Common Plants and Flowers that are Toxic to Pets

You may be aware of some common foods that are toxic to your dog and other pets such as grapes, onions, chocolate, and tomatoes. Yes tomatoes! Though the real danger lies in the green leaves and stems as well as in unripened green tomatoes. But are you aware of these potentially deadly plants that may be growing in and around your home?

A large number of common garden and household plants are toxic to pets on some level. Reactions can range from mild to life-threatening depending on the type of animal exposed (dog, cat, bird, etc), and the amount of the plant ingested. Just as a young child explores the world with his senses, making them vulnerable to accidental poisoning, your pet may explore things with his nose and mouth without knowing of the potentially deadly side effects. While many of these plants are beautiful and beneficial to have, the risk far out weighs the benefit when considering the harm that can come to your beloved pet. Take precautions if you choose to have these types of plants, keeping them where pets and children will not have access to them unsupervised.

If you even suspect that your pet has eaten one of these plants, call your vet immediately. Do not wait for signs and symptoms of poisoning to appear because in many cases time is of the essence and by the time symptoms appear it can be too late to save your pet. 

  1. Lilies: Ingesting any part of the plant can cause complete kidney failure in 36-72 hours. First symptoms appear in a few hours and may include appetite suppression, lethargy, vomiting.  Cats are especially sensitive to lily poisoning, so be very careful to keep your cats away from lilies of any kind at all times including holidays when different varieties are frequently displayed.
  2. Lily of the Valley: Ingesting any part of the plant can cause cardiac dysrhythmias, vomiting, diarrhea, confusion, weakness, and even death.
  3. Anemone: Irritating to the mucus membranes, and can cause blisters, hemorrhagic gastritis, shock, convulsions, and death.
  4. Aloe Vera: Vomiting, depression, diarrhea, anorexia, tremors, change in urine color.
  5. Amaryllis: All species, including Belladonna Lily, are toxic, and especially dangerous to cats. The bulbs are the toxic part of the plant.  The “Amaryllis” commonly seen during the December holidays are Hippeastrum species.  Symptoms include vomiting, depression, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hyper-salivation, anorexia, tremors.
  6. Asparagus: Allergic dermatitis, gastric upset, vomiting, diarrhea.
  7. Daffodil: Vomiting, diarrhea. Large ingestions cause convulsions, low blood pressure, tremors, cardiac arrhythmias.
  8. Philodendrons: Irritation, intense burning and irritation of the mouth, lips, tongue, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty swallowing.
  9. Jade Plants: Vomiting, depressions, ataxia, slow heart rate.
  10. Chrysanthemums: Vomiting, diarrhea, hyper salivation, incoordination, dermatitis.
  11. Cyclamen: The tubers or rhizomes contain the toxic glycoside cyclanin, a terpenoid saponin.  Ingestion can cause excess salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, heart rhythm abnormalities, seizures, or even death in rare cases.
  12. Cycads: The “Sago palm” is a cycad, not a true palm, and all parts of the plant are poisonous. Symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, black feces, jaundice, increased thirst, hemorrhagic gastritis, bruising, liver failure, and death.

These are also higly toxic plants, though rarely ingested by pets, it is good to be aware of them.

  • Angel’s Trumpet
  • Castor Bean
  • Daphne
  • Deathcamas 
  • English yew 
  • Foxglove
  • Jimson Weed/Devil’s Trumpet
  • Nicotiana/Tobacco plants
  • Oleander
  • Poison hemlock
  • Pokeweed
  • Tree tobacco 
  • Western water hemlock 
  • Yew 

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