Which plants are poisonous for pets?

We all like to take pets out for a walk or let them play in the garden. For those we can’t enjoy such R&R with, we adorn their enclosures with bright floral or wooden decoration to make it more exciting for the animal and ourselves. How though, do we know which plants and flowers are poisonous to our pets?

Sometimes it can be even more risky when taking your pet abroad. New surroundings, a different climate, and as a result, some perhaps, more unusual flora and faunae.

Well, at PBS Pet Travel, we specialise in looking after pets and our connection with them doesn’t start and end with pet travel. They are our life!

So, with that in mind, we created this guide to make sure you know which garden gems and poisonous perennials you should ensure your pet avoids.


Which plants are poisonous to pets?

Our pets are a funny bunch, they sniff, they lick, they chew, they play and sometimes it is those inquisitive actions that result in them getting ill.

Many of your garden plants or enclosure decorations will be safe for your animals and many that they encounter whilst on holiday will be too. There are just some that are very important to look out for.

Distinguishing the poison plants may be the hard part but hopefully, we can help a little with that. One thing to remember is that not all pets are affected in the same way. You could find serious illness with one pet but no symptoms at all with another.

Different times of year will also bring about different types of flowers that could all pose different risks to your little friends. Not only that, but different parts of certain greenery may cause harm to your pet whereas other bits won’t do any damage whatsoever.

So as a guide, we have broken down the most common ones per season to give you an indication of what to look out for.

Poisonous plants for pets in Summer

During the summer there are so many beautiful colours adorning gardens and parks, woodlands, and lakesides that your pet will likely want to explore them. Whilst many, like we said, will be totally harmless, there are a couple to look out for.

Whether home or abroad in the summer, keep your pets away from:

  • Giant Hogweed
  • Hydrangea
  • Foxglove
  • Ragwort
  • Larkspur
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Rowan
  • Oleander
  • Geranium
  • Cotoneaster

Whilst these flowers may be in full bloom, the autumn bulbs will be getting planted around now too.  You will need to keep that in consideration. Certain pets like to dig and burrow. IF they discover a bulb and eat it. It could prove fatal.

Poisonous plants for pets in Autumn

As your Summer spectacle fades, the browns, reds and oranges of Autumn come to life. Dead leaves fill the pathways and lawns, Fungi will start to embrace the damper weather and berries will begin to appear where there were none before. Each of these things can pose a risk to your pet if they decide to eat them. Whilst we can’t stop leaves falling or berries growing, we can be careful of what we surround our pets with.

The key plants to keep your pets away from in Autumn are:

  • Horse chestnut
  • Yew
  • Fungi
  • Autumn Crocus
  • Amaryllis
  • Chrysanthemum

Poisonous plants for pets in winter

When Winter comes, some places of the world look magical with their blankets of snow and trees that look like they are dusted with sugar. With this cold weather, many of our outdoor favourites have perished for the year but many evergreens and those that thrive in cold conditions are full of life and potentially full of harm. There are fewer poisonous plants around throughout winter, but it is best to keep your pet away from those that pose a risk.

The key plants to keep away from in winter are:

  • Holly
  • Ivy
  • Snowdrops
  • Mistletoe
  • Poinsettia


The lists for each season are certainly not exhaustive and there are many other plants that could make your pet ill. The ones we have featured are those that pose a significant risk to pets.


Are houseplants harmful to pets?

House plants not only bring a vibrancy or a nice smell to a house, but they can also help promote mindfulness and improve the aesthetic of your house. Some though are dangerous to your pet so before deciding on what should go on the windowsill or by the sofa, consider the effect it could have on your animals. When heading abroad with a pet, we would suggest checking with the building owner whether they have any houseplants.

Houseplants that are poisonous to pets

There are several you should steer clear from, and the list below are those that are likely to cause the most harm to your pet:

  • Aloe Vera
  • Ivy
  • Dumb Cane
  • Sago Palm
  • Peace Lilly
  • Philodendron
  • Lilies
  • Yukka

Along with these, you should also check bouquets of flowers. Many contain lilies which are very dangerous to pets.


How can I tell if my pet has eaten a poisonous plant?

Aside from catching them in the act, you may not know that your pet has eaten a poisonous plant until it is too late. If you do happen to see them eating a plant, harmful or not, we would recommend calling the vet for advice. Some plants not on our list can still make your pet ill so we would always advise you to seek the advice of an expert. Sometimes symptoms may not appear for a while so whilst it could be your pet appears fine after munching a leaf, a berry or a bulb. There could be a harmful reaction beginning to take place.

Some things that could indicate ingestion of a harmful plant are:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Pale gums
  • Twitching
  • Lack of energy
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Collapsing
  • Drooling
  • Lack of appetite
  • Increased drinking

Some plants may not even cause these symptoms but will instead exhibit an allergic reaction in your pet. Rashes, swelling or ulcers would all point to a rection.



If you are taking your pet abroad or simply allowing them to enjoy the outdoor life at home. Keep them safe and always consult a vet if you have any concerns.

Speak to our experts today regarding pet travel and the importance of an animal health certificate. We can also help with enquiries regarding a pet passport. Reach out now to get a free quote and ensure your animal travels safely no matter your destination.