Plants Poisonous to Cats, Dogs and other Pets

elephant ear plant growing

Does your dog get strange rashes after playing in the yard? Does your cat get sick after chewing on certain ferns or flowers? If so, the plants in your yard may be poisonous.

Many homeowners are surprised to discover that common landscaping plants can make their pets sick. This is because plants incorporate natural defenses to keep away insects and herbivores. If your pet chews on their leaves or roll against them, the plants will try to defend themselves.

Colorful, softly textured plants that are alluring at the nursery may contain poisons. Some of those toxins are harmless to human beings but can kill cats, dogs, and other animals.

Toxic Plants For Pets

Here are a list of the most common landscape plants and the parts that are toxic to housepets:

Oleander – the leaves and branches
Hyacinth – the bulbs contain toxins, and should be avoided if you have a digger
Foxglove – the leaves
Lily of the Valley – the leaves and the flowers
Rhododendrons – the flowers
Dumb Cane – all parts
Elephant Ear – all parts
Azaleas – the flowers
Amaryllis – the flowers and stems
Bird of Paradise – the flowers
Black Eyed Susan – the flowers
Bleeding Heart – the leaves and and roots
Bluebonnet – the flowers
Boston Ivy – the whole plant
Poinsettias – the whole plant (very toxic)
Palm trees – the whole plant
Cherry trees – eating the leaves and twigs can be fatal – they release cyanide when eaten
Mayapple – the apple, leaves, and roots (many different toxins)
Castor bean – the seed
Ferns – the whole plant
Geranium – the flower
Honeysuckle – the roots and stems
Hydrangea – the whole plant
Jade plant – the whole plant
Larkspur – the whole plant
Morning Glory – the flowers
Peony – the flowers
Primrose – the flowers and branches
Onion – the bulb

This is not a complete list of dangerous plants, and it only includes the plants that are most common and have the highest concentrations of toxins. For more information, talk with your vet about the plants in your yard and ask about common plants in your area.

Since dogs and cats spend so much time in contact with the ground, they are especially sensitive to chemicals in the environment. Their lower weight means that even small amounts of toxins can be harmful. For pet friendly landscaping, organic fertilizers and natural weed controls are also important.

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