Poisonous Plants for Animals

Pets are an important part of the human experience. They provide us with companionship and love, and sometimes meat for food. Animals that have been domesticated rely on their human companions for just about everything, from food and shelter to basic safety needs. One of the leading preventable causes of death in animals is accidental poisoning, a lot of it due to the ignorance of the owner or caretaker. Many people are unaware of the things that pose poisoning threats to their four-legged companions.

The best way to protect your pets from accidental poisoning is to educate yourself on what is poisonous for them. Many of the things that cause health problems in animals just might surprise you.

Birds of Paradise—a type of flower found in warmer, semi-tropical areas. The pods are poisonous, but colorful and attractive to some animals.

Buttercups—this is a type of flower. It is bright yellow in color, and the whole flower is poisonous to domestic animals.

Daffodils—this is also a type of flower. The whole flower can make an animal sick, but the bulbs are the most toxic part.

Easter Lily—this is a house plant that is seen a lot around the Spring months. The entire plant is toxic to animals. If you have pets, it is best to leave this one alone.

Mistletoe—this is a house plant. It can be purchased from Christmas tree lots and is seen a great deal during the winter months. If hung in the doorway, they are safe but they can become dry and fall. The leaves and berries are poisonous to animals.

Morning Glory—these are wildflowers but they are often found in yards. Horses fall vcitm to these the most, but they are toxic to most animals.

Nightshade—this is a wild flowering vine. It is poisonous to all animals, but seems to attract horses. It is often called 'deadly' nightshade as it is so toxic to animals.

Oleander—this is a type of shrub found in many areas. It is poisonous to just about anything when ingested. Keep animals away from it. If you have animals and an oleander bush, it is best to remove it. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Poinsettias—this is a type of flower. Many people bring these lovely plants into their homes during Christmas. They are toxic to domestic animals. There are fake ones for sale that are just as lovely, and these are always a better idea if you have pets in the home.

For a more comprehensive list of plants that are poisonous to animals, visit the Humane Society website. You can also check out The Toxic Plant Database and Poisonous Plants by Cornell University.

Do you think your animals might have ingested one of these poisonous plants? Don’t delay. Take them to a vet as soon as possible. For help with this, you can check out the Animal Poison Control FAQ and Drs. Foster and Smith.

Keeping your pets safe doesn't have to be difficult. Educate yourself on the plants that may be in your area that pose poisoning threats and be proactive about the risk. It is always better to be safe than sorry.