Pet-Safe Gardening: Which Plants Are Toxic to Dogs and Cats

We love our pets and treat them like family, as do many of our customers. While you’re prepping your garden this year, we want to help you maintain a safe garden for your pet. One of the best ways to keep your garden pet friendly is to make sure you don’t leave any garden tools laying around. Spades, forks, and mowers can cause serious damage to your beloved pets so keeping them locked away in a shed is always a safe practice. Whether you have multiple sheds in Georgia or a single shed in Alabama, they’re the best place to keep your tools out of harm’s way. Another thing would be to check your fencing panels are not damaged, they are high enough for your animals not to jump over and low enough into the ground that they cannot bury underneath. You can get fencing services from websites like, which can help to ensure your fencing panels are working as they should and are how you would like them to be in your garden. You’ll also be surprised that some very popular flowers and plants in our gardens are actually toxic and can cause harm to our furry friends. It could be worth growing them in the best barns sheds you can find instead if you feel like you need these in your property.

Here are some of the most toxic plants to avoid planting to keep your garden pet-safe.

Side effects can vary depending on the exposure to these toxic plants.


The crocus flower comes in a variety of pastel colors, such as yellow, white and purple and have cup-shaped blooms. There are two types of crocus plants: one that blooms in the spring (crocus species) and the other in the autumn (colchicum autumnale). Both are poisonous to your dog or cat, but the autumn crocus is especially dangerous because it contains a toxic alkaloid called colchicine.

Your pet may experience an intense burning sensation in the mouth, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, liver and kidney damage, and even heart arrhythmias if ingested.


Azalea plants are flowering evergreen shrubs that are popular in the south. You can find azaleas in almost any color. If you have these shrubs in your landscaping, it’s important to keep a close eye on children and pets when they play outdoors to be sure they do not eat any flowers, leaves, fruits, or seeds.

Ingestion of just a few leaves of azaleas can cause oral irritation with subsequent vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. In severe cases, ingestion can cause a drop in blood pressure, coma, and even death.


Daffodils are very common in gardens and in your yard in the spring but keep an eye out on your dog when they’re around them. The bulb contains lycorine, which has strong nausea- and vomit-inducing properties. If your dog ingests a daffodil plant or flower, it may cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, and hyperventilation. Other plants that contain lycorine include amaryllis and narcissus.


Lilies are probably the most commonly known poisonous plant for cats and dogs. Lilies are easy to identify with their large petals and defined stamens. The Easter lily, the tiger lily, Asiatic, or Japanese lily are forces to be reckoned with for your furry friends. All of them are highly toxic to cats that even ingesting a small amount can result in severe acute kidney failure.

Depending on the type of lily, the toxicity level ranges from moderate to severe for your dog. According to the ASPCA, the peace lily, calla lily, amaryllis, lily of the valley, and the common houseplant, giant dracaena or palm lily, are all deemed dangerous to dogs.

Common symptoms of lily ingestion include vomiting, depression, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hyper-salivation, anorexia, and tremors.


Oleander plants are found along roads and highways in the western continental U.S. But if you’re here in Oklahoma, these plants are often used as an ornamental plant because of their white or pink blooms.

The oleander plant is dangerous for both dogs and cats and even small children! It’s been estimated that eating only a few of the leaves could prove fatal to dogs or cats.

All parts of this plant carry cardiac glycosides that can cause severe heart problems, weakness, nausea, seizures, and even death.


Tulips showcase their brightly colored, cup-shaped flowers in the spring. Tulips are another popular garden flower that are toxic to dogs. Although the entire plant of a tulip is toxic, it is the bulb that is the most poisonous to dogs as it has concentrated levels of glycosides tulipalin A and B. Ingestion can cause significant oral irritation, excessive drooling, and nausea. Symptoms can show up within just a few hours.


Foxgloves are vibrant flowers shaped like little trumpets. Although they are pretty to look at, this plant is very poisonous to dogs and cats. The plant also contains cardiac glycoside toxins, which interfere with the electrolyte balance within the heart.

Look for symptoms of an abnormal heart rate, nausea, vomiting, abnormal drooling and seizures.

Pet-Safe Plants

Although there are quite a few plants that are toxic to dogs, there are still many more that aren’t. Here are some safe flowering plants to keep in mind when you are gardening this year.


At Acenitec, we make it our priority to protect your family and pets no matter which service we’re providing. Contact us for more information about our pet-safe flea and tick pest control services and lawn programs. Together, we can create a beautiful and safe backyard for you and your pets!