Many of us take pride in outdoor gardens and plants, but did you know that many common plants are toxic to our pets? Depending on the type of plant, the amount ingested and in some cases the weight of the pet, an innocent trip outdoors by a pet with a penchant for munching plants can have serious consequences. The ASPCA has categorized 1026 common plants and lists any potential toxicity danger, but here are a few of the more common plants pet owners should know about.

Sago Palms, also known as Coontie Palm, Cardboard Palm, cycads and zamias contain Cycasin, which is toxic to cats and dogs. It can cause vomiting, increased thirst, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, bruising, coagulopathy, liver damage, liver failure and even death.

Azaleas, as well as other rhododendron species, contains Grayanotoxin, which is toxic to cats and dogs. If ingested, Grayantoxin can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, general weakness and, if the dose is strong enough, even death.

Tulips are common in many yards, but they are toxic to cats and dogs because they contain Tulipalin A and B. This is more greatly concentrated in the bulbs, and can cause problems from drooling to convulsions and cardiac issues.

Numerous members of the lily family are highly toxic to cats, resulting in severe kidney damage even if only a small amount is eaten. Daylilies, though a member of a different botanical family, are also toxic.

Hydrangeas are also very popular, but contain Cyanogenic Glycoside, which is toxic to cats and dogs. Symptoms after ingestion range from oral irritation to gastrointestinal distress to depression for pets who eat them.

Autumn Crocus, also known as Meadow Saffron, contains Colchicine and other alkaloids, which are serious threats to both dogs and cats. Ingestion can lead to bloody vomiting, diarrhea, shock, multi-organ damage and bone marrow suppression.

Dahlias, which are incredibly popular in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, can cause mild skin and gastrointestinal problems, so they should be out of the reach of sensitive pets.

English Ivy, also known as Branching Ivy, Glacier Ivy, Needlepoint Ivy, Sweetheart Ivy and California Ivy, is popular both for landscaping and as a houseplant. If digested it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, pain and excess salivation in cats and dogs. The foliage is more toxic than the berries.

Considering that Foxglove goes by the botanical name of Digitalis, also the name of a commonly used heart medication, it’s not surprising that it can result in cardiac arrhythmias, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, cardiac failure, and even death.

If you suspect your pet has gotten into something it shouldn’t have, contact your vet immediately.

Do you have questions about your pets’ health? Contact Pet Wow’s mobile Home Veterinary Care at 513-738-9691 or email us at Our experienced staff can help you. We have served the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area for more than 20 years. For more pet care tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or LinkedIn!

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