Common Plants That Can Harm Pets

Most of the plants growing in UK gardens and around the house aren’t harmful to your pets, however some plants are and you need to be aware of them.

Created by David Coton on Thursday, 28th of August, 2014.
Updated on Wednesday, 14th of December, 2016.


The Dogs Trust list of hazardous plants fills eight A4 pages and some caution is required, here's our top ten:

Amaryllis (bulbs)

Lovely flowering plants but ingesting the bulbs may cause an upset stomach, hyperactivity, lethargy, coma and shock. Can be fatal.

Azalea

Can cause nausea, breathing difficulties and could be fatal if a large amount is eaten.

Clematis

A pet's gastrointestinal tract and nervous system might be affected by plant toxins, and dermatitis can also be a problem.

Daffodils (bulbs)

They might be a pretty and welcome sight to welcome the arrival of spring, but they have the potential to damage your pet’s kidneys and can be fatal.    

Foxglove

Very useful in prescribed quantities for humans with certain heart conditions, however ingesting digitalis can cause nausea and vomiting.

Holly

May cause  loss of balance, seizures, tremors and an upset stomach.

Lilies

Lilies are firm favourites, both outdoors and indoors, adorning many household table bouquets but can be harmful if eaten in quantity.   

Poinsettia

If you purchase one of these plants at Christmas beware that the leaves, sap and stem can cause abdominal cramps, delirium, diarrhoea, even blindness if the sap gets into your pet's eyes. 

Rhododendron

Another widely loved plant with hidden dangers - rhododendron can cause breathing problems, nausea and can be fatal.

Spider Plant

These popular houseplants cause vomiting in both cats and dogs, which, if untreated, can progress to kidney failure. 

Incidents of serious poisoning in UK pets are quite rare and some of these dangerous plants have to be eaten in large quantities to have any effect. 

If you suspect your pet has eaten something harmful (on purpose or by accident when they are grooming) take them straight to the vet.

A good precautionary measure is to make a list of any plants in your garden and neighbouring area that could be potentially hazardous. Then, if you suspect poisoning, you can take this list with you.

The full list of harmful plants can be accessed on the Dogs Trust website.

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