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Common Plants Toxic to Your Dog

Some of our most beautiful and useful plants are deadly to our pets (cats as well as dogs), so it pays to be aware of the risks and keep your pets well away from them.

This list contains plants that have been reported as having systemic effects on animals and/or intense effects on the gastrointestinal tract. Please note that the information contained this list is not meant to be all-inclusive, but rather a spotlight on the most frequently encountered plants.

We recommend fencing off potentially dangerous plants from puppies and kittens especially. Be very wary of pups and kittens near any indoor plant, and any cut flowers (especially liliums for cats). Try to train your pets not to chew any garden plants or indoor plants. If you suspect a plant has made your pet ill, don’t delay – take it straight to the vet, along with a sample of the plant, for identification. 

If you think your pet has ingested a toxic plant, it may be a medical emergency so please call your local veterinarian or a vet hospital.

Plants Dangerous to Pets

• Anemone or windflower (A. coronaria)
• Bulbs (onions, plus all the spring-flowering favourites, such as daffodils, tulips, jonquils, and snowdrops)
 Caladium bicolor (indoor foliage plant)
• Castor oil plant (Ricinus communis)
• Chalice vine (Solandra maxima)
• Cherry tree (Prunus serrulata)
• Clematis (the large-flowered hybrids)
• Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster glaucophylla)
• Cycads (seeds on female plants)

Daffodils (Narcissus varieties)
• Daphne (various)
• Delphiniums
• Devil’s ivy (Epipremnum aureum)
• Dicentra (Dicentra spectabilis)
• Dieffenbachia
• Euphorbias (poinsettias, Euphorbia characias ssp. wulfenii, etc)
• Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)
• Golden Robinia (R. pseudoacacia ‘Frisia’)
• Hellebore (Helleborus orientalis)
• Hemlock (Conium maculatum)
• Holly (Ilex varieties)
• Hydrangeas
• Indoor Plants: many are poisonous to pets, so it’s wise to keep all indoor plants out of the reach of puppies and kittens especially, but also adult dogs and cats.
• Iris
• Jerusalem cherry (Solanum pseudocapsicum)
• Jasmine (not clear which ones)

Lantana, of the Verbenaceae family
• Lantana, also called Red sage, Wild sage, Yellow Sage, and Shrub Verbena. (L. camara, the common one)
• Lilac (Syringa varieties)
Liliums: All parts of the plant are particularly toxic to kittens and cats, causing kidney failure and death; reactions are not quite so severe in dogs.
• Mountain laurel (Kalmia varieties)
• Mushrooms (not clear which ones)
• Nightshade (Solanum nigrum)
• Oaks (Quercus varieties – the acorns are toxic to pets)
• Oleanders (Nerium oleander, Thevetia peruviana)
• Philodendron (many, it appears)
• Pine (e.g., savin, Juniperus sabina, also several others)
• Poinciana (not the tropical tree, but the shrub Caesalpinia pulcherrima)
• Potato plants and green potatoes
• Privet (Ligustrum varieties)
• Pyracantha (unclear which one)
• Rhododendron (including azaleas)
• Rhubarb (presumably the leaves)
• Snowdrops (Leucojum)
• Snowflakes (Leucojum)
 Solandra maxima (chalice vine)
 Stephanotis (Madagascar jasmine) (consumption of the seed pods is especially deadly to dogs)
• Strelitzias (Strelitzia reginae, S. nicolai)
• Sweet peas
• Toadstools
• Tomato Plants

• Tulips
• Walnuts (mouldy nuts near the ground)

• Wandering Jew (Tradescantia albiflora) is very common in gardens especially in moist, shady areas. It is a horrible weed that will grow in near total shade and almost can’t be killed.
• Wisteria
• Yellow oleander (Thevetia peruviana)
• Yew (Taxus varieties)

By being aware of these dangers and taking proper precautions, you can keep your favourite plants and pets safe. Most pesticides, insecticides and lawn fertilisers are also toxic to your pets. 

You can also find a comprehensive list on the Pet Poison Hotline website (unfortunately the 24/7 hotline) is only available in the US).

If you only get one chemical to rid your garden of pests, you can safely use PestOil or Eco-Oil (for citrus leaf miner, scales, aphids, thrips, spider mites and white flies) as these products are very effective and present no danger to your pets or the environment.

Another lesser known danger around the garden is Cocoa Mulch used as garden mulch.

Cocoa Mulch is also known as 'Cocoa Bean Mulch' or 'Cocoa Shell Mulch' and is used as a mulch in home gardens in some countries. It is a by-product of the manufacture of cocoa powder and other chocolate products. There have been several reports of pets being poisoned by cocoa mulch in other countries such as the United States and United Kingdom. 

It is generally not available in Australia however adequate precautions should be taken. Please note that there are generally no label warnings about the potential toxicity to pets on the packaging of cocoa mulch so owners may not be aware of the serious risk these products pose to their pets.

If you live more than 5 mn away from your local vet, we recommend you do keep a Pet First Aid Kit at home
There are many Pet First Aid / CPR courses available around Australia and they usually take only 3-4 hours at the week-end. Why not check out if there's one near you?

For further information on this topic, we suggest the following book:

Poisonous 2 Pets by Nicole O'Kane is a colourful book, which allows rapid access to visual and written information about plants which are poisonous to dogs and cats. It enables owners to identify the dangerous plant and know what to do if their pet is poisoned. 

The book outlines potential toxicity to pets by categorising the plants into four levels with each toxic level identified by colours found on the edge of each page. However, prevention is better than cure and the information in this book also helps pet owners and garden designers "poison proof" the home and garden.

Article last updated 25th February 2017

1 comment

  1. Thank you so much for writing this, it is so useful!