A dog with an unsure expression looking at leaves, indicating caution for dog consumption.

Can Dogs Eat Leaves?

In short, dogs can eat some leaves, but not all leaves are safe. Chewing on certain plant leaves can be harmless and even soothing for your dog. However, there are many leaves, especially from houseplants and certain outdoor plants, that are toxic and can lead to serious health issues. Always ensure the type of leaf is safe before letting your dog munch away.

A photo of Stefan Stumpfl, the co-author of this article.

By Stefan Stumpfl, in collaboration with Dr. Ali Raza.

Updated on Jun 24, 2024

Did You Know?

Many dogs will chew on grass or leaves to help induce vomiting if they have an upset stomach.




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Feeding Frequency


Allergic Risk


Benefits and Risks of Leaves?

Leaves can provide some fiber, which can aid in your dog's digestion. Chewing on non-toxic leaves can also entertain and mentally stimulate your pup. However, the risks of eating dangerous leaves are significant. Many plants produce toxins that can cause upset stomachs, drooling, or even liver failure. Always identify the plant and check its safety before letting your dog have a taste.

Which Leaves are Safe / Unsafe?

Safe leaves:

  • Spinach leaves: Rich in vitamins but should be given in moderation.
  • Romaine lettuce: Hydrating and safe in small amounts.

Unsafe leaves:

  • Aloe Vera: Contains saponins and anthraquinones, which are toxic.
  • Tomato leaves: Contains solanine, a harmful substance.

Other Products Containing Leaves?

While you might not think of household items containing leaves, they do pop up in unexpected places:

  • Teas: Herbal teas with certain leaves can be toxic.
  • Bouquets: Decorative arrangements often include harmful plants.
  • Mulches: Some mulches contain cocoa leaves or bark, which are highly toxic.

How to Feed Leaves to Your Dog?

If you've confirmed a type of leaf is safe, wash it thoroughly to remove any pesticides or dirt. Tear it into small, manageable pieces for your dog. Mix a few pieces with their regular food, or offer it as a treat. Always start with a small amount to ensure your dog doesn't have a bad reaction.

What If Your Dog Reacts Badly to Leaves?

If your dog shows signs of distress like vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive drooling after eating leaves, contact your vet immediately. Keep a sample of the leaf they ate for identification. Quick action can make all the difference in treatment.

Safer Alternatives to Leaves

Consider these safer alternatives that offer similar benefits:

  • Carrots: Great for chewing and packed with vitamins.
  • Green beans: Low-calorie snack that’s high in fiber.
  • Cucumbers: Hydrating and crunchy, perfect for snacking.


Dogs and leaves can mix, but only if you're sure the leaves are safe. Always err on the side of caution and consult your vet before introducing new foods. Responsible feeding is key to keeping your furry friend happy and healthy.