Poisonous Plants for Dogs, Cats, and Other Pets

November 14, 2018
Cat and Hydrangeas

Do you know which plants might be poisonous to your dog, cat or other pets? Keep your fuzzy friends safe! Here’s a list of common toxic plants.

Are Poinsettias Poisonous?

This is one of our most common questions. Though they have a bad reputation, poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) plants are only mildly toxic to cats and dogs. There can be mild skin, eye, or tummy irritation. Due to the low level of toxicity seen with poinsettia ingestion, medical treatment is rarely necessary unless clinical signs are severe.

See more about harmful holiday plants.

What Plants are Toxic to Cats?

What cats CAN’T eat:

  • Azalea (Rhododendron)
  • Common or cherry laurel
  • Carnations
  • Cyclamens
  • Day lily
  • Dumb cane (Dieffenbachia)
  • Elephant’s ears (Caladium)
  • Forced indoor bulbs such as narcissus (Paper whites)
  • Holly
  • Hydrangeas
  • Mistletoe
  • Oleander
  • Philodendron
  • Rubber plants
  • True Ivy
  • Winter, or false Jerusalem, cherry

Which Plants are Toxic to Dogs?

What dogs CAN’T eat:

  • Elephant’s Ear
  • Castor Bean
  • Chokecherry
  • Christmas Rose
  • Daffodil
  • English Ivy
  • Foxglove
  • Holly
  • Jimsonweed
  • Lantana (houseplant)
  • Morning Glory
  • Mums
  • Nightshade, also called Belladonna
  • Common garden potato (leaves, shoots, sprouts)
  • Rose of Sharon
  • Yew

Which Plants are Toxic to Rabbits and Guinea Pigs?

What they CAN eat:

  • Chickweed
  • Coltsfoot
  • Dandelion
  • Goldenrod
  • Green clover
  • Groundsel
  • Mallow
  • Plantain
  • Yarrow
  • Asters
  • Marigolds
  • Nasturtiums
  • Sunflowers
  • Sweet Peas

What they CAN’T eat:

  • Buttercups
  • Deadly nightshade
  • Scarlet Pimpernel
  • Flowers of leaves from bulbs, such as tulips
  • Lily of the valley
  • Rhododendrons

Which Plants are Toxic to Iguanas?

Iguanas love fruits and vegetables, but sometimes-pet iguanas don’t know the difference between poisonous and not poisonous, as wild iguanas instinctively do.

What they CAN’T eat:

  • Amaryllis bulbs
  • Apple seeds
  • Avocado pits, peels, foliage
  • Azaleas
  • Christmas Cacti
  • Cyclamens
  • Daffodil bulbs and sap
  • Delphiniums
  • Dieffenbachia (dumbcane)
  • Hyacinth Bulb
  • Hydrangea Flowers
  • Impatiens
  • Ivy (most kinds)
  • Mistletoe berries and foliage
  • Rhododendrons
  • Tomato plant foliage and vines
  • Tulips
  • Wisteria

Note that there are hundreds more plants that could be harmful. For more information, see the ASPCA poison center.

If a pet ingests a toxic plant, call the veterinarian or the ASCPA poison control center immediately. Take them to the vet to be on the safe side, bringing the plant with you.

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Reader Comments

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Guinea pigs eating wild flowers like honey suckle.

Can Guinea pigs eat wild honey suckles? I have some wild ones growing next to the front of my house. I was just wondering but if it is toxic to them then I will not give them any.

What about nuts?

Are any nuts safe for pets? I dropped a few peanuts on the floor the other day while cooking; of course with 4 cats in the house those quickly became hockey pucks! I know some dogs love peanut butter; are there any other "pet safe" nuts?

nuts and pets

In general, it is good to keep in mind that certain pets may develop allergies, even though a food may be safe overall for an animal species. As to nuts, the ASPCA especially lists macadamia nuts as not good for dogs, as it can cause weakness, tremors, vomiting, hyperthermia, etc. within 12 hours; it isn’t clear if it affects cats, but better to stay away. Black walnuts can also be especially toxic, at least to dogs. Nuts in general are not good for dogs and cats due to high content of oil and fats; the high fat can potentially cause vomiting and diarrhea, or sometimes pancreatitis, or just cause an upset digestive system, as it is not easy for the animal to process the fat. Avoid any moldy nuts or any salted nuts. As for peanut butter, if you do feed it to your pet, be sure that it does not contain xylitol, which is a sweetener that can be toxic to pets. So are there any nuts that cats and dogs can eat? It really depends on the amount and the nut, as well as the animal species and the individual pet. Overall, it’s best to stay away from feeding any nut to a cat or dog; some of them are not toxic, but they can cause stomach upset, or allergies (depending on the pet), or even be a choking hazard. For best advice, we’d recommend consulting with a vet to be extra sure before feeding a nut to Fluffy or Fido. Hope this helps!

Thank you!

A good rule of thumb is, if it comes from a bulb/tuber, it's toxic, especially to cats. Doesn't matter if we're talking daffodils or garlic, lilies or vidalias, iris or turmeric--pretty much every bulb or tuber-based plant contains compounds that are lethal to pets, even in small amounts.

Some of these plants--foxglove, belladonna, Jimson, castor beans, etc.--are also extremely toxic to humans. And since we know human babies are just as likely as our furbabies to see if something's edible by eating it, keep these plants OUT of your home and garden. It's simply not worth the risk!

norfolk pine

A few years ago I bought a Norfolk Pine in a pot to have as an indoor Christmas tree. My cat began chewing on it and within days was very ill and almost died. Beware!

Norfolk pine by other names

The Editors's picture

Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Sally. The Norfolk pine is also known as Australian pine, House pine, and Norfolk Island pine all under the same Scientific Name: Araucaria heterophylla  and in the Family: Araucariaceae. You’ll get no argument from us but for the record the ASPCA claims that this plant is non-toxic to both cats and dogs.

Happy to hear that your cat recovered!

Chickweed Flowers

Can Guinea Pigs safely eat the flowers on Chickweed,or is it poisonous to them?

guinea pig food

Yes, chickweed is fine for guinea pigs. In fact, it’s quite a tasty treat!  To be positive of what’s best for guinea pigs, check with the humane society.

I live where there are lots

I live where there are lots of pine and cedar trees my dog like to chew on pinecones and small twigs that fall from the trees he does not swallow it he chews off pieces and spits it out. Is this a harmful habit?

Pine (Pinus spp.) is not

Pine (Pinus spp.) is not listed on the ASPCA toxic plant list for dogs (see below) or on several other sites that focus on pet health, such as lists from some veterinary medicine schools. A few unofficial sites do say that household pine oil, or sap from certain pines might cause problems. As for cedar, it would depend on the genus; true cedar is Cedrus, but many other plants are called cedar, such as junipers (red cedar); there is not much evident that the common name of cedar appears on toxic plant lists for dogs, nor the common name of juniper (Juniperus). For best advice, though, we'd recommend that you talk to your veterinarian about whether these trees/shrubs are toxic to dogs.
There is, of course, the possibility that your dog might inadvertently choke on the smaller pieces or smaller cones (nothing to do with toxin). In this light, especially if your dog is the enthusiastic type that does everything with gusto, it probably would be good to try to train him not to chew them.

While pine is not "officially

While pine is not "officially" listed as toxic, in my 25+ years of rescuing animals, I have found that cats and pine, regardless of type, NEVER mix. Whether they drink from the Christmas tree water, scratch their claws on a pine tree and then lick their paws clean, or start nibbling on the branches, they get extremely sick. No one I know has ever lost a kitty from eating pine, but a few have come very very close!

Dogs can tolerate it better, but it's still not a good idea for them to eat it. It won't poison your dog to eat the occasional pine cone, but as the staff pointed out, they do pose a choking hazard so be careful.

Thank you for posting these

Thank you for posting these lists. I find them extremely helpful. Perhaps we should be noting that there are plants whose very presence can cause an allergic reaction. We purchased Poinsettias from a fundraiser and within a day of setting these two plants on the dining table, our dog developed hives all over her body. The vet innocently asked, "You don't have any poinsettia in the house do you?" They were gone the same day and her hives disappeared soon thereafter.

My indoor cat thinks wheat

My indoor cat thinks wheat grass is the best treat ever; she doesn't want catnip or canned food for a treat but wheat grass is always welcome.

One thing I didn't see on any

One thing I didn't see on any of the lists is Sansievera aka mother in law's tongue. I had a rabbit that took a chomp out of one and died a day later. The sapoins (natural soap) caused frothing of the mouth.

Here's another category that

Here's another category that would be greatly appreciated to have a list like this ... Companion Parrots!

Foods hazard for Companion Parrots

I agree as I have 5 companion parrots. Thank you

I thought rabbits couldn’t

I thought rabbits couldn’t eat lettuce?

According to the ASPCA, it's

According to the ASPCA, it's best to avoid feeding your rabbit iceberg lettuce but the following greens are healthy foods you can feed rabbits: romaine and leaf lettuces, parsley, cilantro, collard greens and dandelion greens.

can rabbits eat a plant

can rabbits eat a plant called belladonna o will they die

Belladonna is very toxic

Belladonna is very toxic though, interestingly, rabbits eat the plant without severe harmful effects (from what we can see).