Plants are pretty, and while filling our homes and gardens with them brightens our days, some plants can be toxic to our pets. If you know for sure your pet has ingested a poisonous plant, you should call your veterinarian immediately. They may have you come in for an urgent appointment, or have you seek emergency veterinary care. Below are five of the most common plants that are dangerous for your pets. 

Five Plants That Are Toxic to Pets

1: Lilies

In all their forms, lilies are dangerous to pets. Every inch of this plant can cause problems—the roots, stems, leaves, petals, pollen, and even the water in the vase are dangerous, especially for cats. Lilies can cause extreme distress and even death, so it is best to keep all types of lilies away from pets. 

  • Easter lilies and True lilies or Daylilies are the most dangerous. Eating them can cause kidney failure within 72 hours for cats and some dogs.
  • Gloriosa lilies can cause multisystem organ failure.
  • Lily of the valley causes abnormal heartbeat.
  • Calla lilies and peace lilies have insoluble crystals of calcium that can tear delicate oral tissues, the esophagus, and the stomach and intestines if ingested. 
  • Peruvian lilies cause gastrointestinal upset, vomiting, and diarrhea. 

2: Sago Palms

These pretty plants are often used to add tropical vibes to an outdoor deck or pool area and many people bring them indoors during the winter. However, this plant is toxic to pets. The nuts are the most toxic part, and also the most accessible for pets to consume. Sago plants cause liver damage, which can become life-threatening within 24 to 72 hours. 

3: Daffodils 

From the unsprouted bulb to the pretty petals, every part of this spring flower is dangerous for your pets. Lycorine is the most volatile of the toxins in this plant, and eating daffodils can cause severe stomach upset. The vomiting and diarrhea can often be so intense that they lead to dehydration, which can be deadly for pets, especially smaller ones. 

4: Azaleas 

Also known as rhododendrons, azaleas are toxic to pets in high doses. Ingesting small amounts may cause stomach trouble, but large quantities can cause cardiovascular problems and seizures.

5: Tulips

While tulips are toxic enough to cause stomach upset, especially for cats, the most dangerous parts are the bulbs. If you like to garden or plant these pretty flowers in pots inside, beware of the bulbs. If swallowed, large pieces can cause intestinal blockages in pets. 

Symptoms of Poisoning in Pets

If you suspect that your pet has been nibbling on something harmful to their system, keep a close eye on them for these symptoms: 

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea 
  • Lethargy
  • Changes in appetite and thirst 
  • Sudden changes in temperament

Because these symptoms are similar to those of many other illnesses, it is important to know if any of the plants in your home or garden are dangerous. This list only covers the most popular plants that are hazardous to pets. We recommend researching any plants before you bring them into your home, and keeping your pets away from things like gifted floral arrangements or houseplants if you don’t know what they are.

Emergency Veterinary Care in Gilbert, Arizona

Whether you need an emergency, urgent, or a regular care appointment, we are fully equipped to assist you here at East Valley Animal Hospital. If you are concerned that your pet is experiencing an emergency, give us a call right away.




Images used under creative commons licence – commercial use (4/1/24). Photo by vadim kaipov on Unsplash.