Gardening: Are Your Pets At Risk?

Gardening is a wonderful hobby — grab your gloves, your pruner, a trowel, maybe a hat to keep the UV rays at bay. But what exactly are you growing out there? As we have all learned with chocolate, just because it is good and safe for humans does not mean it is safe for your furry (or feathery and scaly) friends. This short guide only covers very popular plants but if you want to ensure that your pets will not face any harm it would be beneficial to speak with a vet, contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control, or do some extensive research of your own. Unless otherwise stated, everything listed below is toxic to not only your cats and dogs but reptiles and birds as well.


Garden Plants That Could Pose a Risk

Garlic, Onions, Shallots, Leeks & Chives

All parts and all forms of these Allium veggies are toxic to your pets — powdered, fresh, dehydrated, all of it. This is also something you should be aware of if you feed table scraps to your little buddies. For every 10 pounds your pet weighs, it only takes a teaspoon of garlic to start destroying its red blood cells.

Allium Veggies

Apple Seeds

Pits & Seeds

The pits of fruits like peaches, plums, and cherries contain cyanide, as do apple seeds. The pits and leaves of an avocado contain a toxin called persin, and the pit itself can be a choking hazard or obstruct the digestive system.


This section is about potatoes and tomatoes. The raw and unripe sprouts, vines, and leaves of potatoes and tomatoes contain solanine, which is a plant’s natural self defense against pests and other critters that could harm its growth. While ripe tomatoes are non-toxic and some dog food contains COOKED potatoes, it’s the raw and unripe produce you have to worry about.



Most Flowers

Bearded dragons often love hibiscus flowers as a special snack but if you give them hyacinth, you will have to rush them to the vet. As there are more species of flowers than most can name in one sitting, this is definitely a topic you may want to do more research on, but the most common plants that are toxic to all pets are Amaryllis, Azalea, Lilies, Daffodils, Hyacinth, and Tulips.


Most experienced gardeners know that the leaves of the rhubarb plant, where the concentration of oxalate crystals is exceptionally high, are even toxic to humans. But to most other animal friends you share your home with, the stalks have enough oxalate to cause issues as well, so keep Fluffy away from the pie!


Now that you’ve learned the dangers, this isn’t to say that you can’t garden around your home but now you’re knowledgeable about which plants require extra precaution. This is especially helpful to those who tend miniature herb gardens within their homes. While gardening is great for the mind, body and soul, keep this information in mind to keep your buddies safe.

If there’s no easy way for you to do this, then maybe it’s time for a change of space. Call or stop by the office today and we can find you the perfect gardening set up to cultivate your green thumb. Gainesville and Alachua County are full of wide open spaces for Spot to enjoy while keeping away from your planting area.

5213 SW 91st Terrace, Suite A
Gainesville FL, 32608
(352) 559-8820