Is Verbena Poisonous To Dogs

Is Verbena Poisonous To Dogs?

Last Updated: August 20, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

Yes. It may be a good idea to grow herbs in your kitchen garden like lavender, lemon verbena, mint, and oregano, but keep your dog away from these if you don't want your pal to be sick.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “Is Verbena Poisonous To Dogs?“.

The weather is getting warmer and our dogs are looking forward to being outside a lot more. Theres no doubt they’ll be full of energy sniffing everything looking at everything and eating everything.

Is Verbena Poisonous To Dogs

Is that a piece of unknown meat on the ground? The dog says its edible. Are those dirty napkins? Yes. 

Our dogs are wonderful but do they really know what they’re doing?

It happens sometimes.

There are times though when we must decide whats best for them.

Perhaps our dog has taken a liking to a particular plant. Plant species of Verbena are found in Europe as well as the Americas. In addition to beautifying gardens it attracts butterflies.

Wild varieties can also be found near paths and in ditches. What if our dog wants to sample some verbena – or more likely what if they already have?

Verbena is poisonous to dogs?

To begin with.

What is verbena?

If you have ever searched “is verbena poisonous to dogs?” the answer is not clear.

My dog eats it all the time and does not have a problem with it.

I feed it to my dog and he pukes!”

I heard it was poison but the poison list on such-and-such a website does not mention it.

A problem has arisen. Plants such as vervain also called verbena grow in many varieties. There are approximately 250 different types of plants in the Verbenaceae family including Verbena. 

Usually perennial but sometimes annual they can appear as trees shrubs or spreading along the ground like moss.

With their thin stems and tiny five-petaled flowers that come in a variety of hues verbena is widely used as ornamental plants. In addition some varieties are regarded as medicinal plants.

There are some poisonous plants and others that are not.

You may now think you need a degree in botany to figure out whether your dog is eating a poisonous form of verbena. Thats technically true. However it isnot applicable practically. Educate yourself as much as possible and then exercise caution. 

Lets get to know each other.

We’ll learn here:

  1. The most common types of verbena and whether they’re poisonous.
  2. What makes verbena poisonous.
  3. The symptoms of potential verbena poisoning.
  4. What other flowers are toxic to dogs.
  5. How to stop your dog from eating plants it shouldn’t be eating.

Main varieties of verbena

In order to determine if your dog is really doing what its supposed to lets look at the most common kinds of verbena. Please note however that this list is by no means comprehensive. As few of us are experts in plant identification exercise caution unless you’re 100% certain. Consult your veterinarian if you’re not sure.

Lemon verbena:

Verbena also known as lemon beebrush has tiny white flowers blooming among purplish buds on shrubs that grow up to 3 meters (10 feet) tall. Lemon verbena is popular because it smells wonderful. When bruised the leaves have a lemon scent and are long glossy and smooth. In addition to its use as a seasoning food and alternative medicine it is sometimes cultivated for its oil.

Lemon verbena is listed as “mildly toxic” or “generally safe” on websites but the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has included it on its list of plants toxic to dogs. To be on the safe side lets err on the side of caution…

Verdict: TOXIC


The new word of the day is. Aposematism refers to the way a brightly colored or frog-like animal advertises its poisonousness.

Likewise lantana or lantana camera is poisonous. When it says so it colors itself in vivid oranges pinks purples reds yellows and whites sometimes all at the same time. The clusters of lantana and even the flowers themselves can be multicolored. The flowers can even change color as the blooming season progresses.

When its colored like the rainbow you know what it is. According to the ASPCA too…


Purpletop Verbena

A perennial growing up to 2 metres (6 feet) tall verbena bonariensis is called verbena bonariensis by aficionados. Purpletop is a pretty perennial plant with thin rough square-ish sparsely-leaved stems and rosy lavender flowers in clusters.

Dogs love eating it according to some people online. Other people say their dogs are not interested. The ASPCA does not list verbena bonariensis as toxic despite evidence online that dogs throw up after eating it. Make sure you’re working with a purple top otherwise.

Verdict: SAFE

Trailing Verbena

Many types of trailing verbena are also known as glandular Canadensis including homestead purple apple blossom summer blaze snow flurry greystone daphne etc. Plants of this type grow to a height of 30 cm (1 foot) but cover an area of about 1.5 meters (5 feet). Since they take up space while looking wonderful they are popular as bedding plants. Possibly the most popular trailing verbena Homestead purple has deep green leaves with violet flowers that emerge from a distinctive purple-green bud.

Dogs are not listed as toxic to trailing verbena anywhere in the literature. You should always ensure you’re dealing with glandular Canadensis.


Moss verbena

Purple flowers and fern-like leaves define the appearance of this low-growing perennial. This hardy species which originated in South America is now found throughout the southern United States. Look for it all over the place where your dog loves to sniff. This plant is not considered toxic however.

Why is some verbena poisonous to dogs?

There is a lot we do not know about why some verbena plants are poisonous to dogs. It has been suggested that lemon verbena essential oil has neurotoxic properties. The drug may act as a sedative an anticonvulsant and calm an upset stomach in small doses. However it is dangerous when taken in large quantities.

Lantana appears to contain pentacyclic triterpenes and pentacyclic triterpene acids which in high doses can harm the liver kidneys gall bladder and bile ducts.

These plants may be poisonous in different parts such as their flowers or berries.

What are the symptoms of verbena poisoning?

  • Vocalizing
  • Bloating 
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea including bloody diarrhea   
  • Vomiting
  • Labored breathing
  • Depression
  • Light sensitivity
  • Frequent urination
  • Dark yellow urine
  • Yellowing of the eyes and skin
  • Paralysis

There are milder symptoms of lemon verbena poisoning including upset stomach bloating diarrhea vocalizing loss of appetite and vomiting.  

An individual who has been poisoned by lantana may experience weakness and appetite loss within 24 hours but more serious symptoms can develop over time. Several factors affect your dogs severity including his tolerance the amount he ate which part of the plant he ate and the particular type of lantana he ate.

Do not wait if you think your dog ate lemon verbena or lantana! Contact your veterinarian immediately.

What other flowers are toxic to dogs?

Following up on the list of twenty flowers you might have in your garden that is known to be toxic to dogs here are ten more:

  1. Begonia
  2. Oleander
  3. Milkweed
  4. Baby’s breath
  5. Daffodil
  6. Azalea/rhododendron
  7. Amaryllis
  8. Chrysanthemum
  9. Tulip
  10. Gladiola
  11. Hyacinth
  12. Peace Lily
  13. Crocus
  14. Tiger Lily
  15. Morning Glory
  16. Narcissus
  17. Foxglove
  18. Geranium
  19. Yarrow
  20. Primrose

How to stop your dog from eating verbena

This method can be applied to any poisonous plant. It can be performed in a number of ways. There are few dogs that are alike.

As always you need to follow the basics. Ensure your dog has plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. Boredom causes them to get into trouble. In addition a dog with depleted energy can be trained more easily.

Many dogs will obey commands such as “do not touch!” or “no!“ Other dogs respond well to training techniques involving repetition and rewards. Establish boundaries in the same way that you do at home. We recommend using the same techniques that prevent your dog from begging at the table or climbing onto the furniture. The techniques that work for your dog will work here.

It may be necessary to set up a barrier between them and the verbena in other cases. If you plant your verbena in the middle of other plants where your dog will not want to step on it a garden fence or chicken wire might work.

I have seen dogs sneeze their way through snacking on garden vegetables despite powdered red pepper or powdered mustard sprinkled around plants. At least you can try. Vinegar spray and lemon spray are also known to work.

The most important thing is to be in charge. This is for the safety of your dog after all.


If you try to find a single answer to a question for example: is verbena poisonous to dogs you may discover its more complicated than you thought. It is poisonous to dogs. However its worth the effort right? When your garden has safe varieties of verbena there is no need to bulldoze it. 

We should give our dogs some credit. Normally they do know what they’re serving. Until they start making lantana the way we look at sticky bears.

Carry yourself some credit too for understanding the right problems to ask and understanding where to look for responses. But let’s face it we aren’t botanists we aren’t veterinarians and we make miscalculations. It was only many times ago that people were eating Tide capsules.

When in distrustfulness stop Googling and call the warhorse.

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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