Top Plants That Are Poisonous To Pets

Many people are unaware the dangers that some plants, many common while others are not so common; the dangers that plants can oppose on our dogs. Beings as there are many plants that are poisonous to pets, I have broken down a small list containing the top most poisonous to pets.

Essential Oils (many come from plants)

Unlike humans, many animals are sensitive to essential oils. As the using and diffusing of essential oils has become quite popular in the past few years, it is important to know what oils can be harmful or even fatal to your animals.

Specifically speaking, cats are extremely sensitive to essential oils; some are even poisonous.

The main reason essential oils are so dangerous to cats is due to the difference in human and cat livers. Their livers don’t produce the same enzymes that would allow their bodies to breakdown certain chemicals in essential oils, like we can.

When they are exposed to specific oils on a regular basis, toxins will begin to build up in their livers; in turn this will make them extremely sick very, very fast.

Oils to Avoid

Any oils that have phenol and monoterpene hydrocarbons are specifically toxic to cats.

  • Cinnamon
  • Clove
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Citrus Oils
  • Pine Oils
  • Lavender
  • Bergamot
  • Tea Tree
  • Eucalyptus
  • And many more, these are just a few more commonly used oils to avoid.

Water Hemlock

(Cicuta maculate)
 This plant has been known to be the “most violently toxic plant in North America”. I think this will go without saying but yes that means for your pet as well. The Water Hemlock is a wildflower, large in size and belongs in the carrot family.

The reason this plant is so deadly is because it is infused with deadly cicutoxin, mostly in its roots. When it is ingested the symptoms come on quite fast.

What to look for:

  • Convulsions that can be very painful
  • Death is common when ingested
  • Cramping in the abdomen
  • Nausea
  • Animals that survive, people even, have long-lasting tremors or get amnesia.

Autumn Crocus

These plants grow in the springtime and are poisonous to your fur babies so be careful the flowers you plant! This plant is also referred to as the Meadow Saffron or Naked Lady. These are very toxic to animals and can show a variety of symptoms and signs when ingested by your pet.

What to look for:

  • Severe drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea (uncontrollable bowels)
  • Lack of appetite or not eating at all
  • Blood in their stool
  • Black or tarry like stool
  • Respiratory failure
  • Seizures (central nervous system signs)
  • And in some cases, if it is too late, death will occur

It is very important to remember with this plant, after ingested it may take days for the signs to show up, some may come on immediately but that is not always the case.


The daffodil flower contains something called lycorine; this is an alkaloid that has properties that triggers severe vomiting. The toxic and poisonous part of this plant comes from the bulb, plant or actual flower itself.

What to look for:

  • Drooling
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Uncontrollable bowels and or diarrhea
  • Heart rate increased
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Breathing will become abnormal
  • Cardiac arrhythmias

It is vital to seek veterinary assistance if you feel your pet has ingested this flower or is showing these signs or symptoms.

Sago Palm

These palms are typically and naturally found in tropical/subtropical environments; these plants are also commonly found inside houses. Therefore, they can pose a threat to your animals. They are severely poisonous. The seeds and nuts are the most poisonous part of the plant.

Signs or symptoms can occur anywhere from fifteen minutes to many hours after the plant is ingested. Central nervous system signs and liver failure can be apparent within 2-3 days after ingestion.  Aggressive treatment is vital as soon as symptoms show up; because aggressive treatment still only has a 50/50% chance for survival.

What to look for:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargic behavior
  • Lack of appetite or not eating at all
  • Abnormal fluid buildup in the abdomen
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin)
  • Black-tarry stool

With this plant it is more than important to seek IMMEDIATE medical attention to potentially save your pets life.

Christmas Tree

The oils that the Christmas tree (fir tree) produces can irritate the mouth and stomach. When ingested the tree needles can cause gastrointestinal issues such as, irritation, obstruction or even puncturing.

The water that is used to nourish your Christmas tree to keep it alive can also be very poisonous to your animals. Because this water contains bacteria, molds, fertilizers it can make your animal very sick, very fast.

What to look for:

  • Excessive vomiting
  • Excessive drooling

As for pet owners, as pretty as they might be, these trees can cause your pets to become extremely ill in a short period of time.

Holly and Mistletoe

Another nice and popular holiday plant, that’s extremely poisonous to your animals. The plans and even the berries on these plants are more toxic than the poinsettia.

Mistletoe contains many substances that are toxic to not just cats but dogs as well; if a decent or large amount of this plant is ingested seizures and death may follow.

Mistletoe is commonly known for causing:

  • Severe intestinal issues
  • Upset stomachs
  • Sudden and severe drop in their blood pressure
  • Breathing problems
  • Hallucinations or unusual behavior

If you must have these plants for the holidays, pet parents should keep them out of reach of animals or out of the house completely. Even when these plants are dried, they are still just as poisonous to your fur babies.

What to look for:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive drooling
  • Abdomen pain

As pet owners we love our fur babies and correct me if I’m wrong, but it is our responsibility to care for them in the best way possible. We are their care takers; after all they are our four-legged children.

As pet owners or caretakers, we should always be aware of what we could be exposing our animals to; you know your animals’ behavior better than anyone so be cautious of what plants to have around your house to avoid any illnesses.

Remember this is just a small list and if your pet has any of these signs or you’re concerned your pet might have ingested something it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Emma Thompson

Hi, I'm Emma Thompson. Welcome to The Pet Town! I'm a Pet lovers like you and please feel free to get in touch with any questions. Enjoy your stay!

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