Is a Citronella Plant Toxic to Dogs?

sliced citronella plant
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Like so many confusing monikers, citronella doesn't come from the citronella plant. The citronella plant, also called the mosquito plant, is actually a member of the geranium family. Grown as a mosquito repellent plant, this plant poses a risk to dogs.

Identification

citronella plant
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The citronella plant has deeply lobed, fern-like leaves that can resemble parsley. The plant blooms with small lavender flowers. It can grow up to 5 feet in height.

Toxicity

citronella plant
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The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals cautions that all members of the geranium family, Pelargonium, are toxic to dogs. They contain the active toxins geraniol and linalool.

Effects

lethargic dog
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Dogs who come into contact with the citronella plant can experience skin irritation. Ingestion can result in lethargy, loss of appetite and diarrhea.

Warning

dog with veterinarian
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Seek veterinary medical care immediately if you suspect your dog is suffering adverse effects from eating a citronella plant.

references & resources

Elizabeth Tumbarello

Elizabeth Tumbarello

Elizabeth Tumbarello has been writing since 2006, with her work appearing on various websites. She is an animal lover who volunteers with her local Humane Society. Tumbarello attended Hocking College and is pursuing her Associate of Applied Science in veterinary technology from San Juan College.