8 Common Plants That Can Be Deadly for Pets

Beware!

Dog sitting in an apartment and looking at an aloe vera plant - Purebred Jack Russell Terrier 3 years old
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Summer brings many dangers for pets. From over-heating to dehydration, being outside is very risky for pets during these hot summer months. And when summer is gone, those dangers don't all disappear. While the weather may become more enjoyable, there are still dangers lurking outside for pets, and one of the biggest is plants. Many common garden plants are dangerous for dogs when ingested.

House Beautiful chatted with Chewy's Vet Expert, Dr. Jennifer Coates, to get her advice for keeping pets safe. Her best tips? Closely monitor your pet’s well-being. Keep fresh, clean water readily available. Avoid exercising during the hottest time of the day. And, last but not least, avoid the plants below!

1 Azalea
image
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Scientific Name: Rhododendron spp

These flowering shrubs can cause severe gastrointestinal problems, heart arrhythmias, and problems with the central nervous system if ingested, according to Dr. Coates.

2 Rhododendron
Purple Rhododendron Flowers
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Scientific Name: Rhododendron spp

Like azaleas, rhododendrons can cause severe gastrointestinal problems, heart arrhythmias, and problems with the central nervous system, according to Dr. Coates. These symptoms could start within just hours of ingestion.

3 Lily of the Valley
Lily of the valley
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Scientific Name: Convallaria majalis

This woodland flowering plant is sweetly scented—and highly poisonous. "Lily of the Valley, although unrelated to azaleas and rhododendrons, can cause similar problems," Dr. Coates says.

4 Autumn Crocus
Fall blooming bulb Colchicum 'The Giant'
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Scientific Name: Colchicum autumnale

Autumn crocus, commonly known as Meadow Saffron or Naked Ladies, is a toxic autumn-blooming flowering plant . "If dogs eat autumn crocus, they can develop severe liver and kidney damage as well as gastrointestinal signs, problems breathing, and seizures," Dr. Coates says.

5 Castor Oil Plant
fruits from which the castor oil is extracted, plant Ricinus communis.
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Scientific Name: Ricinus communis

This common house and outdoor plant contains a highly toxic glycoprotein called ricin in both the seeds and leaves. Only a small amount ingested can result in severe poisoning or even death. Signs typically develop 12 to 48 hours after ingestion, according to the ASPCA website.

6 Elephant's Ear
Patterned Elephant ear (Caladium) leaf, close-up
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Scientific name: Colocasia esculenta

The ASPCA says that this plant is specifically toxic to dogs, cats, and horses. If your pet bites into any part of this plant, it could end up with potentially deadly symptoms like difficulty breathing and swallowing.

7 Larkspur
Delphinium. hybrid. speronella. larkspur
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Scientific name: Delphinium species

The toxicity of the plant may vary depending on seasonal changes and field conditions; as the plant matures, it generally becomes less toxic. The ASPCA warns that cardiac failure may occur, as can death from respiratory paralysis.

8 Oleander
Close-up of pink Oleander (Nerium oleander) flowers, a...
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Scientific Name: Nerium oleander

Commonly known as Rose-Bay, this plant is *extremely* toxic and if ingested, the ASPCA says to watch for symptoms including diarrhea, muscle tremors, difficulty breathing, and cardiac failure.

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