Are Cotoneaster Berries Poisonous To Dogs? - Learn More About It Here!

Written By James
Updated April 23, 2022 by James

Are Cotoneaster Berries Poisonous To Dogs? - Learn More About It Here!

Yes, cotoneaster berries are poisonous to dogs. The berries contain cyanide which is why we should avoid it. Contact your vet immediately if you find them in your dog’s food.

What Is A Cotoneaster Berry?

Cotoneaster berries are small purple or reddish berries that grow on the shrubs of the genus cotoneaster. They are common plants and have been used as food by people since ancient times and were also eaten by animals. It was believed that eating these nutritious berries would make an animal stronger and more resilient.

However, some species of cotoneasters can cause illness if ingested by pets. These include:

  • Cotoneaster acuminatissimus
  • Cotoneaster bacillaris
  • Cotoneaster microphyllus
  • Cotoneaster multiflora
  • Cotoneaster salicifolius
  • Cotoneaster sinensis
  • Cotoneaster zambesiacus

These plants produce a substance called “cyanogenic glycosides” (CG) which is responsible for their toxicity. This compound is present in all cotoneaster berries.

There are many different types of cotoneasters, but most look similar. They grow into large shrubs or small trees, reaching 10 feet. Some varieties produce red fruits, others blue. Most have white nice flower, pink flowers and yellow ones exist too. They are native to Europe and Asia, where they were used as hedges and ornamentals and are very popular to garden birds . In North America, they are often grown as street trees. These shrubs are being used in attractive landscaping.

Are Cotoneaster Berries Poisonous To Dogs?

Yes, cotoneaster berries are not safe to eat. They are toxic to both humans and your reliable canine companion. However, the toxicity of cotoneaster berries depends on its CG content.

The CG content varies depending on the species of plant. For example, the ripe berries from C. salicifolius are considered the most toxic while those from C. zambesiacus are the least toxic.

In general, the amount of CG in each fruit increases with age. It is also higher when the weather conditions are hot and dry.

Are Red Berries Harmful To Dogs?

Some red berries are safe for dogs. They contain cyanide, but it is not enough to cause harm.

There are many different types of toxins found in plants, but the most common ones include heavy metals like lead, arsenic, mercury, cadmium, and aluminum; pesticides; herbicides; industrial chemicals; and solvents. Most toxins are absorbed through the skin, so it’s important to wash your hands frequently after touching plants or soil.

However, if you find berries in your pet’s food, then you need to get rid of them immediately. Contact your veterinarian immediately.

It is important to note that if your dog ingests any amount of this fruit, he will vomit it out within 30 minutes. If you see your dog eating red berries, you must act quickly to prevent him from consuming too many.

Red Berries At This Time Of Year

Many cotoneaster berries turn red during fall and winter months. While these berries may not be harmful to dogs, it is best to avoid them anyway.

If you come across them, try to remove them from your dog’s reach as soon as possible. You don’t want him to accidentally ingest them.

What Berries Can Kill Dogs?

Other types of berries can be harmful to dogs. Some examples include:

  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Mulberries
  • Huckleberries
  • Cane berries
  • Elderberries
  • Chokecherries
  • Hawthorn berries
  • Huckleberries
  • Sloe berries

These berries can cause kidney failure if eaten in large quantities. They contain cyanide which can lead to vomiting and diarrhea.

What Happens If Dogs Eat A Poisonous Berry?

Dogs who ate the berries were treated at the veterinary clinic where they received fluids and oxygen. They were monitored closely but did not require hospitalization.

How Do I Know If My Dog Ate Cotoneaster Berries?

If you suspect that your dog has consumed toxic berries, you should take immediate action. You could even call your local veterinary clinic.
You may notice signs such as:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea or loose stools
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Fainting
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • You may also notice blood-red urine

Do Not Give Your Pet Water After Eating Cotoneaster Berries
You should only give your dog clean water until his body gets rid of the toxins. After ingesting cotoneaster berries your dog needs to drink water. He might feel nauseated after drinking the water.

How To Prevent My Dog From Eating Cotoneaster Berries?

You can keep your dog away from cotoneaster berries and poisonous plants by keeping his area clean and free of debris. Also, make sure that there are no other berries and poisonous garden plants.

You should also teach your dog to stay away from toxic plants such as cotoneaster. Teach him to stay off the ground, especially when he finds something interesting.

Can Poisonous Berries Kill A Person?

Yes, ingesting even small amounts of poison can be fatal. For example, one person was poisoned after eating just two blackberry seeds. Another man died after eating 10 blueberries.

Poisonous berries can also affect animals. Some people believe that they are more dangerous than human-made poisons such as rat poison.


Cotoneaster fruits are poisonous to dogs. If you find any in your dog’​s food, call your vet immediately. You should never feed your dog these berries because they could cause serious health problems.

If you wonder whether or not your dog is poisoned, call your vet immediately. He can help determine what caused the poisoning and how to treat your animal.

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My father, and his father before him, and his father; for the past 3 generations, my family have always been into gardening. The green fingers is a gift passed down to me and I thoroughly enjoy it! I also have worked in the manufacturing department for Bosch and DeWalt so I like to think I know a thing or two about tools and such!
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