plants bad for dogs and cats

20 Plants in Florida Poisonous for Dogs and Cats

I don’t know about you, but pets are a HUGE part of my life. I’ve got two dogs and two cats – they’re my babies. I do everything I can to keep them safe and healthy. That includes being strategic about where I grow poisonous plants (if I grow them at all).

Unfortunately, it seems like some of the prettiest plants are also the most toxic to pets. While these aren’t the only plants that are poisonous to dogs and cats, they are some of the most popular poisonous plants in Florida.

Take a look through this list to make sure there’s nothing in your garden that can rack up expensive vet bills or even worse…kill your furry friend.

Disclaimer: This list is informational only, and I am not a vet. If you suspect your pet has come into contact with any of these plants, call your vet immediately for further instruction.

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center can be reached 24/7 at (888) 426-4435.

1. Lilies

are lilies poisonous to dogs
Photo Credit: Arie Wubben

There are a ton of different types of lilies: daylilies, amaryllis, Easter lilies, calla lilies, peace lilies…and all of them are toxic to dogs and cats.

Every part of the lily is poisonous, but especially the bulb. If you have a pooch that likes to dig, put a garden fence around your flowerbed. Keep them out and keep them safe.

2. Aloe Vera

is aloe vera toxic to dogs
Photo Credit: Jude Smart

Aloe might be soothing to us, but not so much for your pets. Aloe vera is a mild to moderate toxin for both dogs and cats. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and sometimes tremors and depression if ingested in large amounts.

3. Asparagus Fern

is asparagus fern poisonous to dogs
Phot Credit: cobalt123

The asparagus fern contains a naturally-occurring steroid called sapogenin. This compound is toxic to pets. Skin is especially sensitive to the asparagus fern and can get irritated with continued exposure. The berries are also toxic and can cause vomiting and diarrhea.

4. Philodendron

is philodendron poisonous for dogs
Photo Credit: Severin Candrian

This plant contains a chemical called calcium oxalate. If your pet chews or eats a philodendron, these crystals will irritate their mouth and gut. This can cause bloody drool, which is quite alarming.

In most cases, skin, gum, and stomach irritation is all that happens if your pet eats philodendron. Sometimes, though, philodendron can cause your pet’s airways to swell. It’s always best to check with your vet for guidance.

5. Jade Plant

is jape poisonous for dogs
Photo Credit: Susan Wilkinson

Jade is a popular houseplant, and also seriously poisonous for dogs and cats. Some signs of jade plant poisoning include vomiting, irregular heartbeat, depression, lack of coordination, and even aggression. If you have any suspicion that your pet has eaten a jade plant, call your vet immediately.

Always pick up fallen jade plant leaves before your dog or cat can get to them. A lot of jades are hardy in zones 9-11. If you’re a Floridian and a pet owner, you should think about keeping your jade outside.

6. Chrysanthemum

is chrysanthemum poisonous to dogs
Phot Credit: Yoksel Zok

Chrysanthemums contain a natural insecticide called pyrethrin. This chemical is used in a wide variety of household products such as bug spray, roach killer, and even head lice treatment.

If your dog or cat eats enough chrysanthemum, they might start drooling, vomiting, coughing, or trembling. Chrysanthemum poisoning can be fatal – it’s important to keep your furry friend away from this flower.

7. Oleander

is oleander poisonous for dogs
Photo Credit: Anna Hliamshyna

Oleander may be beautiful, but it’s poisonous for dogs, cats, and humans alike. A human or pet who eats oleander will experience some very serious heart problems. All parts of the plant are toxic. In fact, even the water in a vase filled with oleander can poison you.

Signs of oleander poisoning are irregular heartbeat, nausea, drooling, vomiting, and seizures.

8. Cycad

are cycads poisonous for dogs
Photo Credit: Jose Romeu de Abreu

Cycads (sago palms) are one of the most popular outdoor trees in Florida.

All parts of the tree are toxic, but the seeds are especially poisonous for dogs and cats. Just one or two seeds can kill your pet. A lot of dogs find cycad leaves and seeds to be tasty, so really keep an eye on your pooch while taking them for a walk.

Vomiting, diarrhea, and liver failure are some of the most obvious signs of cycad poisoning.

9. Azalea

are azaleas poisonous to dogs
Photo Credit: Alli Remler

There are more than 1,000 species of azalea. Specifically  , azaleas are a type of rhododendron. Azalea are a popular flowering shrub most commonly found in outdoor landscapes in hardiness zones 6 through 9.

Azalea contains a poison called grayantoxin and just a tiny amount of azalea can make your pet sick. Grayantoxin changes the sodium level inside your dog or cat. This can have devastating effects to their cardiovascular and muscular systems.

Gastrointestinal distress, abnormal heartbeat, weakness, and seizures are signs that your pet may have eaten azalea.

10. Caladium

is caladium poisonous for dogs
Photo Credit: Victor Walters

As is the case with most bulbs, caladium is poisonous to cats and dogs. All parts of the plant are poisonous.

Like philodendron, caladiums contain calcium oxalate. These crystals cause major irritation in your pet’s mouth, on gums, or even cause their airway to swell.

Other signs of caladium poisoning include vomiting, skin irritation, pawing at their face and mouth, and bloody drool.

11. Jatropha

is the florida pistachio poisonous
Photo Credit: Hafiz Issadeen

If you eat jatropha, you’re going to get sick. This is more than a little confusing because jatropha is also known as the “Florida pistachio” and “Barbados nut.” All parts of the jatropha are toxic to humans and pets and cause severe vomiting if eaten.

This is a popular evergreen in tropical areas, especially South Florida and parts of Central Florida.

12. Carolina Jessamine

is carolina jessamine poisonous to dogs
Photo Credit: Carol

Carolina jessamine is South Carolina’s state flower. All parts of the plant are toxic, but the flowers are especially dangerous – kids and dogs are drawn to their extraordinarily sweet smell. Eating just one flower can be fatal.

The toxin in Carolina jessamine is called gelsemium. Signs of jessamine poisoning are muscle weakness, paralysis, vomiting, seizures, difficulty breathing, and death.

13. Diffenbachia

is diaffenbachia posionous to dogs
Photo Credit: Sri Yuniana

Diffenbachia is another plant that contains oxalate crystals. Stomach issues, pawing at the mouth, skin irritation, and swelling of airways are all signs that your pet may have eaten this popular houseplant.

14. Bird of Paradise

is bird of paradise poisonous for dogs
Photo Credit: Keith Garner

The bird of paradise is a Florida favorite. This tropical flower looks like a bird in flight when in bloom. This unique flower also contains something called hydrocyanic acid – a toxin that can kill your pet.

Hydrocyanic acid moves quickly through your dog or cat, so make sure to call your vet immediately if you think they’ve eaten bird of paradise. Symptoms can start in just 20 minutes.

Signs of bird of paradise poisoning are stomach distress, increased heart rate, weakness, tremors, lack of coordination, and dehydration.

15. Holly

is holly poisonous for dogs
Photo Credit: Nannette Turner

Holly contains the toxin saponin, which can cause some pretty nasty stomach issues for your dog or cat. Signs of holly poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, and dehydration.

Although the entire holly plant is toxic, you need to be especially careful with the berries. If you leave holly hung up during the holiday season, the berries will eventually dry up and fall off. The fallen berries are then a prime target for your dog, or even your kid (holly berries are also toxic to humans).

If you plan on using holly to bring in some holiday cheer, it’s best to use it as an outdoor decoration.

16. Elephant Ear

is elephant ear poisonous for dogs
Photo Credit: Danny McKiernan

Go ahead and lump elephant ear in with the philodendron, caladium, and dieffenbachia – like the others, it contains oxalate crystals which irritate the mouth, skin, and GI tract.

17. Lantana

is lantana poisonous to dogs
Photo Credit: Sam

Lantana contains a toxin called pentatricyclic triterpenoid. In most cases, the most lantana will do is make your dog or cat vomit or have diarrhea. If your pet eats enough of it, though, lantana poisoning can cause liver failure or death.

Fatal lantana poisoning is usually only seen in large farm animals ie. horses and cows that are allowed to graze in fields of lantana over a long period of time.

18. Wisteria

is wisteria poisonous for dogs
Photo Credit: Riko S.

Wisteria contains two compounds that are poisonous for pets (and people): lectin and glycoside wistarin. Lectin causes excessive blood clotting and glycoside wistarin causes GI issues.

Some signs of wisteria poisoning are nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, collapse, slowed breathing, stroke, and death.

All parts of the vine are poisonous, but the seeds have the highest concentration of toxins. After a wisteria vine is done blooming, the flowers will fade and go to seed. Then, the seeds drop onto the ground. If you have a wisteria vine, be sure to clean up any fallen seeds before they can be eaten by any pets or kids. Just 5 seeds can be fatal.

19. Morning Glory

are morning glories poisonous to dogs
Photo Credit: Nicholas Wasserberger

Morning glory flowers and seeds contain something called indole alkaloids. These alkaloids include lysergic acid, lysergamide, elymoclavine, and chanoclavine. Some of these compounds are what make up the drug LSD.

If your dog or cat eats morning glories, they might vomit, have diarrhea, lose coordination, and experience hallucinations. Ingestion of enough seeds can be fatal, so always call your vet for advice if you think your pet has eaten morning glory.

20. English Ivy

is english ivy poisonous to dogs
Photo Credit: Haley Gibson

English Ivy is made up of triterpenoid saponins, and it’s poisonous to both dogs and cats. All parts of the plant are poisonous, but the foliage has a higher concentration of toxin than the berries.

Some signs of English ivy poisoning are drooling, diarrhea, abdominal pain, mouth irritation, and swelling of the tongue and lips.

Featured Photo Credit: Andrew S.

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