Seven Popular Garden Plants that are Toxic to Pets

happy dog in field of flowers

Published on: May 15, 2022

If you’re planning to do some gardening this spring, make sure all of your plant choices are pet-friendly! Plants contain a diverse array of chemical compounds that can sometimes be dangerous to animals. Some plants can be poisonous to our pets even if they pose no danger to people. Knowing which plants are toxic to pets helps keep your pets safe and guards against accidental poisoning.

The toxicity of a plant depends on many different factors such as the species of animal, the quantity and type of plant parts consumed, and the intensity of the plant’s chemicals. Toxic plants can cause milder symptoms like diarrhea or more serious conditions like liver failure.

Seven popular garden plants that are toxic to dogs and cats include the following. This is not a comprehensive list. Be sure to thoroughly investigate whether any plants you are considering are pet-safe.

  1. Sago Palm – Toxic to dogs and cats. Ingestion may cause vomiting, increased thirst, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, bruising, coagulopathy, liver damage, liver failure, death.
  2. Tulips – Toxic to dogs and cats. Ingestion may cause vomiting, depression, diarrhea, hypersalivation. Highest concentration of toxin is found in the bulb.
  3. Lily of the Valley – Toxic to dogs and cats. Ingestion may cause vomiting, irregular heart beat, low blood pressure, disorientation, coma, seizures.
  4. Oleander – Toxic to dogs and cats. Ingestion may cause drooling, abdominal pain, diarrhea, colic, depression, death.
  5. Rhododendron (Azaleas) – Toxic to dogs and cats. Ingestion of even a small amount may cause vomiting, diarrhea, hypersalivation, weakness, coma, hypotension, CNS depression, cardiovascular collapse and death.
  6. Aloe Vera – Toxic to dogs and cats. Ingestion may cause vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea. The gel is considered edible.
  7. Autumn Crocus – Toxic to dogs and cats. Ingestion may cause bloody vomiting, diarrhea, shock, multi-organ damage, bone marrow suppression.

After you’ve done your research and decided what to plant, you and your pets can enjoy some time outside together while you plant and maintain your garden. Even though your dog or cat likely won’t be much actual help, no doubt he or she is good at digging and will enjoy “working” in the yard with you!

SOURCE: ASPCA Poisonous Plants list

The ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) hotline* is available 24/7 at (888) 426-4435 or contact your local veterinarian as soon as possible if you suspect your pet may have ingested a poisonous substance.

*A consultation fee may apply.