Beware of poisonous plants!

It’s surprising what dogs can be drawn to nibble on, and whilst finding a hole in the exact Sunday supplement you were about to settle down with is certainly irritating, at least it is unlikely to cause any serious issues for your pet. Cats are more fastidious eaters, and therefore it is less common for them to eat things that they shouldn’t – but it definitely does happen!

Unfortunately many common plants and flowers are toxic to cats and dogs, and so it is always wise to prevent your furry companions from eating anything other than grass (which is hard to avoid!) when you are out and about. Of course many berries and fungi found in the wild can be poisonous too.

We have put together the following list of common offenders that you might want to avoid having in your home and garden. Fortunately many of these leaves and flowers do not taste good, and therefore it is unlikely that your pet will ingest sufficient quantities to cause serious harm – but why take the risk?!

Also you will potentially find conflicting information about many of these plants and flowers in terms of whether they are harmful to animals, if so to which animals, how harmful they are, etc. Our view is very much ‘better safe than sorry’ and we hope that seems reasonable?

Lilies are especially dangerous for cats with the potential to cause kidney failure - AVOID!!!

Lilies are especially dangerous for cats with the potential to cause kidney failure – AVOID!!!

  • Amaryllis bulbs
  • Asparagus fern
  • Azalea
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Cyclamen
  • Daffodil bulbs
  • Delphiniums
  • Dieffenbachia / Dumb cane
  • Foxgloves
  • Hemlock
  • Hyacinth
  • Hydrangea
  • Ivy
  • Laburnum
  • Lilies. Extremely toxic to cats, causing potentially fatal kidney failure
  • Lupin
  • Mistletoe
  • Morning glory
  • Nightshade
  • Oleander
  • Poinsettia
  • Rhododendron
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Sweet pea
  • Tulip bulbs
  • Umbrella plant
  • Wisteria
  • Yew

The list given here features some of the most common problem plants, but it is by no means exhaustive.

More detailed lists of poisonous plants can be found at and
A comprehensive list of plants to avoid feeding your rabbit can be found HERE.

The signs of poisoning can range from a mild bout of diarrhoea to lethargy, vomiting, fitting and even death in the most serious cases. Therefore if you suspect that your pet has ingested anything unusual, please seek advice from your vet immediately.

It is usually the berries, fruit and pollen of such plants that are most toxic, although exposure to the sap can also cause skin irritation and allergic reactions. This is actually the most likely outcome of contact with problem plants, as fortunately cases of plant poisoning are relatively rare in the UK. Symptoms here can include sneezing, wheezing, rashes, blistering, itching and hypersensitivity to sunlight. Once again, it’s advisable to speak to your vet if you suspect that your pet is suffering with any of these.

AND please rememvber that although fruits not plants/flowers, grapes, raisins, currants and sultanas can cause kidney failure in some dogs and we recommend avoiding all forms of these fruits (cooked, uncooked, organic, inorganic, etc.) in all dogs.

Until next time very best wishes,

The Ralph Site, non-profit pet loss support

Please note: The Ralph Site is not affiliated with the third-party organisations in any of the links shared here, and the views, ideas and suggestions expressed in this and other blogs are simply shared with the intention of helping you, our friends, take care of the special animals in your lives.

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