Many of the tasty veggies in your garden are toxic if ingested by your pets or livestock. This is a guide about garden plants that can be toxic to pets.
At times it seems as though our pets like gardening just about as much as we do. They love to stay close to us when we are out working outside. And sometimes all that beautiful black dirt is just too irresistible to pass up digging up and rolling around in. Most of us are familiar with at least some of the houseplants that can be harmful to pets, but there are a few plants from the garden that can harm your pets, too.
God bless their work, I couldn't do it. This short list of potentially toxic garden plants is not meant to be an exhaustive list. It is just a guide. The plants listed here are commonly grown in vegetable gardens, and do not include the hundreds of potentially toxic trees, shrubs, flowers or houseplants. The toxic effects of these plants vary with the species, age and health of each animal and the time of year, and growth conditions/stages of the plants. Some of the types of pets that may be affected by these plants include; dogs, cats, birds, fish, goats, mice, rabbits, horses and other livestock.
This information has been compiled from a number of credible sources including the ASPCA, the AVMA, the University of Illinois and the Canadian Poisonous Plant Information System. As with all issues regarding the health of your pets, it is best to consult with your veterinarian if you have questions regarding the potential toxicity of a specific plant.
Avocado (fruit and pits): This common food does all kinds of weird things to a number of different animals. Ingesting it causes death to the mammary tissues in goats and heart damage in cattle, mice, rabbits, fish and birds. Birds that ingest even a small amount of avocado should be treated immediately to prevent possible death. Cats and dogs may show signs of intestinal distress and should be watched closely for heart related symptoms.
Onions (and garlic): These two are in the same family and can cause allergic reactions and anemia in livestock, dogs, and especially in cats. Severe poisoning can be fatal.
Potatoes (leaves, flowers, and immature fruits): The entire potato plant contains a toxic substance called glycoalkaloids, but the skin, eyes and sprouts generally develop the most toxic levels. Green colored potatoes should be discarded, and skins and sprouts being composted should be buried and kept away from all domestic pets, livestock and wild animals.
Radishes (leaves and seeds): Can cause the break down of red-blood cells and weight loss in goats and other livestock.
Tomatoes (leaves, flowers and immature fruits): As members of the nightshade family, tomatoes can cause serious heart, nervous system and intestinal problems in cats and dogs. This is especially true of the immature fruit, which becomes less toxic as it ripens.
Chives: chives have been known to be toxic to horses when leaves are ingested during growth in early spring.
Horseradish: Under normal circumstances, horseradish does not pose a threat to most animals. When ground up for use as a condiment, however, it may cause irritation to their mucous membranes.
Grapes (including raisins): Grapes and raisins have been known to cause kidney damage and even complete kidney failure in dogs within 24 hours of ingestion. Their effect on cats and other animals are unknown.
Rhubarb (leaves): Causes oral irritation and intestinal and kidney damage in dogs and cats. The leaves are also toxic to pigs and goats.
Exposure to pesticides and herbicides can be extremely toxic to animals that live or exercise in areas near their use-including you! Use organic controls whenever possible, and if you decide to use chemicals, be sure to keep them stored safely away from children and animals.
Visible signs of animal poisoning can include refusal of food, swollen tongue, pale gums or tongue, diarrhea, abdominal pain, muscle weakness, convulsions, and severe or persistent vomiting. As most pet owners know, it is common for dogs and cats to vomit after eating or chewing on plants. Persistent or severe vomiting, however, could be a sign of something more serious.
If your pet appears to be showing signs of plant poisoning, consult with your veterinarian immediately. Identify the plant if possible, and bring along a sample of it to give to the veterinarian.
The garden plants listed above should be kept out of your animals diet. When tying dogs and cats outside, be sure their tether isn't long enough to reach garden plants or make sure they are supervised if roaming free near the garden.
If necessary, erect sufficient fencing to keep animals out of the garden and construct special outdoor play areas for cats and dogs. Bury potentially harmful plants in the compost pile to prevent animals from consuming them.
My year and a half old black lab 2 days ago collapsed and had a seizure in front of me, I rushed him to the vet not knowing what or if he had gotten into. The vet thought it may be pancreatitis cause he began to vomit after arriving there. Thankfully they decided to keep him there to monitor him, about 2 am I received a phone call that he had gone into a lethal cardiac rhythm called ventricular tachycardia with a heart rate over 300 beats per minute and they were having a difficult time converting his rhythm, thankfully they did. They kept asking if he could have ingested something in the yard, I had just moved into a new house a few days prior so I said anything is possible. Long story short I found berries on a vine growing from the neighbours yard, looked it up on the net to find its name was bittersweet nightshade. Notified the vet and was told that that was what he had to of ingested due to all of his signs and symptoms. It is a very deadly weed for both animals and children. Please be aware of what they look like cause I don't want anyone to ever go through what I have gone through in the past 48 hours. Like I said, keep children away from them as well because what I have read is that it takes as little as 3 of these berries to kill a child.
Editor's Note: Here is a picture of it and information about it:
I have a house Rabbit and it's eaten a lily that that we keep in a pot. Will this do the rabbit any harm?
The mention of avocado really blows my mind. My Yorkie was quite ill last summer and we never did find out what caused all the problems including tremors; which by the way, are now gone. I tried a puppy food at Petsmart which contained avocado. I did end up bringing it back because she didn't like it anyway. Now I am wondering if that is what made her sick. Can't remember the brand but will go to Petsmart now and look for it. I will know it when I see it. I have her on food purchased from the vet and she is doing great.
I double checked on the food that has avocados and it is Avoderm. Thought pet owners would like to know.
This is a guide about plants that are harmful to dogs. Keeping your canine friends in a safe environment is important to all dog owners.
Is clover poisonous to my puppies he ate a lot of it at the park today?
By Dmb from NM
Poison plants can prove to be very dangerous if your puppy is allowed to chew on them. Being forewarned is being forearmed. Here is a list of dangerous plants provided by The American Humane Society:
Apple Seeds (Cyanide)
Cherry Pits (cyanide)
Crown of Thorns
Dieffenbachia (houseplant in colder areas)
Dumb Cane ( " " " " " )
Japanese Yew Jasmine (berries)
Oleander (even the smoke from burning this plant is poison)
Snow on the Mountain
Just because a plant is NOT listed here of course does not necessarily mean you should allow your pup or adult dog to eat it or chew on it regularly. As we know, puppies chew indiscriminately during teething. They should always be under supervision outdoors - and all indoor houseplants kept out of reach.
If your dog becomes ill suddenly - with vomiting and/or diarrhea with weakness and/or difficulty breathing, and there is evidence that the dog has chewed on the leaves of ANY plant, get that animal to a vet with several samples of the leaves (or berries or flowers or bulbs or seeds) that were eaten.
New ASPCA Poison Control number manned 24/7 by veterinarians:
(888) 4ANI-HELP or (888) 426-4435
The NAPCC notes that different body weights, different breeds, quantity and kind of plant ingested, age of the dog, and the dog's current health status (pregnant bitch, for example, or an older dog with other health problems) indicate that each possible poison situations is different.
The organization recommends, for the reason above, that you should call them or your vet before doing anything. If you know exactly what the dog ate, and if the ingestion was within the hour, they may recommend vomiting. However, inducing vomiting is NOT appropriate for all types of poisoning.
Other general recommendations include: fill the dog's stomach with food to prevent damage from vomiting; then, give two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide by mouth. This should cause the dog to vomit within 20 minutes. The dose may be repeated one time if the first dosage doesn't bring on vomiting.
Epsom salts and Ipecac syrup are NOT recommended by the NAPCC.
If the ingestion occurred more than one hour prior to discovery, or if the dog is already showing signs of poisoning (vomiting, weakness, difficulty breathing), you should take your dog immediately to your veterinarian. Take with you samples of the vomit, diarrhea, and a large portion of the plant you think the dog ate.
I found another list of poisonous plants to dogs:
and clover IS on that list. I would call my vet right away and ask their advice, you just don't want to take any chances!
I was just about to buy a sago palm, but now I won't since Sampson 2 still chews on everything. They are toxic to dogs.
When choosing house and garden plants, many pet owners want to first check to see if they might be toxic to their pets. The ASPCA has a great page on their website that lists both toxic and non-toxic plants and lets you sort by dogs, cats, and horses.