Thursday, April 2, 2015

16 Plants That Are Poisonous to Pets

16 Plants That Are Poisonous to Pets

Posted by: N Gilbert

Do you love flowers and greenery and keep a lot of plants in and around your home that your dog or cat can nibble? If so, you’ll want to pay particular attention to the following list of plants that can be quite toxic to the four-legged members of your family.


Lilies are particularly toxic for cats. The poisonous part of the plant hasn't yet been identified, so your best bet is to simply avoid lilies around your home if you also have a pet, especially a cat. Exposure to just a tiny amount of the toxin in a lily plant can cause severe or even fatal kidney disease.


If your dog or cat ingests any portion of a cannabis plant, the result can be depression of the central nervous system, loss of coordination, vomiting, lethargy, increased heart rate, seizures, and coma. Even though we personally disagree with it, Marijuana has been approved for medicinal and even recreational use and cultivation in certain states. It's important for any pet owner who is also growing marijuana in or around their home to take precautions to keep companion animals away from those plants.

Sago Palm

This variety of palm tree is dangerous for both dogs and cats. All parts of the sago are toxic, but especially the "nuts" or seeds. Just a seed or two can make your pet desperately ill with drooling, vomiting, lethargy, seizures and acute liver failure.


The entire tulip plant is toxic to your pet, but the bulbs are more poisonous than the leaves or stems. Tulip bulbs can cause serious gastrointestinal irritation, drooling, loss of appetite, depression of the central nervous system, convulsions and cardiac abnormalities.


Species of this plant contain grayanotoxin, a compound that will cause your dog or cat gastrointestinal symptoms including bloating, diarrhea and vomiting. Ultimately, ingestion of azaleas can result in coma, cardiovascular collapse and death.


All varieties of the oleander plant are poisonous for both dogs and cats. This plant contains cardiac glycosides that can cause sudden death from heart failure.

Castor Bean

The castor bean plant is deadly to both dogs and cats. The beans of this plant contain a toxin called ricin. Ricin can bring on abdominal pain and bloating, and swelling of the mouth and any other part of the gastrointestinal tract the bean oil comes in contact with. More serious poisoning can cause twitching, seizures, musculoskeletal convulsions, coma and death.


Cyclamen is a common houseplant with roots that are toxic to dogs and cats. The most common symptom from ingestion of cyclamen is gastrointestinal irritation resulting in severe vomiting.


The cilantro plant can cause gastrointestinal irritation and cardiac arrhythmia in your pet.


The yew plant and in fact, all species of the taxus or yew family of plants can cause serious problems for both dogs and cats.


Symptoms of poisoning from the amaryllis, also known as the Easter plant, are vomiting, lethargy and depression.

Autumn Crocus

The autumn crocus, a plant commonly found in gardens and yards, can irritate your pet's mouth and cause diarrhea and bloody vomiting.

English Ivy

All species of the ivy family contain a toxin called triterpenoids. This substance can cause your pet gastrointestinal irritation that results in abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea.


Schefflera contains calcium oxalates that can cause severe irritation to your pet's mouth, esophagus and stomach. Signs your dog or cat has ingested this plant are vomiting and diarrhea, drooling and difficulty swallowing.


Another very common houseplant is the pothos plant. Both dogs and cats are sensitive to the pothos, which can cause soft tissue irritation in your pet's mouth resulting in swelling of the tongue and sometimes bleeding of the mucus membranes. If your pet chews on a pothos leaf, he may also have difficulty swallowing.


This plant should be considered toxic as it contains the pyrrolizidine alkaloids; lycopsamine, intermedine, and echiumine. Ingestion can cause severe illness and possibly death in horses, swine, and cattle. The alkaloids are potent liver toxins that under some conditions can be carcinogenic. For horses that have ingested a potentially lethal amount of the plant and/or are suffering advanced symptoms the illness has been termed "walking disease" or "sleepy staggers". The name being a reference to the fact that affected horses may appear blind and wander aimlessly, walking in circles or bumping into objects. Other visible symptoms that are typically associated with severe intoxication include: muscle tremors, especially of the head and neck; frequent yawning, copper colored or red urine, difficulty or inability to swallow, horses may stop eating halfway through a mouthful of food; horses may stand with their heads held down, head pressing, dragging of the hind legs, causing the hooves to have worn tips, random attacks of frenzy and violent, uncontrollable galloping.

If you know of anymore dangerous plants that can be harmful to your pets, please send us an email at and we will update this article with your information.

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