Is Bamboo Toxic to Dogs?

Pet owners want to know if bamboo is toxic to dogs but many have not found direct, concise answers to this question. Our team decided to look into this query and write on it. We are making this post after thorough study and research on the subject matter. You will find all the answers you seek as you read through this post.

Is bamboo toxic to dogs? All bamboo species are safe for dogs. Bamboo shoots contain cyanide which could be poisonous to dogs. But a dog will have to eat so much bamboo before cyanide poisoning can occur. Aside from actual bamboo plant species, some look-alike plants that have bamboo in their names can also be toxic to dogs. These include such species as “Heavenly Bamboo” or “Lucky Bamboo”.

Many plant species resemble bamboo or have names that contain “bamboo”. Some of these plants are very toxic to dogs, but they are not actual Bambusoideae species. As you read on, we will talk about these plant species, as much as situations where actual bamboo could become toxic to dogs. There is so much to learn as you read on.

Is Bamboo Toxic To Dogs
Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

Can Dogs Eat Raw Bamboo?

Actual Bambusoideae species of bamboo will not poison your dogs. These plants are 100% safe and your dogs can eat them. Bamboo foliage even contains about 22% protein, which is good for dogs. Protein content, however, varies across different bamboo species. What’s more, while actual bamboo species are safe for dogs, bamboo look-alike species, such as “heavenly bamboo” and “lucky bamboo”, among others, may be toxic.

Dogs almost always chew on bamboo when they see one. It is proven that they find bamboo attractive and will almost always want to chew on it. In the sections that follow, we will explore this question on bamboo’s safety further and supply information about the toxicity of look-alike species.

Dogs chew on just about anything and bamboo is not an exception. They can chew on bamboo because chewing on any hard substance helps their dental health. The only problem with this is that except they are trained and restrained from chewing just anything, they may end up chewing harmful or toxic plants someday.

Can My Dog Chew On Bamboo Sticks?

Your puppy can chew on bamboo sticks safely, as it is nontoxic to humans and animals. But although bamboo sticks will not make your dog sick or harm him, chewing on bamboo is not a desirable activity. This is because dogs and their owners may sometimes confuse bamboo look-alike species for actual bamboo. These species could be toxic to dogs and other animals. 

If you see your pup eating bamboo, you should not be worried or surprised. They can chew bamboo so long as you know it’s actual bamboo. But once you allow your dogs to start eating bamboo, you must take personal responsibility to protect them from the toxic bamboo look-alike species. You can also check out this article that we have shared that discusses if Koalas eat bamboo. Read the article for more information about the topic.

Can Dogs Eat Bamboo Shoots?

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says that bamboo shoots are not toxic to dogs. But that does not mean you should give your dogs bamboo shoots to eat. Remember that bamboo shoots are plant foods, while dogs are carnivores (animal food eaters). 

Bamboo shoots are not ideal foods to feed your dogs. But if you catch your pup eating bamboo shoots, don’t be alarmed. Bamboo shoots will not damage their health. They even contain lots of fiber, multiple minerals and vitamins, and powerful antioxidants.

Raw bamboo shoots, however, contain toxic compounds, known as cyanogenic glycosides. As such, eating these raw shoots may cause cyanide toxicity or poisoning in dogs. But a dog will have to consume large amounts of bamboo shoots for cyanide poisoning to occur. What’s more, cooking neutralizes the poisonous cyanogenic glycosides in bamboo shoots.

What Kind of Bamboo is Toxic to Dogs?

“Heavenly bamboo” and “lucky bamboo” are the two common toxic bamboo look-alike species. They are not actual bambusoideae species but they look like bamboo and their common names carry the “bamboo” appellation. But unlike actual bamboo, these species are toxic and could poison your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Heavenly Bamboo Plants?

Sacred bamboo (also called heavenly bamboo) could poison your dog. This plant is not a true bamboo species. True bamboos belong to the bambusoideae species but heavenly bamboo belongs to the Nandina species (Nandina domestica). It is unsafe and toxic to dogs, so you should not allow your dog to eat it at all.

During spring, heavenly bamboo enters its so-called pink phase where pretty blossoms begin to sprout on it. After white blossoms, red berries will begin to grow on the plant. It is a great plant for landscape, but you should be careful if you have pets. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) lists heavenly bamboo as a toxic plant to dogs.

Are Heavenly Bamboo Berries Safe for Dogs?

Heavenly bamboo berries are very beautiful and good for decoration. But they contain toxic cyanogenic glycosides. If your dogs eat them, they can cause severe health problems for him. Some symptoms of toxicity from heavenly bamboo that your dog could experience include:

  • Stomach ache
  • Increased temperature
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Increased heart rates
  • Seizures
  • Respiratory failure
  • Loss of consciousness

If you realize that your dog has eaten heavenly bamboo, you should immediately take him to see a vet. It is best to take the berries (or whatever the dog has eaten) along. This is helpful for the diagnostic process and treatment. We have also shared this article titled, do Koalas eat bamboo? You can check out the article for more information.

Is Lucky Bamboo Toxic to Dogs?

Lucky Bamboo is another bamboo look-alike species that can poison your dog. Other common names for this plant include Dracaena, Cornstalk Plant, Corn Plant, Dragon tree, Ribbon Plant, and Money Tree, among others. If your dog eats lucky bamboo, it will become ill. These are some of the common symptoms you may notice:

  • Drooling
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Incoordination

The severity of the symptoms depends on the degree of poisoning or toxicity. This, in turn, depends on several factors, including:

  • How much the dog ate
  • The size of the dog
  • The dog’s health status

✅ Video – Is Lucky Bamboo Poisonous?

This is a short concise video about Lucky Bamboo. You will find its common names and its health implications on cats and dogs if they eat it. Have you wondered how lucky bamboo relates to actual bamboo or if they are related at all? The answer is in this video. What’s more, you will learn some fun facts about Lucky Bamboo. Click the play button below to watch the video now.

As with any other toxic plant, you should take your dog to a vet if you discover it has eaten lucky bamboo. In the section that follows, we will discuss extensively what to do if your dog eats toxic bamboo look-alike species. Are you wondering what other animals eat bamboo? We have shared this article titled, 25 animals that eat bamboo. Check out the article to find out which animals are included in the list.

What Should I Do if My Dog Eats Poisonous Bamboo?

If you discover that your dog has eaten any toxic bamboo variety, you should first make sure they stop eating it. That is if you caught them in the act. Also, confirm how much of the poisonous plant they ate. If they only took a tiny bite, there’s no reason to worry. But if they ate much or are showing symptoms of sickness already, you should immediately consult a vet.

Poisoning can cause major and permanent damage to your dog’s health. Your dog can even die as a result of poisoning. So, do not take it lightly at all. Make sure you get adequate medical help for your dog if he eats a poisonous plant. You can also check out this article that we have written that discusses if termites eat bamboo. We have shared an in-depth discussion about the topic.

How to Prevent Your Dog fom Eating Toxic Bamboo Variants?

There are two highly effective ways to prevent your dog from eating toxic bamboo variants. The first is to avoid planting any of the toxic bamboo species in your garden. Secondly, even if you do plant them in your home, make sure they are above the ground level so that they are unreachable for the dog. You can also use mild deterrents so that the plants become unappealing.

Also, provide chew toys in abundance for your dog to chew on. Encourage and supervise him to make sure it’s showing in the toys instead of bamboo bone. Use strong words like “NO” when you see him approaching either true bamboo or any of the toxic bamboo variants. 

What Happens if a Dog Eats Bamboo?

Since true bamboo is not toxic to dogs, nothing will happen if your dog eats them. Your dog will not become sick or hurt in any way. But if the dog eats bamboo shoots in sufficient quantities, cyanide poisoning might occur. Some symptoms that could occur due to cyanide toxicity include drooling, abdominal pain, vomiting, and respiratory distress. We have also shared this article titled, do termites eat bamboo? You can check out the article for an in-depth discussion about the topic.

Which Plants are Poisonous to Dogs?

The list of plants poisonous to dogs is inexhaustible. But some of the common ones include ornamental plants, like sago palm and daylilies. Other common poisonous plants to dogs include aloe vera, tomato plant, gladioli, daffodil, American holly, ivy, and amaryllis. We have also written this article that lists 25 animals that eats bamboo. Check out the article to find out which animals are included on the list.

Can Dogs Eat Cooked Bamboo?

If you’ll ever give your dog bamboo to eat, it should be cooked bamboo shoots. The raw shoots are unsafe both for humans and dogs. They contain topic cyanides that could cause poisoning. But when you cook the shoots, it neutralizes the toxic compounds. We have also shared this article titled, what does bamboo taste like? You can check out the article to find out what bamboo tastes like and what kinds of dishes to make from it.


True bamboo plants, belonging to the Bambusoideae plant family, will not be toxic for dogs. They are generally safe, but you should not feed them to your dogs. More so, many look-alike bamboo species are toxic and can cause severe health problems if ingested. Heavenly bamboo and lucky bamboo are very popular among these toxic bamboo varieties. Before you bring any new plant into your garden or home, you should check ASPCA’s list to be sure the plant is safe for your pets.

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