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Gardener Education: Plants Toxic To Pets

Most people that have pets consider them to be a part of the family. People with pets want to make sure that they are happy and healthy at all times. One thing that can make your pet very sick is exposure to plants that can be toxic to them. There are many plants found around the world that can be toxic to pets and it is important to know which of those may be found in the area you live, and what to do if your pet comes into contact with them. The following are some of the most common plants that are toxic to pets.


The bulbs of a tulip plant contain toxins that can cause loss of appetite, drooling, convulsions, depression of the central nervous system, gastrointestinal irritation, and cardiac abnormalities.


Lilies are considered one of the most toxic plants for cats. It is not clear which part of the plant is poisonous but even very small amounts of the plant, if ingested, can cause severe kidney damage in cats.

Sago Palm

The seeds of the sago palm are the most toxic but every part of the plant is poisonous to pets. Even if your pet eats just one or two seeds, they can cause very serious side effects such as diarrhea, vomiting, depression, liver failure, and seizures.


All parts of the oleander plant are toxic and can cause serious problems in your pet including abnormal heart function, hypothermia, gastrointestinal irritation, and even death.


Pets that ingest marijuana can suffer from vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, increased heart rate, depression of the central nervous system, incoordination, seizures, and even coma.


Azalea plants contain toxic substances known are grayanotoxins. These toxins can cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and even a depression of the central nervous system. Severe poisoning from azaleas can ultimately lead to coma and death caused by cardiovascular collapse.

Castor Bean

The poisonous ingredient in Castor beans is called ricin. Ricin is a highly toxic protein that can cause drooling, vomiting, severe abdominal pain, excessive thirst, loss of appetite, and weakness. Severe poisoning from Castor beans can cause muscle twitching, seizures, tremors, dehydration, coma, and even death.


The yew plant contains a component known as taxine that is toxic and can cause issues with the central nervous system including incoordination, trembling, and difficulty breathing. It can also cause severe gastrointestinal irritation, as well as cardiac failure, both of which can result in death.


These flowers contain something called pyrethrins that if eaten can cause diarrhea, drooling, and vomiting. If enough of the plant is consumed, it can cause depression and loss of coordination.

Common Poisonous Plants – A list of the 17 most common poisonous plants for pets from the ASPCA, along with a video featuring tips to keep your pet safe.

Plants & Pets – An extensive listing of plants that are toxic to cats and dogs, as well as a list of safe, nontoxic plants.

Toxic Plants For Dogs – A chart featuring plants that are toxic to dogs, and their level of toxicity.

Plants & Your Cat – Some information on the plants that are toxic to cats, as well as other information on having a safe house for your pet.

Toxic & Non-Toxic Plants – An extensive database of toxic and non-toxic plants for pets, searchable by plant name, and type of pet including cats, dogs, and horses.

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