Dangerous Plants and Fruiting Trees Toxic to Dogs and Cats

Dr. Beth Keser
Dr. Beth Keser

Ask the vet with Dr. Beth Keser

Spring is in the air and it’s our natural desire to be outside enjoying nature. Flowers are blooming, we are in our gardens… planting trees, and enjoying the fruits of our labors (literally). As we enjoy the beauty and satisfy our human taste buds… danger lurks in our presence. Did you know our common plants and trees can be toxic to our beloved dogs and cats? Here is a list of a few (not all) of the more common plants and trees that may be dangerous to our pets.

Asparagus Fern: contains a steroid called sapogin which is commonly found in a variety of plants. If ingested, it may cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, or even an allergic dermatitis.

The Corn Plant: has a toxic agent that may cause vomiting, diarrhea with or without blood, depression, and even cause the pupils to dilate.

Diffenbachia, Elephant Ear, Heartleaf Philodendron, and Satin Potos: all contain a toxic agent that may cause oral irritations, increased salivation, difficulty swallowing, and vomiting.

Cyclamen: will also cause increased salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, heart problems, seizures and eventually death.

Jade Plant: will cause ataxia (wobbling), and bradycardia (decreased heart rate).

Aloe: will cause vomiting and bloody urine.

Lilies: the Easter lily and Star Gazer Lily are very toxic to cats, causing decreased appetite, lethargy, kidney failure and eventual death if left untreated. The Peace Lily is toxic to both dogs and cats causing an oral irritation.

Grapes are one of the most well-known dangerous foods for dogs

Common Fruits Toxic to Dogs and Cats

Apples, Apricots, Cherries, Peaches, and Plums: contain cyanogenic glycosides which can cause brick red mucous membranes, dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, panting and shock.

Avocados: contain a Persin which can cause vomiting and diarrhea.

Grapes and Raisins: can cause irreversible kidney damage. What should you do if you suspect your pet has ingested one of the aforementioned plants or fruits?

  1. Call your local veterinarian right away, and call the ASPCA poison hotline. 
  2. Remove the plant or fruit from the mouth, hair, and skin.
  3. Bring the plant or fruit to the vet for easy identification.

Take whatever steps you can to protect your dog and/or cat from exposure to poisonous plants. This includes removing or relocating such plants from your home and yard. 


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