to puppies, these bonsais can be dangerous. Fortunately, Japanese Juniper will not kill your dog or cause health issues in the long term.

Typically, the dog’s reactions when eating this plant are stomach pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Sago Palm

Sago palms are one of the most lethal plants to dogs. The cycas revolute is a bonsai with a short trunk that looks like a palm tree and has thorny leaves. It is very delicate, has an Asian origin, and they have been gaining popularity among bonsai owners.

All parts of this plant are extremely poisonous and are capable of killing pets with ease. What makes sago palm tremendously toxic is that it affects the main organs of the canine.

The side effects include liver failure, abdominal pain, drooling, vomiting, extreme dehydration, coma, and death.

The survival rates of dogs are really low when consuming this plant and therefore it is imperative to keep pets away from sago plants.

Other Bonsai Trees

There are tons of species in connection with bonsai trees, but only the most trendy were mentioned. Other bonsai tree species which can be poisonous are the apricot, boxwood, Chinese elm, wisteria, fukien tea, giant dracaena, cotoneaster, and the maple among others.


If you are looking forward to getting a dog and a bonsai tree, the best you can do is to choose only one of them. Due to the toxicity of these plants, dogs must not eat them, and must not live indoors with them.

A family may have both a pet and a bonsai tree, but this is not recommendable. Dogs and bonsai trees must live separately all the time. If you want to risk having both, you will have to be a very careful owner and keep your dog away from plants at all times.