A number of common household and garden plants, including many you may not suspect, are actually toxic to cats and dogs.
Gardening is a great hobby, and it is only natural to let your pets join in on the fun. Planting seeds in the garden, removing weeds and trimming shrubs is a wonderful way for you and your dog to bond and spend time in the sunshine, but there could be danger lurking.
A number of common household and garden plants, including many you may not suspect, are actually toxic to cats and dogs. Allowing your dog to follow you to the garden or letting your cat dig in the houseplants could mean an emergency trip to the vet.
If your home or garden or wedding bouquet includes any of the following plants or flowers, you need to exercise extreme caution and watch your pets carefully. All of these plants are toxic to some degree, and it is important to watch for signs of accidental ingestion.
While this plant has excellent healing properties for people, aloe vera is toxic to dogs and cats. Vomiting, diarrhoea, depression, changes in the colour of urine, tremors
Azaleas are among the most popular garden plants, but they are also toxic to pets. Eating just a few azalea leaves could result in vomiting, diarrhea and drooling. If you spot any of these symptoms, you need to call your vet right away. The long-term effects of azalea poisoning can include coma and death.
Cannabis poisoning (from plants, leftover matter and edibles) is one of the most common plant poisoning vets see, especially in dogs. Delta nine tetrahydrocannabinol affects cat and dogs' neurological system. Incoordination, tremors, drooling, seizures, possible respiratory problems, depression, coma.
Part of the allium family, which includes onion, garlic and leeks, chives can be poisonous to both cats and dogs. Small amounts, particularly for dogs, may be safe. However, large amounts can be extremely toxic. Toxin: N-propyl disulfide, Toxicity level: Mild, Symptoms: Drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, abdominal pain, elevated heart rate and breathing, weakness, collapse, pale gums
Vibrant in colour, the chrysanthemum is highly toxic to cats. It can also be toxic to dogs. Toxin: Pyrethrins, sesquiterpene, lactones. Toxicity level: High. Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhoea, lack of appetite
Both the spring and autumn varieties of crocus are potentially dangerous to your pets, but the autumn crocus can be particularly toxic. The spring crocus can cause gastrointestinal illness and vomiting, but the autumn variety also causes liver and kidney damage and sometimes heart failure. If you suspect your cat or dog has been in the crocuses, you need to seek veterinary care immediately. If possible, bring a sample of the plant you believe your pet ingested; this will help the vet identify the culprit and treat the animal appropriately.
Toxic to cats and dogs. Toxin: Terpenoid saponins. Toxicity level: Moderate. Symptoms: Vomiting, drooling, diarrhoea, abnormal heart rate, seizures
Daffodils are certainly beautiful, and many of us have a vase of them sitting on our desks or windowsills. If your home also includes a cat or dog, you need to exercise caution. Pets who eat daffodil bulbs or even just the flowers could suffer from severe abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea. Daffodil poisoning can also manifest in an irregular heartbeat, and that could be deadly for both cats and dogs.
Toxic to cats and dogs. Toxic ferns: Asparagus Fern, Emerald Fern (pictured), Lace Fern, Plumosa Fern. Toxin: Unknown. Toxicity level: Mild to moderate. Symptoms: Skin irritation, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea
Frangipanis are widespread plants and mildly poisonous, ingesting leaves or flowers can irritate the digestive tract.
Holly may be the quintessential Christmas decoration, but unfortunately, both its leaves and berries are poisonous to our cats and dogs. It's best to keep pets away from all varieties of holly, but the Christmas and English varieties, in particular, can cause severe gastrointestinal upset when ingested. And with its spiky leaves, holly can also irritate the mouth and throat, causing pets to shake their heads excessively trying to rid themselves of it. Toxin: Saponins, methylxanthines and cyanogens Toxicity level: Moderate to high Symptoms: Drooling, licking lips, upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhoea, appetite loss
These vibrant flowers, particularly the bulb, can be toxic to cats and dogs. Toxin: Allergenic lactones Toxicity level: Moderate to high. Symptoms: Drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, increased heart rate, difficulty or rapid breathing
This beautiful and colourful common garden shrub can be toxic to cats and dogs. Toxin: Cyanogenic glycoside Toxicity level: Mild Symptoms: Lethargy, vomiting, diarrhoea
This vibrant flower is toxic to cats and dogs, especially the roots. Toxin: Iridaceae Toxicity level: Mild Symptoms: Drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy
Many popular ivy plants, including English ivy and Devil's ivy/Golden Pothos, have moderate toxicity to pets. Mouth and stomach irritation, excessive drooling, foaming at the mouth, swelling of the mouth, tongue and lips, vomiting, diarrhoea.
Considered a weed in Australia, lantana is a colourful, extremely toxic plant for cats and dogs. Depression, vomiting, diarrhoea, weakness, loss of appetite, shock, abdominal swelling, paralysis, possible liver failure.
Lilies from the lilium and hemerocallis families are highly toxic to cats. All parts of the plant are toxic and if left untreated lily intoxication causes acute renal failure within 12-36 hours. Cats only need to ingest a very small amount to be affected. Lilies are mildly toxic to dogs, but their reactions are not quite so severe. Toxic lilium lilies: Asiatic, Easter Lily, Japanese Show, Rubrum, Stargazer Lily, Red, Tiger Lily, Western, Wood lilies. Toxic hemerocallis lilies: Day Lily. Toxin: Unknown. Toxicity level: High. Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, decreased appetite, lethargy, excessive thirst
Lily of the Valley
The Lily of the Valley is one of the most popular houseplants, and it is often given as a housewarming gift. If you receive such a gift, you will want to place it out of reach of your pets, since the compounds it contains can be very toxic if ingested. Ingesting Lily of the Valley could cause a dangerous drop in heart rate for your pet, and that could be life-threatening. The plant can also cause cardiac arrhythmias and seizures, so seeking immediate veterinary care is essential.
Lucky Bamboo / False Bamboo
While most species of bamboo are safe, there are a couple which are toxic for our pets. Toxic bamboos: False Bamboo and Lucky Bamboo (pictured). Toxin: Cycanogenic glycosides. Toxicity level: Moderate. Symptoms: Weakness, lack of coordination, seizures, difficulties breathing
Do you hang mistletoe at Christmas? If you use the American variety be aware the berries from this festive plant if ingested by our pooches and feline friends can cause mild gastrointestinal signs. If a large amount is ingested symptoms can become more severe.
Toxic mistletoe: Phoradendron serotinum (American variety) and Viscum album (European variety). Toxin: Polysaccharides, alkaloids, and lectins. Toxicity level: Moderate to high. Symptoms: Drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, abnormal heart rate, collapse, low blood pressure, difficulty breathing, seizures
All parts of this shrub with its delicate flower is highly toxic to both cats and dogs. Toxin: Cardiac glycoside. Toxicity level: Moderate to high. Symptoms: Abnormal heart rate, drooling, vomiting, tremors, seizures
This blooming shrub with its large colourful flowers is toxic to cats and dogs. Toxin: Paeonol Toxicity level: Mild Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhoea
The Sago palm is a popular outdoor plant in warmer climates, and a widely seen indoor plant throughout the country. Unfortunately, this popular palm tree is also potentially toxic to pets. Ingesting the leaves or stem of the palm could cause severe damage to the lining of the stomach, along with bloody stools and liver failure. If you catch your cat or dog snacking on the Sago palm, you need to seek emergency care at once.
These vibrant flowers, particularly the bulb, can be toxic to cats and dogs. Toxin: Tulipalin A and B Toxicity level: Moderate to high Symptoms: Drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, increased heart rate, difficulty or rapid brething
This bright flowering shrub may look pretty but don't be fooled, all parts of this nightshade can be poisonous to cats and dogs. Toxin: Brunfelsamidine and hopeanine Toxicity level: Mild to moderate Symptoms: Vomiting, anxious behaviour, coordination problems, tremors, seizures
No plant quite says Christmas like the poinsettia does with its bright red, and sometimes white, leaves! While it may have a bad reputation for being highly poisonous to our furry friends, the poinsettia is in fact only mildly toxic to cats and dogs. For poinsettia poisoning to occur a large amount of the plant would have to be ingested - almost the entire plant! Toxin: Irritant sap Toxicity level: Mild Symptoms: Drooling, licking lips, vomiting, diarrhoea, skin irritation, eye irritation
While the poppy is used as a symbol to honour the men and women who served and continue to serve, it can be toxic to cats and dogs. Toxin: Alkoloids Toxicity level: Mild to moderate Symptoms: Change in behaviour (sedation or excitability), lack of appetite, dilated or pinpoint pupils