Is Onion Grass Bad for Dogs? A Quick and Useful Guide

Can Dogs Have Onion Grass

As a dog owner, you may have noticed onion grass growing in your yard or out on your daily walks with your furry friend. But is onion grass bad for dogs?

Onion grass, also known as wild onion, might look harmless at first glance. However, when it comes to your dog’s safety, it’s essential to be aware of the potential hazards that this common weed might pose.

While dogs may be tempted to ingest onion grass due to its unique smell, it’s crucial to understand the risks associated with it.

Onion Grass and Dogs: Facts to Know

Dog ate onion grass

Onion Grass: A Toxic Plant for Dogs

Onion grass, a common name for wild allium species, can be harmful to your dogs. All allium species contain compounds like disulfide and thiosulfate, which affect your dog’s red blood cells making them unhealthy and fragile.

In severe cases, it can lead to hemolytic anemia, methemoglobinemia, and Heinz body anemia. So, it’s crucial to keep your four-legged friend away from these plants.

Symptoms of Onion Grass Poisoning in Dogs

If your dog has consumed onion grass, it’s crucial to know the symptoms and seek veterinary assistance. These symptoms usually appear after a few days of ingestion and can involve:

  • Vomiting: As an initial reaction to onion grass, your dog may vomit soon after consuming it.
  • Diarrhea: Diarrhea is another common symptom resulting from onion grass ingestion. It may cause dehydration in your pet, making prompt treatment essential.
  • Red tinged urine: The red blood cell breakdown can result in reddish discoloration of the urine.
  • Increased respiratory rate or panting: Your dog might show signs of difficulty in breathing, panting, or an increased respiratory rate if affected by onion grass.
  • Pale gums: The effect of onion grass consumption can also cause pale gums in your dog, indicating possible anemia.
  • Exercise intolerance: Your dog might become lethargic or show intolerance to physical activities as a result of onion grass poisoning.
  • Collapse: In extreme cases, your dog can collapse due to the harmful effects of onion grass.

Preventing Dogs from Eating Onion Grass

Identifying Onion Grass

Can dogs eat onion gras

Learn to recognize onion grass in your surroundings. It has long, thin, hollow green leaves and may produce small, round flowers on top.

By familiarizing yourself with this plant, you can take the necessary precautions to protect your dog and prevent them from ingesting something potentially harmful.

Keeping Your Dog Safe Outdoors

To ensure your dog’s safety outdoors, follow these steps:

  • Regularly inspect and maintain your yard or garden, removing any onion grass or other harmful plants.
  • When walking your dog, keep them on a leash or harness to maintain control and prevent them from eating unknown plants.
  • Consider using a well-fitting muzzle to prevent your dog from eating grass or plants, especially if they have a history of doing so.

Training Your Dog to Avoid Harmful Plants

Teach your dog to stay away from harmful plants with these training tips:

  • Use commands like “leave it” or “off” when your dog tries to eat grass or plants. Reward them with praise or a treat when they obey, reinforcing positive behavior.
  • Introduce your dog to different smells and textures of various plants, helping them distinguish between safe and unsafe plants.
  • Consistently train and practice commands so that your dog understands and follows your guidance, ensuring their safety in various environments.

What to Do if Your Dog Eats Onion Grass

Dog ate a bunch of onion grass

Initial Actions to Take

If you find that your dog has consumed onion grass, it is important to act quickly. First, you should:

  • Prevent further access: Keep your dog away from any more onion grass or onion-containing products. Clean up any spills and restrict their access to the area.
  • Observe closely for symptoms: Keep an eye on your dog for any signs of poisoning such as drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, or lethargy.
  • Gather relevant information: Take note of the amount of onion grass consumed and any symptoms your dog is displaying. This information will be useful when contacting a veterinarian.

Contacting a Veterinarian

What to do if your dog eats onion grass

Once you have taken the initial steps, it is crucial to seek professional advice. Remember to:

  • Call your vet: Even if your dog is showing mild or no symptoms, it is best to consult your veterinarian for guidance on the proper course of action.
  • Provide accurate details: Share the information you gathered about your dog’s consumption of onion grass and their symptoms with the vet. This will help them determine the appropriate treatment.
  • Follow their advice: Make sure to follow your veterinarian’s recommendations and take your dog to the clinic if needed.

Possible Treatments

Your veterinarian may recommend different treatments based on your dog’s specific condition. Some possible treatments include:

  • Inducing vomiting: In some cases, the veterinarian might advise you to induce vomiting in your dog. However, do not attempt this without expert guidance, as it could cause further harm.
  • Activated charcoal: Your vet may recommend administering activated charcoal, which can help absorb toxins and prevent further absorption into your dog’s system.
  • Supportive care: Depending on the severity of your dog’s condition, the veterinarian may provide supportive care such as intravenous fluids, medications to control vomiting, and monitoring of red blood cell levels.
  • Blood transfusion: In extreme cases where severe anemia has developed due to onion grass poisoning, a blood transfusion may be necessary to save your dog’s life.

In any case, it is essential to maintain open communication with your veterinarian and follow their instructions to ensure your dog’s safety and wellbeing.

Other Potentially Harmful Plants for Dogs

Dog ate onions, what to do
Olives are great. Onions…. not so much

In addition to onion grass, there are several other types of plants that can be harmful to your dog. It’s essential to be aware of these potential dangers and take appropriate measures to safeguard your pet.

Garlic and Other Alliums

Garlic and other Allium species, such as leeks, chives, and onions can be toxic to dogs. These plants contain compounds called thiosulfates, which can damage your dog’s red blood cells leading to anemia, gastrointestinal issues, and other health problems. Here is a list of Allium plants to watch out for:

  • Garlic (Allium sativum)
  • Onion (Allium cepa)
  • Leek (Allium porrum)
  • Chive (Allium schoenoprasum)


Lilies are a popular garden and house plant but can be highly toxic to dogs, especially the following types:

  • Peace lily (Spathiphyllum spp.)
  • Tiger lily (Lilium lancifolium)
  • Daylily (Hemerocallis spp.)

Ingesting any part of these lilies can cause kidney failure and potentially death in dogs. Keep an eye out for these plants in your garden and avoid bringing them inside your home.


Some fern species can also pose a threat to your canine companion. Here are a few toxic ferns to be aware of:

  • Sago palm (Cycas revoluta)
  • Autumn fern (Dryopteris erythrosora)
  • Bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum)

These ferns may cause gastrointestinal irritation, neurological effects, and even liver failure in dogs if ingested.

Other Common Garden Plants

Lastly, there are other garden plants that could be harmful to your pet. Make sure to take precautions when planting these species around your home or bringing them indoors:

  • Oleander (Nerium oleander)
  • Daffodil (Narcissus spp.)
  • Foxglove (Digitalis spp.)
  • Yew (Taxus spp.)

Ingesting these plants can lead to a variety of health issues for your dog, such as vomiting, drooling, respiratory distress, and heart problems. Stay vigilant and ensure your dog’s safety by keeping these plants away from their reach.