Plants are an important part of the décor of any home. They bring life to our lives and go well in pretty much any area of the house: living rooms, kitchen and even bathrooms. Those who like planting can make use of planters even in small apartments.
However, there is one thing every homeowner should pay attention to: which plants are toxic to pets? In order to help keep your furry friends safe, we’ve come up with a substantial list of common houseplants that you should keep away from your pet.
Some plants can be extremely harmful to our beloved little friends, and even those that are apparently safe must be kept in places of difficult access to the animals, preventing them to eat or come in contact with toxic elements.
We have researched a list of plants that can cause poisoning to pets and the related symptoms that must be observed.
1. Aloe Vera (Toxic to Cats and Dogs)
It’s great for sunburns and some say it’s even good for your hair, but keep it away from dogs and cats for it can cause them to get really sick.
Symptoms: Diarrhea, vomiting, tremors and even depression.
2. Amaryllis (Toxic to Cats and Dogs)
Also known as Jersey Lylis, these are very common in decoration due to their beautiful flowers. They are, however, toxic to both cats and dogs.
Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea and tremors.
3. Azalea (Toxic to Cats and Dogs)
Amazingly, these so common plants are so toxic to animals that even horses can die from it. Azaleas are a number one enemy of pets, so they shouldn’t be in any houses with cats and dogs.
Symptoms: colic, loss of coordination, paralysis, weak heart rate and prostration. There’s serious risk of death.
4. Begonia (Toxic to Cats and Dogs)
These houseplants are also very popular. Their most toxic part are the tubers.
Symptoms: Difficulty swallowing, drooling (in excess),vomiting.
5. Carnation (Toxic to Cats and Dogs)
Who could tell, right? These are not as poisonous as most on this list. However, they still can cause your friends to feel pretty sick. Better keep them away.
Symptoms: Your pet can get mildly sick.
6. Chrysanthemum (Toxic to Cats and Dogs)
They’re called mums, but don’t be deceived by their lovely name. This species can cause a lot of trouble to your pets. Not so bad that it can cause death, but still they can get pretty sick. The good thing is that its smell should be enough to keep cats and dogs away. But since better safe than sorry, avoid these toxic beauties in your house.
Symptoms: Diarrhea, vomiting, dermatitis.
7. Daffodil (Toxic to Cats and Dogs)
Also known as Narcissus, these trumpet-like flowers are definitely something your cats and dogs want to chew on. They may be a presage of Spring, but ingesting it can be as serious as to cause convulsions.
Symptoms: Low blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmia, convulsions.
8. English Ivy and Devil's Ivy (Toxic to Cats and Dogs)
There are many types of plants that are called Ivy and some are toxic to your pets, so it’s best not to take a risk. These two are the ones that are most toxic to both cats and dogs. Chances are that your companions won’t even come close to them, but we all know how pets can be unpredictable. It’s toxicity is mostly on the foliage, but the berries can also cause a lot of trouble. Since there are different types of ivy plants, we recommend that you search the specific varieties here.
Symptoms: Diarrhea, vomiting, hypersalivation.
9. Lily (Toxic to Cats, Non Toxic to Dogs*)
These fragrant flowers are very popular in literature and therefore have gained a poetic status from greek and roman mythology to Shakespeare to Blake and Dickinson. However, we don’t think your dog will feel very poetic after chewing on the fleur-de-lys. Although some varieties are edible and even used in culinary, most lilies can be toxic even to humans. *Since there are different types of Lilies, we recommend that you search the specific varieties here.
Symptoms: Kidney failure.
10. Morning Glory (Toxic to Cats and Dogs)
There are over 1,000 species of plants that are called Morning Glory, so once again, better not take a chance. Many have hallucinogenic properties, so keep them away from your little amigos so that they don’t risk a bad trip.
Symptoms: Hallucination, deorientation, tremors.
11. Oleander (Toxic to Cats and Dogs)
The whole plant is toxic. Very toxic. These are definitely a no-no in any home with pets, or even children, since the ingestion of one single leaf is enough to kill a 180 pound human being.
Symptoms: Difficulty to breathe, tremors, sweating, incoordination, coma and death.
12. Poinsettia (Mildly Toxic to Cats and Dogs)
If Oleander is the number one enemy of cats and dogs on this list, poinsettias are the least toxic here. That’s why we thought we should mention them. Our Christmas favorites can indeed cause some discomfort but their toxicity is overrated.
Symptoms: Irritation (mouth and stomach) and mild vomiting.
13. Tomato Plant (Toxic to Cats and Dogs)
We can hear you saying “Oh no, tomato!” now. But that’s true, although our beloved tomatoes are not themselves extremely toxic ( see the list of dangerous foods for pets) the green parts of the plant are very harmful to cats and dogs. We suggest that you avoid letting the get close to plants and also avoid feeding them the fruit (yes, tomato is a fruit).
Symptoms: Severe gastrointestinal upset, CNS depression, confusion, slow heart rate.
Of course these are just a few plants that are toxic to pets. It’s very important that you check in advance before bringing any plant home. You can look at a specific (printable!) list for dogs and for cats.
There are inumerous resources on the internet (we have linked some here) but if anything bad happens make sure you call the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) hotline at (888) 426-4435. You can also learn how to make a poison safety kit for pets.
It’s a good idea to save the ASPCA list of the 17 most toxic plants to animals below (starting from the most toxic to the least):
- Sago Palm
- Tulip/Narcissus bulbs
- Castor Bean
- Autumn Crocus
- English Ivy
- Peace Lily (AKA Mauna Loa Peace Lily)
Also make sure you don’t feed pets human food and always contact the ASPCA in case you come across any situation that causes animal pain or suffering.