List of Poisonous Plants for Cats and Dogs


1 User Review

Posted by Tina (Champlain, Ny) on 01/25/2012

Good afternoon! I just wanted to find out if the Poinsettia is really poisonous to animals. According to the paperwork that has come with our plants, it says that even though the plant can make them sick, they are not poisonous. However, your site says the opposite. Please advise. Thank you

Replied by Nicole.poisonous2pets
(Gold Coast, Australia)
0 out of 5 stars

Poinsettia can be listed as toxic but it is a low toxicity plant. Your pet can be affected either by contact or by consumption. If your pet has regular contact with the poinsettia symptoms such as eye irritation, conjunctivitis and eye ulceration can be seen. Skin disorders such as dermatitis, skin irritation and blisters can also become evident. If ingested it can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain. Even though it can cause problems in your pet, it is a low toxicity plant as the symptoms are usually quite mild in the sense they can not cause organ damage or death (although they can still be quite distressing).

Poison Ivy

1 User Review
1 star (1) 

Posted by Melanyh (Houston, Tx, Us) on 06/18/2011
1 out of 5 stars


We have poison ivy in our backyard, which my husband & I know to avoid. We have both had poison ivy more times than I'd like to mention. This summer, our 2 yr old Bull Terrier began getting red spots under her fur and on her stomach. She was itching and nibbling at her skin constantly. She is already treated with an internal & external flea medication, so we couldn't figure out what it was. She was completely miserable - always scratching, itching, and biting herself. She was even losing hair in those itchy areas. I tried a variety of pet products for skin issues, but nothing was working.

One day I was bathing her & I noticed that I had a small patch of poison ivy on my arm. Then it hit me - - she had poison ivy. We have always been told that dogs cannot get poison ivy, but I decided to do a little more research. Almost every site out there will tell you that dogs cannot get it; therefore, there are no remedies for it. I finally found one site that said, "yes, dogs can get poison ivy if the oils get past the fur. " This is why she had most of it on her stomach, where there is little hair. When she scratched, it moved the oils to other parts of her body. My husband & I swear by Burt's Bees Poison Ivy soap(you can find it at WFM). I immediately washed her with this soap, and you can tell she felt better. I washed the affected areas once or twice a day, and her poison ivy went away. Now, it has recently come back because we still have poison ivy in our yard, but now I can nip it in the bud before it gets bad. YES, your dog CAN get poison ivy!

Replied by Brandy
(Mantua, Ohio)

I know I get so irritated when I hear people say that dogs can't get poison ivy... The oils distribute to the skin / if it doesn't just stay "put" on the hair then YES dogs get it and it is awful... Burt's bees soap is very good! My poor lab got it - baby was miserable!!!

Replied by Tracey

I once had a dog that got posion ivy on it's nose! The poor thing would scratch until it bleed. We put socks on him which helped from him from digging with his nails.

Replied by Ramg
(Bay Area, Ca)

I found your story helpful as well as the replies from others experiencing K-9 poison oak. Two days ago, I was enjoying some spring time hiking through the woods with my dog and there was plenty of low growing freshly leafed out p/o. My 7yo Staffy Bullterrier now has many little red bumps all over his stomach and a couple where his skin is exposed in his arm (or should I say, leg) pits.

As a person who can get it, I have found the most effective and satisfying way to speed along the healing process, is a good p/o soap such as Burt's Bees, or Fels Naptha which has been around since I was a kid, at first.. but after a couple days, or when the rash turns into small pimple looking bumps I treat it with a most satisfying method:

Take a small face cloth type towel and saturate a portion of it with hydrogen peroxide and proceed to do the unthinkable - Yes, scratch it with the soaked towel until the little bumps turn white. This can be done more than once, if some of the rash did not turn white with the tiny disinfecting bubbles. It is incredibly effective at drying up the rash and preventing the spread of the oils. IMPORTANT -- As a footnote, do not use the peroxide method immediately after getting p/o, before it has turned into distinct little bumps.. you WILL end up spreading it.

I will be trying this on my little friend and will report back with the results. Hope this is helpful as there is much discomfort when having P/O!

Reader Feedback

2 User Reviews
5 star (1) 
1 star (1) 

Posted by Kathy (Bay City, MI) on 10/20/2008

Poison plants for dogs: I do not know the proper name for umbrella plant but my puppy is eating the leaves; will she get sick? It is a very large house plant. Thanks.

EC: Is it a Cyperus alternifolius (aka Umbrella Palm)?

Reader Feedback
Posted by Jeffery (Austin, Texas) on 08/30/2008
1 out of 5 stars


Please use botanical names for plants, as well as the very changeable common names. Is your "Bird of Paradise" a Ceasalpinia or a Strelitzia for example. As a Landscape Designer this is invaluable information. Mistaken common names could be deadly! Thank You for your consideration.

EC: Good point. Unfortunately, that list was compiled a few years ago by a writer in Canada. We'll try to find out Dawn's resources.

Reader Feedback
Posted by Sherri (Mohave Valley, Arizona) on 05/21/2007
5 out of 5 stars

Please add to your list of poisonous plants the following: Ferns, Asparagus Fern, Austalia Nut, Emerald Feather (aka Emerald Fern), Lace Fern, Plumosa Fern. I am a veterinary technician in Mohave Valley, Arizona. We recently had a 4 month old puppy in that had ingested Asparagus Fern from the family indoor garden. This puppy became quite ill. These are listed as toxic plants at: This puppy was presented to us with vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. a blood chemistry profile indicated an elevated ALT. The puppy is still recovering. It is still unknown if there will be lasting damage to the liver. Sincerely

Remedies to Cure Poisoning in Dogs

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Wayne (palm springs, california) on 01/27/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Hydrogen peroxide. For a dog that has ingested a poisonous substance where vomiting will be the solution to expel the toxin, put 1 tsp' [3%] HP in the mouth. Take the dog OUTSIDE and throw a pinch of salt in its mouth. The entire contents of the stomach will be immediately expelled.

Remedies to Cure Poisoning in Dogs
Posted by Angela (Leitchfeld, kentucky) on 06/13/2007
5 out of 5 stars

re: curing poisioning and stomach toxins: I had a full size male doberman pinscher, was poisoned with antifreeze. Tried to take him to the vet, and would not take him said there was nothing they could do. Well being he was my baby i didn't give up. Someone told me to cook bacon, take the grease, a raw egg, and a lemon lime soda, mix it together and force him to eat it, granted he threw up alot, it was bright neon green, but i kept feeding it to him until it was no longer green, then feed him pedialight for dehydration, he lived and is fine today, it seems to force any toxin that is in their system out.

Tea Tree Oil

5 User Reviews
1 star (5) 

Posted by Hannidan (Charlotte, Nc) on 04/13/2014
1 out of 5 stars


On the topic of tea tree oil. It is a deadly poison for cats, which are drawn to the taste/smell. They will even lick residue off pillows. Everyone please be careful. If your cat comes into contact with it you will want to get to a vet pronto.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Hannidan! I have heard about issues with tea tree oil and cats before - yet I found myself confused because I have worked with a vet who specializes in using both arisolized and topical applications of essential oils on pets. The main thing is the quality of the oil; if it is not veterinary grade or human grade, then you should not use it on your pet. "What I recommend when considering essential oil use for cats is to choose oils that are used often, have been used in many cats, and to use them with techniques that cats enjoy. Tea Tree Oil, or Melaleuca alternifolia, is another feline controversy which fascinates me. I have directly communicated with people who have sadly exposed their cat to a poor grade Melaleuca oil, resulting in subsequent seizures and death. Conversely, I have met many cats and have witnessed firsthand a cat receiving 4 drops of Melaleuca oil orally twice a day, followed with blood work, and showing no ill events. I do not necessarily endorse the use of Melaleuca with cats, as there are many other essential oils that can be used in place of this particular oil." Source:

Replied by Diamond
(Ma., US)

Animals are known to have very close DNA as humans do, therefore I'm thinking that maybe the cat that died already was sick or other, and the one cat that tolerated the oil may have been healthy.

Sad to say I have adopted an older cat, the experiment via science consisted of testing her with Chlamydia. She is always upset and vomiting, what she does is go out and eat grass, it's a natural remedy for all animals. I cannot imagine any animal being locked up in a house 24/7 with-out having what is called a natural solution for pets that are sick and know what they need/want and cannot get it. I usually bring it in to my pets.

I have yet another rescue; she was a dumpster diver when I adopted her. I give her canned cat food and she throws it up, so I have resided to steaming chicken and giving her a little at a time, three times a day. I add Ester-C to her food once a month and so far and hopefully she is really doing well. With fingers crossed.

Tea Tree Oil
Posted by Christine (Cairo, Egypt) on 03/31/2007
1 out of 5 stars


Ditto the comment on tea tree oil for dogs. In frustration I used a direct tea tree oil on my pyrenees for fleas. It actually paralyzed his motor functions. I thought he might die before I got him to the vet.

EC: Odd, we have used Tea Tree oil on our dogs for minor skin irritations many times for years without any issues or side effects.

Replied by Celleste
(Penang, Malaysia)

re: Use of tea tree oil for dogs

Did you use the oil diluted or undiluted? What problems did you use it for? Sometimes when my dog gets insect bites, I wanted to apply tea tree oil on him, but was worried that I'd poison him. :D I'd really appreciate your feedback on this. Thank you.

Replied by Yvette
(Lake Panasoffkee, Florida)

I have used tea tree oil to treat both myself and my Labrador for years. The oil has always been diluted approximately 1/4 ounce to 4 to 5 ounces of water for use on the dog to treat skin irritations. It worked, relieving itching, scaling and allowing hair to grow back. I usually apply the oil full strength to my skin for insect bites and cuts. To date, I have not had any reactions.

I personally use tea tree oil shampoo with no problems. I have bathed the Lab with tea tree shampoo (dog version)with no problems.

I did use tea tree shampoo on another dog and found that it did seem to irritate and redden her skin, particularly the underbelly area, and caused her to scratch until she broke the skin. But, then, this dog is extremely sensitive and reacts even to Oatmeal shampoo.

Have never used tea tree oil on cats and never will, simply because cats tend to lick their fur and I don't think ingesting the oil is a good idea.

Tea Tree Oil
Posted by S (Wichita, KS) on 08/08/2006
1 out of 5 stars


RE: Tea tree oil Tea tree oil is toxic to cats! Cats have died just from being bathed with it.

Replied by Mary
(Stavanger, Norway)
1 out of 5 stars


Tea Tree Oil is an absolute no-no for cats. And Pointsettia should be upgraded to extremely dangerous: our cat was on a drip for two days following ingestion of a small bit of dried up leaf. Apparently grapes (and raisins) are also deadly - we once had a cat who was passionate about fruit cake! This last info comes from FAB - the British charity dedicated to Feline welfare ( where you will find lots of useful information on 'cat management' - and poisons.

Replied by Jaxomsride
(Leeds, England)

We have used tea tree oil as a topical application to treat wounds and to bathe our cats in order to treat fleas. The tea tree oil has always been dilute and has never had any harmful effect on them.

On the other hand my husband who has been sensitised to it does react badly if he comes in contact with it. It might be the cats who have found it "toxic" have either been given it in its concentrated form, or like my husband have had an extreme allergic reaction.

Replied by Stacey
(Pittsburgh, Pa)

I find this strange that tea tree oil is toxic. I have a product called Bitter Barrier made with tea tree oil for dogs AND cats that I used to stop the cats from eating our artificial Xmas tree. I used it a lot and they actually got used to it and continued chewing on it and they never had ANY side effects??

Replied by Julie
(Indianapolis, In Indiana)
1 out of 5 stars


You may not see any symptoms but the toxicity stays in their system and builds up in their liver over time poisoning your beloved pet and then one day your cat won't eat and has become ill for no apparent reason. Please check the list of poisons before using any essential oil even on yourself. You will find out that all essential oils are poisonous to your cat.

Trumpet Vine

Posted by Dot (Rosedale, Ms) on 09/01/2011

I have never seen the trumpet vine listed as a poisonous plant. My 9 week old pup ate leaves and chewed on a stem of this plant while in the playyard and may not live. She salivated extremely and is hypersensitive. She also had a seizure, maybe more, since I immediately got her to the vet. What does one do for this plant poisoning? She has been given a steriod shot and benadryl shot upon arrival, and when seizured, was given valium. Also, fluids have been given. What else can be done?

Replied by Carrie
(Northern Calif, Usa)

My 60# Staffie was vomiting every few mins throughout the night until only liquid was expelled. Clearly I had to stop the vomiting and could not afford another vet bill. Per Dr Richard Pitcairn's advise in his great book, I bought homeopathic Ipecac, crushed 3 pellets (do not touch) and put it down his throat. This stopped the vomiting within mins! He had a dry cough for days. I called and his vet said the acid and vomiting retching. I tried Hydrogen Peroxide several times but it was like water.

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