Plant Your Garden Well–Be Wary of Plants that are Poisonous to Your Pets

Spring and summer are such great seasons. You get to spend more time outdoors with your pets. Plants dress up your yard and garden–adding wonderful colors and smells to your outdoor living.

When choosing plants, it’s important to know which ones could harm your pets.

Here’s a list of the Top 20 Common Plants that could harm your pets:

Amaryllis is toxic to dogs and cats

Amaryllis is dangerous to cats and dogs and contains toxins that cause abdominal pain, anorexia, depression, diarrhea, hypersalivation, tremors and vomiting.

Autumn Crocus affects all animals and can result in bloody vomiting, bone marrow suppression, diarrhea, multi-organ damage, oral irritation and shock.

Azalea/Rhododendron affects all animals causing depression of the central nervous system, diarrhea, drooling, vomiting and weakness. The grayantoxins in this plant can cause severe poisoning that leads to cardiovascular disease that can lead to coma and death.

Castor Bean contains ricin which is a highly toxic protein. Ricin can cause abdominal pain, loss of appetite, drooling, diarrhea, vomiting, excessive thirst, weakness. Severe poisoning can result in muscle twitching, dehydration, tremors, seizures, coma and death.

Chrysanthemum blooms contain pyrethrins which can cause diarrhea, drooling, gastrointestinal upset and vomiting. Sometimes, if the dog or cat eats sufficient amounts of any part of the plant, loss of coordination and depression may develop.

Cyclamen contains the toxin cyclamine with the highest concentration occurring in the roots of the plant. Ingestion by dogs and cats can cause intense vomiting and gastrointestinal irritation. There have been deaths reported due to Cyclamen poisoning.

English Ivy (branching ivy, glacier ivy, needlepoint ivy, sweetheart ivy, California ivy, Hedera helix) affects all animals. Eating the triterpenoid saponins in this plant can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, drooling and vomiting.

Foxglove is toxic to all animals. The cardiac glycosides can cause heart arrhythmias, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, cardiac failure, and even death.

Hibiscus or Rose of Sharon or Rose of China affects both dogs and cats causing vomiting, diarrhea, nausea and anorexia.

Hyacinth is toxic to dogs and cats. The Narcissus-like alkaloids can cause vomiting, diarrhea, dermatitis and allergic reactions. Bulbs contain highest amount of toxin.

Kalanchoe contains toxic Bufodienolides

Kalanchoe can affect both cats and dogs. The toxic Bufodienolides in this plant can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and rarely an abnormal heart rhythm.

Lilies are toxic to cats and cause kidney failure.

Marijuana, Indian Hemp or Hashish is toxic to cats and dogs. The toxin is Delta-9-THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which can cause prolonged depression, vomiting, incoordination, sleepiness or excitation, hypersalivaton, dilated pupils, low blood pressure, low body temperature, seizure, coma, and even rarely death.

Oleander contains cardiac glycosides that can cause colic, diarrhea (possibly bloody), sweating, incoordination, shallow/difficult breathing, muscle tremors, recumbency, and possibly death from cardiac failure in dogs and cats.

Peace Lily or Mauna Loa Peace Lily is toxic to both dogs and cats. Insoluble calcium oxalates can cause oral irritation, intense burning and irritation of mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting and difficulty swallowing.

Pothos, Devil’s Ivy, Taro Vine, Ivy Arum is toxic to both dogs and cats. Insoluble calcium oxalates in this vining plant can cause oral irritation, intense burning and irritation of mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting and difficulty swallowing.

Sago Palm is toxic to cats and dogs. Cycasin in this plant can cause vomiting, melena, icterus, increased thirst, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, bruising, coagulopathy, liver damage, liver failure and even death.

Schefflera, Umbrella Tree, Australian Ivy Palm, Octopus Tree or Starleaf is toxic to both cats and dogs. Calcium oxalate crystals can cause oral irritation, intense burning and irritation of the mouth, lips, tongue, excessive drooling, vomiting and difficulty in swallowing.

The bulbs are the most toxic part of Tulips

Tulips are toxic to dogs and cats. The bulbs contain the highest concentration of Tulipalin A and B which can cause vomiting, depression, diarrhea and hypersalivation.

Yew or Japanese Yew is toxic to dogs and cats. Taxine causes sudden death from acute cardiac failure, early signs — muscular tremors, dyspnea, seizures in dogs.

Although many of these plants are commonly found in your garden and home without harming your pet, it’s important to recognize the signs of poisoning. Young animals are more apt to chew on things that might harm them.

If you see that your plants have been damaged, and your pet is acting ill check to see if the plants are on this list or at the SPCA poison control website

Since some of these plants can be very dangerous, be sure to call your veterinarian if you suspect your pet of ingesting any toxic plants.

Cocoa Mulch is very toxic to dogs and cats. Because some brands of this mulch contain cocoa fat, and dogs are attracted to the chocolate smell, they will sometimes eat it. If you really want to use this type of mulch, be sure to get the brands that clean the cocoa fat (and the dangerous theobromine) out of it by non-chemical means.

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