Your Garden's a Poisonous Playground for Pets!

It's garden season! Time to put on our comfy old “yard” clothes and head into our gardens to weed, plant, clip shrubs, or maybe even pick some radishes or cut fresh flowers. But as we get outside to start our gardening and landscape projects, it's time to get familiar with toxic plants that can be dangerous for our pets. After reading this article you will be able to look around your yard and identify several plants that have the potential to cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, lethargy and even death!

I suggest that all pet owners, gardeners or not, review the comprehensive lists of plants that are toxic to cats, dogs, birds & horses at the ASPCA's website ( or the Humane Society's website (

“But I only have a cat, and she doesn't go outside.” Really? Have you noticed all the beautiful Day and Tiger Lily's starting to sprout up along our roadsides? It's so tempting to pick just a few from an isolated spot to put on our table. Don't do it!! Lily's are so toxic to cats, that even the water from the vase can cause severe kidney failure.

“Most pets use their sense of smell and taste to investigate things,” said Ahna Brutlag, DMV, MS, assistant director of “Pet Poison Helpline” ( “When they come across interesting plants, their first reaction is to smell it, which often leads to tasting it. Pet owners who are aware of poisonous plants can avoid potential dangers that can result in emergency trips to the veterinarian.”

Some of the most dangerous and common summertime plants for pet owners to be aware of are listed below.