Plants can help to elevate a space and bring some environment indoors, but be careful to keep poisonous plants out of the house. Some plants can be dangerous for pets, so keep a watchful eye on what you bring into your home. Our Pima County vet wants to let you know about some pets that you should keep out of reach of pets! Update your space safely using this helpful guide.

Signs of Poisoning

If your pet is exhibiting signs of toxicity or poisoning, it is so important that you act quickly. Fast action can potentially save your pet's life, so call our office immediately after your pet has ingested something. We can walk you through the appropriate steps and hopefully treat them before severe internal damage has occurred. If you notice your pet in distress, call our team and we can try to help. Signs of toxicity include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Seizures
  • Severe Cardiac Arrhythmias


While aloe is healing for humans, it can be dangerous for pets if ingested in large quantities. Signs that your pet has ingested aloe vera include vomiting and diarrhea. Not all aloe plants will have the same effects on your pet, so just keep them away from your pet all together. You should also keep an eye out for aloe vera gel that comes in bottles. While this may be harder for your pet to get into, it is still toxic to them nonetheless so be sure to keep it away from them.


While lilies are so beautiful to have around the house and in the garden, they can be seriously harmful for pets. Most lilies will cause vomiting in cats, but some may lead to death. To be safe, avoid having lilies if you are a cat owner. If your cat ingests lilies or even drinks water from their vase, call our office immediately. Fast action may be able to help prevent symptoms of kidney failure, so call us as soon as possible. We can help to induce vomiting or provide medications to help stop the effects of poisoning.


This type of flower is common for landscaping because it is beautiful and vibrant. However, azaleas are poisonous to cats, dogs, horses, goats, and sheep. Typically, ingestion of azalea flowers would cause vomiting and diarrhea. If consumed in large quantities, azaleas can also cause long-term damage that could result in diminished function of internal organs and may even lead to death.


Tomato plants can cause serious gastrointestinal issues for dogs. While the fruit is not necessarily bad for your pet, the leaves and stems of the plant can cause serious stomach issues. This can be dangerous and very common because tomato plants grow well-within reach of your pet. Ingestion of tomato plants can also cause confusion, dilated pupils, weakness, and slow heart rate. Be sure to keep tomato plants in a fenced in garden or in a pot to avoid your pup accessing them.

Sweet Peas

Sweet pea plants, also called Lathyrus, can cause neurological and musculoskeletal issues. This could lead to dizziness, confusion, lethargy, tremors and seizures. Sweet pea plants may not cause issues immediately after ingestion, but it can cause issues if the dog is frequently grazing on the flower.


This type of flower is very successful in a sunny and warm environment, which could make them excellent for your garden in the summer. However, geraniums can be dangerous for pet owners. Geraniums are poisonous to both dogs and cats. They can cause severe symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea, as well as severe internal damage.

Fertilizer Additives

Fertilizer itself is not harmful to pets, but it can contain things that can be dangerous for your pet to ingest. Pesticides and soil additives can all cause poisoning in pets. If your pet consumes large amounts of fertilizer, they could get very sick. Pesticides can be life-threatening, so it is essential that you keep all chemicals out of your puppy's reach.

Non-Toxic Plants

If you are seeking some greenery that has minimal chance of harming your pet, our Pima County vet can help! We recommend the following plants to help add some beauty to your home without the worry of toxicity:

  • African Violet
  • Ferns
  • Basil, Sage, or Thyme
  • Moth Orchid
  • Polka Dot Plant
  • Calathea
  • Spider Plant
  • Some Succulents

Try to keep all aspects of your garden as natural as possible to reduce your pet's risk of being exposed to pesticides or chemicals. Be sure to lock all chemicals away so that your pet has no chance to access them. Using gates and small fences can also help to keep your pet away from potentially harmful plants. If possible, keep plants in raised pots or planters that are higher than your pet. Of course, always keep a watchful eye on your pet when you are outdoors to help keep them safe from harm.

Every plant can be dangerous if ingested in large quantities, so try to keep your pet out of the garden all together. Try to work on basic training techniques so that you can communicate with your pet to stop a behavior, such as eating things in their environment.

If your pet has ingested anything abnormal that you think may cause poisoning or toxicity, call our Pima County vet to discuss immediate treatment. We can talk you through possible treatment while you are traveling to our office and prepare a room for your pet's arrival. Time is of the essence when it comes to treating poisoning in pets, so don't hesitate if you think they may have eaten something potentially harmful. If possible, bring a sample of the plant with you when you come into the office, especially if you are unsure what it is. We may be able to identify the toxin which could change how we treat your pet. The best way to treat a medical emergency is to prevent one from happening in the first place, so try to minimize the amount of plants in your environment.