Although dogs and cats are carnivores, they sometimes will munch on plants that are potentially hazardous. Here’s a list of some common indoor and outdoor plants that are dangerous to pets and a second list of plants that are pet-friendly.
Plants that can be hazardous to pets.
- Azalea can cause vomiting, diarrhea, drooling and possible death.
- Baby’s breath, a filler in floral arrangements, can cause gastrointestinal upset.
- Begonia, especially the tubers, can cause intense mouth irritation and drooling.
- Cyclamen, especially the roots, if your dog digs and gnaws on them, can cause severe vomiting and death.
- Daffodils can cause heart arrhythmia, among other nasty symptoms.
- Gladiolas are popular in floral arrangements. Keep them out of the reach of pets because they can cause vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy.
- Lilies, especially the “true” lilies such as the Tiger, Asian, Japanese Show, Easter, Stargazer and Casa Blanca, can cause kidney failure in cats, but are harmless to dogs.
- Oleander is beautiful and popular in southern climes. It is also deadly, every part of it, to pets and humans.
Sago palms are another southern favorite and can cause liver failure in pets.
- Tulip bulbs are dangerous to dogs that dig and chew. They can cause nervous system problems and convulsions.
- Yew is a very popular evergreen, but can affect a pet’s nervous system, cause difficulty breathing, and cardiac failure.
Plants that are safe for pets.
- Indoors: Palms such as areca, bamboo and ponytail are safe; African violets; Boston ferns; the succulent Burros Tail; and the flowering plant Bromeliad.
- Outdoors: Snapdragons; canna lilies; pineapple sage; coral bells; and creeping rosemary.
What to do if your pet eats a plant? Immediately look up the plant and its level of toxicity to animals. If it is dangerous, take the pet and a sample of the plant to a veterinarian for emergency care.