Pet-Toxic Plants

Hundreds of common garden plants are potentially harmful to animals.

By Ilene Sternberg


4 Plants Toxic to Dogs
Azalea (Rhododendron spp.). Ingestion of just a few leaves can cause digestive upset, drooling, loss of appetite, weakness, leg paralysis, or even death.

Apple (Malus spp.). Seeds contain cyanogenic glycosides (cyanide). Ingesting enough seeds can provide a fatal dose.

Grape (Vitis spp.). Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, increased drinking, abdominal pain, and kidney failure. Even if consumed in low quantities over a period of time, the result can be fatal.

Cherry, plum, peach (Prunus spp.). Leaves and seeds contain cyanogenic glycosides, which can cause dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, shock, and death.

4 Plants Toxic to Cats
Ivy (Hedera spp.). Leaves and berries can cause stomach irritation, diarrhea, coma, or death.

Tulip (Tulipa spp.). These bulbs can damage a cat's mouth and esophagus and cause vomiting, severe diarrhea, and abnormal heart rhythms. Hyacinths and daffodils are also harmful.

Castor bean (Ricinus communis). All parts, but mostly seeds, if chewed, will cause nausea, abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, excessive thirst, muscle twitching, convulsions, or coma.

Larkspur (Consolida ajacis). Plants and seeds can cause digestive upset, nervous excitement, or depression. Potentially fatal.