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24 Common Plants Poisonous to Pets

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24 Common Plants Poisonous to Pets

Pet owners know that dogs and cats often have a penchant for eating strange things. Cats often gravitate toward plastic or wool, and many a dog will chew on whatever it can get its chops around. And then there are plants. Whether garden plants, houseplants, plants in the wild, or flowers from the florist–plants can provide a tasty and tempting diversion for animals, one that can be at odds with your pet’s health.

In order to prevent poisoning by cut flowers or house plants, avoid placing toxic ones in your home where pets may be able to access them. Or better yet, avoid buying flowers and plants that are known to be toxic. Outside is trickier, especially if your dog or cat has a wide range to roam.

For dogs, the animal science department at Cornell University suggests adding bran flakes to his food or switching her diet to one higher in vegetable fibers to deter cravings for vegetation. The only other thing to do is to watch your dog’s behavior when walking outside, and try to prevent them from munching on vegetation unless you know it is harmless. When you see symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, difficult breathing, abnormal urine, salivation, weakness, and any other abnormal condition, take your pet to the veterinarian because he may be poisoned.

You can use this list, which has been compiled using information provided by Cornell University and the ASPCA, as a guide to what plants and flowers to keep your eyes open for. The list is by no means exhaustive, there are a number of other toxic plants, but this covers the top offenders. (For a complete list, visit the ASPCA website.)

Aloe vera
Great for burns, toxic to cats and dogs. Who knew? If you keep an aloe plant on hand for burns, make sure to keep it out of reach for your pets.
Symptoms: Vomiting, depression, diarrhea, anorexia, tremors, change in urine color.

Pretty, common as a garden ornamental, and a very popular potted bulb for the holidays…and toxic to both cats and dogs. Be careful with the bulbs, they contain the most toxins.
Symptoms: Vomiting, depression, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hypersalivation, anorexia, tremors.

Learn how to make a Poison Safety Kit for Pets

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Read more: Cats, Dogs, Health & Safety, Lawns & Gardens, Pets, Safety, , , ,

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.


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12:24PM PST on Feb 28, 2015

Thanks so much for this article - I am currently involved in a free dog park project & have been searching the lists of dog-toxic plants. Every little bit of additional info. makes the park that much safer for our furry friends! I just can't wait to start the planting...

O,BTW: I grew up on Ocean Parkway & 18th Avenue - very much before your time... :)
Thanks again, Lil McD

1:08PM PST on Jan 11, 2015

This is very informative information. Everyone that is parent to a pet should have this list memorized!!! ALSO!!!!! What I did not know was learned the hard, expensive way. Thankfully my son (four legged) was not harmed in any lasting medical way. Some of our cleaners used to mop our floors with. One in particular (will not name because of fear of litigation but has a lavender smell) was almost lethal to my precious miniature Pomeranian. It was not until the third trip to the veterinarian that we finally decided that he was having an allergic reaction to the cleaner that is probably in most households. It was really a guess because by the time I got him to the office (thankfully is not but three blocks from home) he was ok. So now I mop in vinegar water and he has not had any more episodes. As far as house plants, if they won't hang from the ceiling the are not in the house..

4:09AM PST on Nov 2, 2014

good list , thanks

10:07AM PDT on May 18, 2014

I need a list for my pet rabbits. I like to feed them organic things from the vegetation around my house. They love dandelions and their greens and clover. I just have to be careful of pesticides.

6:12AM PST on Nov 18, 2013

good to know ty

2:55AM PST on Nov 7, 2013


10:36PM PDT on Sep 2, 2013

I always appreciate the plant list that are not safe for our pets. There are some missing here but some good information/helpful.

2:12PM PDT on Jul 31, 2013

Thank you for posting.

9:22AM PDT on Jul 29, 2013

Good to know - and of course, those are the plants our indoor/outdoor kitty gravitates to!

6:49AM PDT on Jun 22, 2013

good to know ty

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