Plants That Are Poisonous to Dogs and Cats

Updated April 17, 2017

People often times have plants in gardens or indoors without considering the toxicity to pets. Several plants harmless to humans are hazardous for dogs and cats. With pets' inquisitiveness of pets, having a toxic plant indoors or outside is dangerous. Avoid certain plants known to be hazardous to pets.


A common indoor plant, aloe, is poisonous to pets when ingested. Symptoms of aloe ingestion are vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, tremors and a change in urine colour. Holly plants also harm pets when eaten, causing vomiting, diarrhoea and depression. Yew bush parts may give pets trouble if eaten. Various types of ivy, including English and Boston ivy, and mistletoe, are toxic to dogs and cats. The ingestion of boxwood bush parts causes vomiting and diarrhoea in dogs and cats. Hostas cause similar reactions in pets when eaten. Elephant ear plants, caladium and several ferns also harm pets when eaten.


Lilies, irises and chrysanthemum flowers are hazardous for pets. Poinsettia plants cause irritation, including vomiting, in to cats and dogs when eaten. Tulips, particularly the bulbs, cause vomiting, diarrhoea and salivation. Daisies and chamomile are other flowering plants toxic to pets, as are hibiscus, birds of paradise, oleander and rhododendron. Rhododendron and oleander are especially dangerous and can cause death.

Fruit Plants

Apple trees, including crabapples, feature poisonous parts causing dilated pupils, respiratory problems and shock. Consuming apricot tree stems, leaves and seeds produces the same effects, as apricot and apple tree parts contain cyanide. Citrus trees, such as lemon and grapefruit, can harm pets if parts are consumed. Avocado plant ingestion for dogs and cats produces vomiting and diarrhoea. Fig trees, also known as ficus trees, as well as tomato plants also have toxic chemicals affecting cats and dogs. Ingestion of tomato plants causes pets to over-salivate and have dilated pupils, slowed heart rate, diarrhoea and depression.

Other Hazards

Tree tobacco causes vomiting, paralysis and even death if pets eat parts of the plant. The Texas umbrella tree has toxic berries, and other parts of the tree are hazardous. St. John's wort harms cats and dogs that brush against them, causing dermatitis. The herb thyme causes vomiting and diarrhoea. Onions give pets a bad stomachache and break down the red blood cells of your pet if consumed. While they have no known toxicity to cats, macadamia nuts cause vomiting, tremors and weakness, particularly in the back legs, in dogs.

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About the Author

Ticara Gailliard is a college graduate with a degree in communications/film and video production from the University of Memphis. She has been a writer for over 15 years and has been published in local writing magazines such as "Grandmother Earth." She also edited two books for her high school.