5 Common Plants That Are Poisonous to Dogs and Cats

How many are in your yard right now?

  • We don't know for sure why pets have a tendency to eat plants, but experts believe that, like toddlers, dogs and cats may just want to explore their environment with their mouths.
  • You can pet-proof your backyard by using temporary barriers like chicken wire to keep puppies and kittens from potentially dangerous plants during their teething stage.
  • If you suspect your pet has ingested anything poisonous, immediately contact your local veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435. For a list of toxic plants, visit aspca.org


Also known as: hortensia, hills of snow, seven bark

Toxic to: dogs and cats

Cause: cyanogenic glycoside

Signs: diarrhea and vomiting


Also known as: day lily, Easter lily

Toxic to: cats

Cause: unknown

Signs: decreased activity, loss of appetite and kidney failure

Did you know? Vets treat more cats for poisoning by lilies than by any other source, according to a Pets Best Insurance Services survey.

Sago Palm

Also known as: coontie palm, cycad, zamia

Toxic to: dogs and cats

Cause: cycasin

Signs: vomiting, bloody stool and liver failure


Also known as: narcissus, jonquil, paper white

Toxic to: dogs and cats

Cause: alkaloids

Signs: vomiting and low blood pressure; convulsions and tremors from ingesting large amounts


Also known as: cordatum, heartleaf philodendron

Toxic to: dogs and cats

Cause: calcium oxalate crystals

Signs: intense burning and irritation of the mouth, excessive drooling

Source: Tina Wismer, DVM, medical director at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center

Photos: iStockphoto