Many of you know the list of foods toxic to dogs and cats, but there are a wide variety of household plants that are toxic as well. Below is a VERY short list of the common toxic plants we see every day. See the ASPCA’s website for a thorough list.
Aloe Vera – Great for our skin! Toxic to dogs and cats. If ingested it can cause vomiting, lethargy, and diarrhea.
Azalea (Rhodedendron) – This beautiful plant can make a dog or cat very sick, even if just a small amount is ingested! It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and potentially serious heart issues!
Carnations – Though they cause mild toxicity, they are very common in floral arrangements. If ingested, can cause mild intestinal upset and mild dermatitis.
Daffodil – Another common perennial seen in many floral arrangements and gardens! The bulb is the most toxic part of the plant. If ingested in small amounts you may see vomiting, hypersalivation. If ingested in large quantities, can cause convulsions, low blood pressure, and serious heart issues.
Ivy Arum – Seems to be a silly thing to chew on, but if it is it can cause severe oral irritation, burning of the mouth, and vomiting.
Lilies – Lovely fragrant flowers, but VERY toxic to cats! Any plants in the Lilium family (Tiger, Asian, Japanese, Easter, Stargazer, and more) can cause kidney failure in cats, even when ingested in only small amounts. Keep them out of the house!
Morning Glory – Another beautiful plant that can have very strange side-effects if ingested by your pet. Pet’s will experience vomiting, tremors, and potentially hallucinations if ingested in large amounts.
Oleander – This plant can have significant effects to the cardiovascular system if ingested by your pet. Signs can include drooling, diarrhea, depression, and potentially death from cardiac failure.
Poinsetta – Though not as toxic as once thought, this common household plant should not be eaten by your pets. If chewed, it can cause significant irritation to the mouth and stomach, as well as mild vomiting.
Tomato Plant – Though ripe tomatoes are not toxic, the plant itself can be if ingested by your pet. Signs include severe intestinal upset, depression, weakness, and heart issues.
Tulips – Beautiful in your yard, but beware if your dog likes to dig in the dirt. If the bulbs are ingested, they can be quite toxic. If ingested, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and depression.
This list does not even get close to mentioning all of the plants toxic to your pets. Again, please see the ASPA website (https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants) for a thorough list. If your pet ingests something toxic, contact us or the ASPA Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435) to see what treatments your pet should receive!
Julia Katzenbach, DVM