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Plants Which Are Poisonous to Cats and Dogs

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by finy (subscribe)
A retired business owner, my passions are cooking, photography and eating. I use all three of these when I write for which is on HubGarden
Published September 10th 2017
Make sure you keep your best friend safe
Dogs are so precious and such good company for so many people, especially those people who are lonely.

My Pinno (RIP)

There are some basic rules for having a dog and one of them is how to keep a dog safe from your garden. When they are young, pets can get up to a lot of mischief, including digging, and often biting and destroying furniture, and it is often at this stage that many of them will eat anything. To this end, it is up to us, their owners, to make sure we have nothing in or gardens which can harm them.

One of the worst things is that there are so many poisonous plants, some of which we unwittingly grow, without knowing that our dog or cat could die, or get very sick, if they digested any of them. Some of our beautiful plants are deadly to our pets, and we need to be aware of these.

If you suspect that your dog (or cat) has ingested a poisonous plant, do not delay - get them straight to a vet with a sample of the plant. Some plants can make them sick, others can give them life long problems, and as stated, some can actually kill them.

There are many, many species of plants in Australia that are known to be toxic to animals and plenty more cause skin and eye irritation, rashes or discomfort. Plants vary from region to region, but no matter where you are, you need to know what to keep an eye out for if you have a precious pet.

One of the worst of toxic plants is the Lily, which is an extremely devastating plant for cats and which, despite the best treatment from veterinarians, causes many cats to die. There are many different lilies and many are toxic to cats. Even if they only eat a small part of any of the lily plant, this could cause intoxication and death. Signs of ingestion and poisoning usually include depression, lethargy and vomiting.

These come in many colours - Image: By Kor!An,

Some poisonous plants include:
Oleander (Nerium oleander)
Yellow oleander (Thevetia peruviana)
Many bulbs (including daffodils, tulips, jonquils, onions and snowdrops)
Tomato plants
Potato plants and green potatoes
Anemone or windflower (A. coronaria)
Caladium bicolor (indoor foliage plant)
Castor oil plant (Ricinus communis)
Chalice vine (Solandra maxima)
Cherry tree (Prunus serrulata)
Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster glaucophylla)
Cycads (seeds on female plants)
Daffodils (Narcissus varieties)
Delphinums or Larkspur


Devil's ivy (Epipremnum aureum)
Dicentra (Dicentra spectabilis)
Euphorbias (poinsettias)
Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)


Golden Robinia (R. pseudoacacia 'Frisia')
Hellebore (Helleborus orientalis)
Hemlock (Conium maculatum)
Holly (Ilex varieties)
Jerusalem cherry (Solanum pseudocapsicum)
Jasmine (Madagascar - Stephanotis) - seed pods are deadly, especially to dogs

Image: By Forest & Kim Starr,



Lilac (Syringa varieties)
Liliums (mentioned above) - includes the cut flowers you buy
Mountain laurel (Kalmia varieties)
Some Mushrooms
Nightshade (Solanum nigrum or Brunfelsia - one of the worst for dogs )

Image: By Philipp Weigell,

Oaks (Quercus varieties the acorns are toxic to pets)
Pine (eg, savin, Juniperus sabina, also several others)
Poinciana (the shrub Caesalpinia pulcherrima)
Privet (Ligustrum varieties)
Rhododendron (including azaleas)
Rhubarb (the leaves)
Snowdrops (Leucojum)


Snowflakes (Leucojum)
Sweet peas
Solandra maxima (chalice vine)
Wandering jew (causes an allergic skin reaction in almost all dogs)
Walnuts (mouldy nuts near the ground)
Yellow oleander (Thevetia peruviana)
Yew (Taxus varieties)

Some of these are deadly and some are not, and I would suggest you do your own search if you have any of these plants on your property. You can then find out exactly what each one contains and how it will affect your animal.

Apart from plants there are many foods that are also poisonous in varying degrees to dogs and cats, and a few of the more common ones include:

apricot kernels
macadamia nuts (though my dogs have eaten these and not suffered!)
chocolate (another one my dogs have eaten with no ill effect)
grapes, sultanas and raisins

Also be wary of pups and kittens near indoor plants and cut flowers and also check first if you bring these home. It is a good idea to try to train your pets not to chew any garden plants, however this is often a very difficult task, so I find it easier just not to have any of the doubtful plants in my garden.

Pinno and Dash, the blind whippet

There is a book put out by the CSIRO on poisonous plants, and it may well be worth spending the money on this so that you make yourself familiar with the plants you do not want in your garden, and you can see this here.

For a comprehensive list of poisonous plants for pets, please click on this link, however it is an American helpline and some of these do not apply to us here in Australia.

The above is not necessarily the full list of poisonous plants for animals, and is a list of common plants - to find out all of them, please do your own research if you are not sure.


There are far more and owners of larger animals need to do their own investigation, as there are hundreds that could be growing in paddocks or similar, that will harm your animals.
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Why? To make you aware of some of the poisonous plants to pets
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