These 14 Plants and Flowers Are Toxic to Pets - Home & Texture
Decorate Poisonous Plants for Pets

These Are the Plants and Flowers That Are Most Toxic to Cats and Dogs

You don't have to choose between being a pet parent or a plant one, but you'll need to be selective to keep your cherished companions safe.

By
April 17, 2024 at 6:35 PM PST
Updated on April 17, 2024 at 6:35 PM PST
Decorate Poisonous Plants for Pets

These Are the Plants and Flowers That Are Most Toxic to Cats and Dogs

You don't have to choose between being a pet parent or a plant one, but you'll need to be selective to keep your cherished companions safe.

By
April 17, 2024 at 6:35 PM PST
Updated on April 17, 2024 at 6:35 PM PST

Millennials are becoming more in touch with nature, filling their homes with greenery and making weekend trips to the florist. Plants and flowers enhance beauty and offer wellness benefits, but unfortunately, some of the most common types are poisonous to cats and dogs. In severe cases, exposure to toxins can be deadly, so it’s crucial to understand which ones pose a risk. The ASPCA warns that these popular plants are dangerous to pets.

1. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is safe for pets in certain forms, like gel, but the saponins and anthraquinones found in the plant leaves are poisonous.

Symptoms: Vomiting, lethargy, and diarrhea.

2. Bird of Paradise

Bird of Paradise is believed to be toxic due to hydrocyanic acid. When consumed in large quantities, it can be fatal.

Symptoms: Oral irritation, intense burning and irritation of mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty swallowing, and incoordination.

3. Carnation

The toxin carnations produce is unknown and causes mild side effects in pets.

Symptoms: Dermatitis and gastrointestinal upset.

4. Lily

Lilies are mildly to extremely poisonous to pets, especially the lily tubers. The colchicine alkaloids in the lily can lead to life-threatening and fatal symptoms within hours of ingestion. Clinical signs range depending on the type of lily and its severity of toxicity.

Symptoms: Death, kidney failure, liver failure, shock, dehydration, lethargy, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Photo credit: Kate Darmody

5. Golden Pothos

Pothoses contain insoluble calcium oxalates—needle-like crystals found in stems, leaves and sap of plants.

Symptoms: Oral irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.

6. Daisy

Some daisies have multiple irritants, including sesquiterpene, lactones, and pyrethrins, while others don’t have any. Unless you know which kind you’re dealing with, it’s best to avoid them.

Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, excessive salivation, incoordination, and dermatitis.

7. Tulip

Munching on a small section of a tulip stem isn’t likely to cause irreversible damage. But mistaking a bulb, where the highest concentrations of tulipalin A and B toxins are, for food can lead to death. Symptoms can range, beginning with a mild reaction.

Symptoms: Vomiting, depression, diarrhea, excessive salivation.

8. Philodendron

The philodendron plant contains insoluble calcium oxalates, resulting in identical symptoms to consuming pothos leaves.

Symptoms: Oral irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.

Photo credit: Jazmin Quaynor

9. Snake Plant

Snake plants have mildly poisonous saponins, triggering gastrointestinal upset.

Symptoms: Nausea, diarrhea, vomiting.

10. Sago Palm

This plant is fairly common in homes and gardens. Highly poisonous with liver-failure-inducing cycasin and other toxins, pets need emergency medical attention after ingesting or the effects could be fatal.

Symptoms: Vomiting, melena, icterus, increased thirst, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, bruising, coagulopathy, and liver damage.

11. Hydrangea

Hydrangeas contain harmful cyanogenic glycosides.

Symptoms: Vomiting, depression, diarrhea.

Photo credit: Ellie Ellien

12. Peony

The entire peony plant causes stomach distress, but the main toxin, paeonol, is concentrated in the roots.

Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, depression.

13. Azalea

Every part of the azalea plant contains the neurotoxin grayanotoxin, which can cause cardiac failure when ingested by pets.

Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, weakness.

14. Dracaena

This common indoor houseplant has saponins, like snake plants and aloe vera.

Symptoms: Vomiting, depression, anorexia, excessive salivation, and dilated pupils (cats).

If you suspect your pet may have ingested or come in contact with any of these poisonous plants, consult your vet immediately or call the Animal Poison Control Center.



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