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Plants And Essential Oils That Are Most Toxic To Pets

Keeping pets safe, healthy and happy is something all pet parents strive for. The following information about toxic plants and essential oils is an important tool for their well being.

Beautiful multi-colored dog with pointy ears happily frolicking through a field of purple flowers.
Dog happily frolicking through a field of flowers

10 Common Plants That Are Toxic To Pets:


Can cause gastrointestinal issues, overall weakness, discoordination and weak heart rate

Baby’s Breath

Good to be aware of, since many bouquets include this wispy plant: can cause vomiting and diarrhea


The bulbs are especially toxic and if ingested, can cause drooling, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, abnormal breathing and cardiac arrhythmias


This very popular summer flower can cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy


Though low on the toxicity chart, if ingested, this plant can still cause vomiting and diarrhea


Can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, excessive salivation and drooling


Toxic to both cats and dogs, but especially for cats. All members of the lily family, including daylilies, tiger lilies, Easter lilies, calla lilies and more, can cause acute kidney failure. All parts of the plant are dangerous – the petals, leaves, stem and pollen. Even the water that lilies have been sitting in can contain toxins

Lily of the Valley

Not a true lily, however also very toxic to pets. The beautiful flower can cause arrhythmia, low blood pressure, seizures and even coma leading to death

Sago Palm

Can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, liver failure and potentially death


The flower itself may only cause mild stomach irritation, especially for dogs, however, the bulbs are the real culprit, as they contain the most concentration of toxins

Tomato Plants

The leaves and stem can cause weakness, gastrointestinal problems, drowsiness, dilated pupils, slow heart rate and confusion

If you suspect your pet has consumed any of these plants, immediately contact your vet or the ASPCA Poison Control Center at 888.426.4435.

Essential Oils That Are Toxic To Pets

Essential oils are concentrated compounds extracted from plants. While many are beneficial for humans, most are dangerous for pets. This is because their bodies cannot metabolize the oils. Whether applied directly to the skin or circulated through a diffuser, essential oils can be quite toxic to fur babies and can lead to irreversible liver failure and even death.

Toxic Oils Include:

  • Cinnamon

  • Citrus

  • Eucalyptus

  • Lavender (especially toxic to cats)

  • Oregano (especially toxic to cats)

  • Pennyroyal

  • Peppermint

  • Pine

  • Sweet Birch

  • Tea Tree

  • Thyme

  • Wintergreen

  • Ylang Ylang

If your pet comes into contact with any of these oils, immediately contact your vet, the ASPCA Poison Control Center, or visit the nearest veterinary emergency hospital.

Note: A great tool for all pet parents is the ASPCA Poison Control Center mobile app – it can help you identify more than 300 potential hazards, information about the severity of the problem and what to do next.


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