Most pet owners don’t realize this, but a lot of the plants in your house might actually be harmful to pets. This goes for both indoor and outdoor plants, and that’s why it’s incredibly important for homeowners to know which houseplants are safe and which are best to avoid. 

Read on as we profile the most dangerous plants for pets and why you should avoid them. The following list of plants are so toxic that they can be fatal to your pet depending on the level of exposure, so be careful! 

“Pets are humanizing. They remind us we have an obligation and responsibility to preserve and nurture and care for all life. – James Cromwell


Azaleas are incredibly beautiful plants and this is why they’re so popular. You might even have them in your backyard as a way to boost your landscape aesthetic. But, as beautiful as this plant is, it’s also quite toxic and poisonous to pets, such as:

  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Sheep
  • Goats
  • Horses

All it takes is ingesting a couple of leaves to cause diarrhea and vomiting. Left untreated, this plant can cause an unspeakable amount of long-term damage to your pet’s health.

So, if you have pets or plan to adopt one soon, then you should avoid Azaleas in your yard. Remove any that you might already have and make sure your pets haven’t ingested the leaves. 


Although beautiful and fragrant, most lilies are very toxic to cats, even though they’re safe for dogs. Should a cat ingest even a tiny portion of a daylily, this could cause complete kidney failure. 

To avoid this from happening, either avoid planting daylilies or only plant them on the outer edges of your yard, in an area that your indoor cat is less likely to reach, or opt for plants safe for cats and dogs


Hyacinth is known as the messenger of spring, as it erupts in lush leaves and fragrant flowers at the beginning of this season. 

Although pretty, its bulbs are extremely poisonous to pets, specifically dogs. Dog owners should probably avoid this plant altogether, to not risk it.

Castor Bean

The castor-oil plant is famous for its colorful foliage and stems that grow to impressive heights. 

That’s why it’s such a hit in public garden beds, but the most attractive aspects of this plant are also what make it toxic to pets. It should definitely be avoided by pet owners at all costs. 


Hostas offer plenty of shade in the heat of summer, but they’re extremely toxic to pets, particularly cats and dogs. The good news is you can get the same level of shade and lush greenery from pet safe plants like coral bells

English Ivy

It’s a well-known fact that the berries of the English Ivy plant are extremely toxic to animals. But, a little known fact is that the leaves are just as toxic as well. While ivy-covered walls are attractive, it’s not worth the long-term damage they’ll cause to your walls and it’s toxic to your pet.  


Yew offers a wide variety of beneficial qualities, which is why it’s so popular among landscapers and homeowners alike. It grows effortlessly and its lush red berries certainly add visual appeal to your garden or home.

However, the seeds, leaves, and bark are very harmful to your pets. The toxins target the animal’s central nervous system and can cause irreparable damage if the pet ingests the shrub part of the plant. 

For best results, get rid of any yew you might have in your yard just to eliminate the risk of poisoning your pet, and replace it with pet friendly houseplants instead. 

Elephant Ear

Elephant ear is popular in warm areas because it grows easily and it can beautify your landscape design considerably. 

But, when ingested, the plant can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, and swelling in the mouth. This goes for human and animal ingestion so it’s best to avoid this plant unless you live alone  or with a partner that knows the risks.

Morning Glory

Morning glory is another popular plant that’s lauded for its ability to keep summer pests like mosquitos and flies at bay. 

This is mostly thanks to a compound called lysergic acid which when ingested can cause gastrointestinal problems, tremors, disorientation, and hallucinations. Safe to say it is very poisonous to animals. 

For best results, pet owners should avoid this plant altogether or if you already have it in your garden, then find a way to keep your pet away from it. 

Autumn Crocus

Autumn Crocus is the cousin of the spring crocus and is in the Colchicaceae plant family. The colchicine compound within the plant is incredibly poisonous to pets and can lead to symptoms such as:

  • Liver damage
  • Kidney failure
  • Respiratory problems
  • Vomiting
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding


One of the first signs of spring is the flowering of daffodils. This gorgeous plant is absolutely stunning in the spring, but its attractive leaves can cause unspeakable pain when ingested by your pet. 

Some of the symptoms to look out for include:

  • Heart arrhythmia
  • Breathing issues
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea


Most people know that potatoes are harmful to dogs, but we thought we’d include them on this list for those of you who are unaware of the effects of these plants on a dog’s immune system.

Because it’s a nightshade plant, the potato is packed with solanine, a toxic chemical that can prove fatal once ingested. 

Need some help on choosing pet-safe houseplants or need a local professional landscaper to help you with your yard? Then contact a pro for a free quote! 


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