Spring is finally here!  Many people enjoy creating a beautiful and vibrant outdoor space when it comes to gardening. However, if you have pets, it’s important to be aware that some plants and flowers can be toxic to them. Here are some plants and flowers that you should avoid planting in your garden if you have pets:

1. Lilies: While lilies are a popular flower, they are extremely toxic to cats. Ingesting even a small amount of the plant can cause kidney failure in cats.

2. Azaleas and Rhododendrons: These plants contain toxins that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and in severe cases, coma or death in both dogs and cats.

3. Daffodils: The bulbs of daffodils contain lycorine, a toxic chemical that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and even cardiac arrhythmia in dogs and cats.

4. Sago Palm: The Sago Palm is an ornamental plant that is toxic to dogs, cats, and horses. Ingesting any part of the plant can cause liver failure, which can be fatal.

5. Tulips and Hyacinths: These flowers contain a toxin called tulipalin, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and in rare cases, cardiac problems in both dogs and cats.

6. Aloe Vera: While aloe vera is known for its medicinal properties, it is also toxic to dogs and cats. Ingesting the plant can cause vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and even depression.

7. Chrysanthemums: These flowers contain pyrethrins, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and in severe cases, tremors, seizures, and even death in dogs and cats.

8. Foxglove: Foxglove contains digitalis, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and in severe cases, cardiac arrhythmia in both dogs and cats.

9. Oleander: The Oleander plant is highly toxic to dogs and cats; even ingesting a small amount can be fatal. Symptoms of ingestion include vomiting, diarrhea, and cardiac failure.

10. Marijuana: With the legalization of marijuana in Canada, it’s important to note that marijuana is toxic to pets. Ingesting the plant can cause vomiting, disorientation, and in severe cases, seizures and even coma.

When planning your garden, it’s important to research and carefully choose plants and flowers if you have pets. If you suspect that your pet has ingested a toxic plant, seek veterinary care immediately. Additionally, if you have plants in your home that are toxic to pets, make sure to keep them out of reach or consider removing them altogether.

Here are some beautiful options for your home and garden that are safe for cats and dogs:

1. African Violet
2. Boston Fern
3. Calendula
4. Camellia
5. Christmas Cactus
6. Spider Plant
7. Friendship Plant
8. Gerber Daisy
9. Hibiscus
10. Impatiens
11. Marigold
12. Nasturtium
13. Orchids
14. Pansies
15. Petunias
16. Roses (non-toxic varieties)
17. Sunflowers
18. Sweet Peas
19. Thyme
20. Violet

It’s important to note that even though these plants and flowers are considered safe for pets, ingestion of large quantities may still cause digestive upset or other health issues. It’s always best to supervise pets around plants and flowers, and contact a veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic.

Happy gardening!

Last modified: October 7, 2023