Watch Out for These 199 Poisonous Plants: Pete the Vet on the Pat Kenny Show

On the Pat Kenny Show this week, we first discussed the risk to pets from poisonous plants in people’s back gardens, and second, we dealt with the usual collection of listeners’ queries.

This blog was partly written by Brett Bastello who works with ProFlowers.

With summer officially here, your pets will be clamouring to go outside and run around in the garden. In order to keep your dogs and cats safe, however, it’s incredibly important to be aware of the type of harmful plants that could be around your home.

ProFlowers has put together a comprehensive list of 199 Poisonous Plants to keep an eye out for. Most of these plants are safe to grow and keep in your home, but should be avoided if you’re concerned of accidental ingestion from a hungry or curious pet. Look through the list of plant names and make sure no one in your home is at risk!

Before reading the list, keep in mind toxicity levels can vary based on your level of contact with a plant. For example, a plant like black henbane is fatal even in low doses, whereas some plants you need to consume a large amount to experience side effects.

Here is a breakdown of the four levels:

  1. Major toxicity: These plants may cause serious illness or death.
  2. Minor toxicity: Ingestion may cause minor illnesses such as vomiting or diarrhea.
  3. Oxalates: The juice or sap of these plants contains oxalate crystals, which can cause skin irritations or more serious ailments like throat swelling, breathing difficulties, and stomach pain.
  4. Dermatitis: These plants may cause a skin rash or irritation.

With all four toxicity levels, it’s advised that you contact your local vet for advice on what to do.

If you notice that some common fruits are on the list, there’s no need to rush to throw away your last grocery shop. Many toxic parts of plants such as cherries, apricots and peaches aren’t the fruits themselves, but other parts like the stem, leaves and seeds. These parts we never consider eating, so we never come in contact with them.

Special care for children and pets

Most plants we would never think to eat or touch, but to be safe with pets, you should make sure that you keep them well out of reach. 

For the complete list, check out ProFlowers’ blog post here.


  • My 10 year old german shepherd collie cross. He has developed black circles on each eye.similar in shape and size.seem to be growing?any advice welcome. Caoimhe
  • My dog is mad for the greengages that have started to fall in the back garden. Could this cause stomach problems? I’m also worried that she might be taking in bugs and insects from inside the greengages that have been sitting on the ground for a while. Lorraine, Carlow
  • How can I stop cats pooing in my garden. It’s a huge problem for me as we have small children playing in the garden.
  • I want to bring my dog to my wedding for a few photos but don’t want him to get to distressed with the crowd, is there anything I can give him to calm him down?
  • Is laurel poisonous for ponies Dan
  • I was told that Lilies could poison my cats. My mum likes putting them in vases in the house should I be worried – Emma aged 9 Kells
  • My elderly cat’s nose is corroding. Is it a sign of cancer?

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Please note that I am unable to answer veterinary questions in comments. If you have questions or concerns about your pet's health it is always better to contact your vet.

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