9 Toxic Plants That an Animal Lover Shouldn't Have in Their Garden, and 3 Plants They Should

toxic plants for dogs

By Alli B.

Ahh, the garden. A place of beauty, a place of wonder, a place of… danger?

Unfortunately, this could be the case if you are a pet owner. Sure, your garden may be beautiful, but it also may be hiding dangers that can pose a threat to your pets. Fear not, dear reader, for we have compiled a list of garden plants that may be dangerous to your pet for you to read and share with other pet owners!

9 common plants that may cause your pet harm if they are planted in your garden:

1. Rhododendron

This popular garden flower is not only dangerous for dogs and cats to consume, it also poses a threat to horses, goats, and sheep. Eating these flowers can cause vomiting, excessive drooling, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and possible coma or death in severe cases.

2. Lilies

Although they are pretty, all parts of a lily are extremely toxic to cats. Even a small portion of a lily can have severe effects on a cat. Almost all types of lily can cause kidney failure in cats

3. Chrysanthemum

A garden staple, chrysanthemums are not necessarily deadly for your pet, but they have been known to cause discomfort. Your pet may experience diarrhea, drooling, and gastrointestinal upset if they ingest this flower.

4. Milkweed

Milkweed and monarchs are the perfect pair, but unfortunately the same is not to be said for your pets. Milkweed is toxic to both dogs and cats, and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, kidney or liver failure, and even death.

5. Oleander

This vibrant shrub is beautiful, but all parts of this plant are toxic to cats, dogs, and horses. If your pet eats any part of an oleander they could experience diarrhea, difficulty breathing, muscle tremors, and possible death.

6. Tulips

All parts of a tulip can cause discomfort for your pet, but the bulb is the most toxic. A pet who has ingested this flower can develop depression of the nervous system, vomiting, drooling, and possible cardiac abnormalities.

7. Daffodil

This spring staple is harmful for both dogs and cats. Although you probably aren’t going to let your dog or cat munch on your pretty flowers, you never know what they are doing when you aren’t around. The bulb of the daffodil is the most toxic part, so dogs that love to dig are at risk. Ingesting daffodils can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and large amounts can cause tremors and cardiac arrhythmias.

8. Japanese Yew

Although this tree has been used to create cancer-treatment drugs, all parts of the yew tree are dangerous for pets to consume. This tree affects the central nervous system of pets, and causes trembling, incoordination, and difficulty breathing. Ingesting this can also cause gastrointestinal upset and possible death.

9. Amaryllis

These vibrant and beautiful perennials are popular in many flower gardens. Unfortunately, they can cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression, and abdominal pain for your pets if ingested.

3 Things Pet Lovers CAN Plant

1. Cat Grass

Although not recommended for every cat, some cats may benefit from having their own stock of grass to munch on. Cat grass has been known to speed up a cat’s digestion process, and also help them manage hairballs. Safe and easy to manage, cat grass is a good alternative to indoor flowers that will make both you and your cat happy.

2. Burro's Tail

Nontoxic to both dogs and cats, the Burro’s Tail is an attractive alternative to many indoor house plants. A type of succulent, the Burro’s Tail is a flowering perennial that produces trailing stems and pink and red flowers in the summer.
3. Maidenhair Fern

This species of fern is perfect for cat owners that struggle with having indoor plants, myself included. The maidenhair fern is nontoxic to cats, which makes it an excellent addition to your garden or home. This isn’t to say you should encourage your cat to munch on the leaves, but it will ease your mind knowing you don’t have to rush to the vet if you discover they have made a snack of your plant.


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