Safe And Toxic Wood For Dog Houses

When building any kind of structure for our furry friends, or maybe even our feathered friends, it’s essential to keep them safe and not expose them to toxic dog house wood. As members of our families, our pets are cherished loved ones, and they don’t always know better than to chew on something they shouldn’t. Take a look at the list of safe and unsafe dog house wood here before your build; you expose your pet to an unseen risk.

List of Dog House Wood That is Safe

Source: http://www.mdvaden.com/ – an arborist site – article about wood safety for use with pets.

Non-Toxic Wood Types

A

  • Acacia
  • Apple (Pesticide residue likely)
  • Ailanthus – Tree of Heaven
  • Almond
  • Aralia/Fatsia japonica
  • Ash – Fraxinus
  • Aspen – Populus

B

  • Bamboo
  • Barberry
  • Birch
  • Beech
  • Bois D’Arc – Horse Apple Tree
  • Bottle Brush
  • Butterfly Bush

C

  • Camellia
  • Citrus (lime, kumquat, grapefruit, orange, lemon)
  • Cork (not wood from the cork oak, but cork)
  • Corn Plants
  • Cottonwood – Populus
  • Crabapple – Malus
  • Crape Myrtle (not the same as Myrtle

D

  • Date
  • Dogwood – Comus
  • Douglas Fir – Pseudotsuga
  • Dracaena

E

  • Elm – Ulmus
  • Escallonia
  • Eucalyptus

F

  • Fig
  • Fir – genus Abies

G

  • Ginkgo
  • Grape Vines
  • Grape Palm
  • Guava

H

  • Hackberry
  • Hawthorn – Crataegus
  • Hibiscus
  • Hickory

I

  • Ironwood – apparently toxic leaves

J

  • Jade Plant

K

  • Kalanchoe
  • Kumquat

L

  • Larch – Larix
  • Lilac – Syringa

M

  • Madrona/Madrone – Arbutus
  • Magnolia
  • Maple – Acer
  • Manzanita – Arctostaphylos
  • Mesquite – remove sharp parts
  • Mimosa
  • Mock Orange – Philadelphus
  • Mountain Ash – Sorbus
  • Mulberry – Morus

N

  • Nandina (Heavenly Bamboo)
  • Nectarine
  • Norfolk Island Pine – Araucaria
  • Nut Trees – excluding chestnut and oak

O

  • Orange – several sources lean toward safe
  • Oregon Grape – Mahonia

P

  • Palm
  • Papaya
  • Peach
  • Pecan
  • Pine – Pinus
  • Photinia
  • Plum
  • Poplar – Populus
  • Pussy Willow – Salix

R

  • Raphiolepsis – Indian Hawthorn
  • Ribbonwood
  • Rose – Rosa
  • Rubber Plant – Ficus elastica
  • Russian Olive

S

  • Sassafras
  • Silk Tree
  • Spiraea
  • Spruce – Picea
  • Staghorn Sumac – Rhus not Toxicodendron
  • Strawberry Tree – Arbutus like Madrone
  • Sweet Gum – Liquidambar
  • Sycamore

T

  • Thurlow
  • Tree Fern

V

  • Viburnum
  • Vine Maple – Acer

W

  • Weeping Willow – Salix (Goat, Pussy, & Weeping)
  • White Alder
  • Weigela

Y

  • Yucca

It’s quite the list, most of these will be somewhat difficult to get in quantity as they are considered exotic. Consequently, these exotic woods are also quite costly and so can make your dog house quite expensive to build. However, there are many on this list that you can special order or even find regularly available. Leave me a comment and let me know what type of wood you like to work with. Feel free to bookmark our site for easy reference. Now for the darker, more sinister side of the wood. NOT for use on your dog house, coming up next it’s…

Beware Toxic Wood

Plants And Wood Toxic To Dogs

Wood can be one of the best choices for building material. It’s easy to work with, form and drill. Tools for working with wood are readily available at multiple big box stores across North America. And the videos teaching you how to do this or that is as far-reaching as the moon in the sky. Free wood can be easily obtained in most urban areas adding to its value as a building material. But, there are some types of wood that could seriously harm or even kill your dog. Assuming your dog is foolish enough to chew on them.

This isn’t to say that paints or stains are safe for your dog to chew on either. And I am definitely an advocate for treating or painting the dog house you build in order to prevent rot and mold. So, how do we determine what is right and what is not? I like to do things simply. In my humble opinion, I believe that if safe materials are available I will choose them over toxic or poisonous materials. It’s a simple question of common sense, in my opinion. And with that in mind, and without further ado, I bring you the list of woods that are toxic to dogs.

I do not recommend any of the following woods toxic to dogs and other pets, as a building material for anything to do with your pet.  Period.

A

  • Andromeda
  • Apricot
  • Arrowhead Vine
  • Australian Flame Tree
  • Australian Umbrella Tree
  • Avacado
  • Azalea – Related to Rhododendron

B

  • Baneberry – Actaea
  • Beans (Castor, horse, fava, broad, glory, scarlet runner)
  • Black Locust – Robinia
  • Box Elder
  • Boxwood – Buxus
  • Buckthorn
  • Bracket Fern
  • Burdock

C

  • Cacao
  • Camel Bush – Trichodesma
  • Canary Bird Bush – Crotalaria
  • Cannabis
  • Castor Bean
  • Cedar – Thuja, Chamaecyparis, Cupressus
  • Chalice – trumpet vine
  • Cherry
  • China Berry Tree
  • Chinese Magnolia
  • Chinese Popcorn (Tallow)
  • Snake Tree (Chinese) – Laquer Plant (sap contact is bad as well)
  • Common Sage
  • Coriander – Cilantro
  • Crown of Thorns

D

  • Datura
  • Daphne (Berries)
  • Datura Stramonium – Brugmansia – Angel’s Trumpet
  • Dieffenbachia

E

  • Elderberry
  • Euonymus – Includes burning bush and more
  • Euphorbia

F

  • Felt Plant – Kalanchoe Baharenis
  • Flame Tree
  • Firethorn – Pyracantha
  • Foxglove

G

  • Golden Chain Tree – Laburnum
  • Ground Cherry
  • Crown of Thorns

H

  • Heaths
  • Hemlock
  • Holly
  • Honey Locust
  • Honey Chestnut
  • Huckleberry
  • Hydrangea

J

  • Jasmine
  • Juniper

K

  • Kalmia
  • Kentucky Coffee Tree

L

  • Lantana – red sage
  • Laurel – Prunus
  • Leucothoe
  • Lupine

M

  • Mango – Fruit Okay, not wood or leaves
  • Mexican Breadfruit
  • Mistletoe
  • Mock Orange
  • Monstera
  • Mountain Laurel
  • Myrtle

N

  • Nutmeg

O

  • Oak
  • Oleander
  • Orange

P

  • Pear
  • Pencil Tree
  • Pitch Tree
  • Prairie Oak
  • Privet

R

  • Rain Tree
  • Alder (Red)
  • Red Maple
  • Red Sage
  • Redwood
  • Rhododendron
  • Rhubarb

S

  • Sand Box Tree
  • Solanum – Jerusalem Cherry or Pepino
  • Sophora – Includes Japanese pagoda tree & Mescal
  • Sumac

T

  • Tobacco
  • Tansy
  • Tomato – Stems, vines, and leaves

U

  • Umbrella Tree

W

  • Weeping Fig – Benjamin Fig or Ficus Benjamina
  • White Cedar – China
  • Witch Hazel – Hamamelis
  • Wisteria

Y

  • Yew – Taxus

Again I’d like to thank:
Source: http://www.mdvaden.com/ for providing the list of toxic and non-toxic woods, so I could share it here with you today. I know here in Southern Ontario, Canada we can easily get maple, spruce or pine. What’s easy to get in your area? Drop me a comment and let me know what wood you can easily get in your area.  Oh, but there’s one more thing we’re going to talk about and that’s Pressure Treated Wood.

Pressure Treated Wood

We figure the Government usually knows what they’re talking about and here’s what we found the Canadian Government had to say about using Pressure Treated wood.

Government of Canada
Government of Canada

According to the Government of Canada website https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/consumer-product-safety/reports-publications/pesticides-pest-management/fact-sheets-other-resources/staying-safe-around-treated-wood.html

TIn Canada, pressure-treated wood, depending on what year it was treated in, may have been treated with:

  • “Alkaline Copper Quaternary (ACQ) or Copper Azole (CA-B), which is available in various shades of brown.
  • Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA), which is no longer available for residential construction projects
    • CCA-treated wood is a light green color when it is new, but can look like untreated wood when it has aged
    • Residential decks, fences or playground structures built before 2004 are likely to have been made from CCA-treated lumber
    • Chromium, copper, and arsenic are a natural part of the environment. However, since damaged wood can release small amounts of arsenic, it is a good practice to monitor older CCA-treated wood regularly for signs of damage, like rotting or scraped surfaces. Although the released amount of arsenic is generally not of concern, extended exposure can pose risks to health. Exposure to CCA should be minimized.

The website also advises:

Do not use treated wood near livestock, feed, or food-producing animals.

I take this as we should NOT use pressure treated wood anywhere on the dog house.  Again, in my mind, this is common sense. And remember, only use pressure-treated wood outside. Never use it indoors.

Conclusion

The two lists in this article that documents the woods which are toxic and non-toxic, sourced from an expert certified arborist is a thorough resource that can help us determine toxic and non-toxic woods.  It’s a best practice to leave the chewing to chew toys that are safe for your dog and to minimize your dog’s exposure to any unsafe wood by not using it to build your dog house.

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1 thought on “Safe And Toxic Wood For Dog Houses”

  1. Refugio Herforth

    Having read this I thought it was really informative. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this information together. I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!

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