5 Common Plants that are Poisonous to Pets

5 Common Plants that are Poisonous to Pets

Silly me, I thought that our dog was smart enough not to eat things that were bad for him.

We spent a lot of time baby proofing our house and backyard before our tiny twin boy bundles of insomnia arrived.  I envisioned a battleground of hazards that they would encounter upon crawling and walking. 

Then came our dog Thunder.  We love him and treat him like a member of our family.  But, I have to admit that other than checking for holes in the fence… our puppy prep was limited.

Silly me, I thought that the dog was smart enough not to eat things that were bad for him.  As I stood over the grisly remains of my once fabulous pink peep toe sling backs… I realized my faith was misplaced.  It was time to treat my pup like a family member and remove all of the possible dangers before he discovered them.

Not being a horticulturalist,  I was surprised by how many common landscaping plants are dangerous.   Here is a list of 5 surprisingly poisonous plant that you probably have growing in your backyard.  For a complete list check out the ASPCA site.

1. Aloe Verauntitled (2)

This little gem is fantastic for treating minor burns but is toxic to cats and dogs. There is nothing better than aloe vera gel; it is antibacterial and deeply healing for burns in part because of aloectin B, which stimulates the immune system.  If you keep an aloe plant on hand for burns, make sure to keep it out of reach for your pets.
Symptoms to be on the look out for:

  • Vomiting, depression, diarrhea, anorexia, tremors, change in urine color.

2. Begoniaorange-begonia-3880-2560x1600

Talk about foolproof: begonias are about as easy as it gets. They do well in a variety of conditions. However, this popular garden and container plant is toxic to both dogs and cats. The tubers are the most toxic part.
Symptoms to be on the lookout for:

  • Oral irritation, intense burning and irritation of mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty swallowing.

3. Ivy10031647-Ivy-leafs-on-a-brick-wall-background-Stock-Photo

I would never think that a dog or a cat would look at a wall of ivy and think “yummy”. But then I didn’t think that my fabulous pink peep toe sling backs look tasty either… so that shows you what I know.   Ivy foliage is more toxic than its berries. Research has shown that ivy berries contain saponins which can cause a burning sensation in the throat and gastronomical upset with vomiting and diarrhea
Symptoms to be on the look out for: 

  • Vomiting, abdominal pain, hypersalivation, diarrhea.

4. Milkweed1404255659.full

We love monarch butterflies here on the Central Coast of California.  Each year thousands of vibrant orange and black Monarch Butterflies flock to Pismo Beach, seeking shelter from the freezing northern winters.  Our colony is one of the largest in the nation, hosting an average of 25,000 butterflies over the last five years.  For the sake of the monarchs I really hope you will plant milkweed in your garden, but…unfortunately, it’s very toxic to dogs and cats.
Symptoms to be on the lookout for: 

  • Vomiting, profound depression, weakness, anorexia, and diarrhea are common; may be followed by seizures, difficulty breathing, rapid, weak pulse, dilated pupils, kidney or liver failure, coma, respiratory paralysis and death.

5. Tomatoesuntitled (3)

There is no better addition to a fresh summer salad than sweet cherry tomatoes.  Simple to grow, great flavor, and a great summer project for kids.  Tomatoes are perfect, but not so perfect for your dog or cat. Although tomato plants probably won’t prove lethal for your pet, they can provide a good dose of discomfort.
Symptoms to be on the look out for: 

  • Hypersalivation, inappetence, severe gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea, drowsiness, CNS depression, confusion, behavioral change, weakness, dilated pupils, slow heart rate.

Unless you want to put your pets in a giant bubble, you will not be able to protect them from every hazard.  Pets and kids will put some strange things in their mouths.  Being forewarned is being forearmed so at least you know a few of the plant to keep out of reach for your furry family members.


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3 thoughts on “5 Common Plants that are Poisonous to Pets

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