Why Your Garden can be a Dangerous Place for Pets

This article was one that I couldn't wait to write as being a business owner that looks after the safety of Pets through our Custom Collars (that have your Dog or Cats name and your number embroidered to them as a great form of ID).

So being I was putting my dogs in harms way by not knowing my new house was dangerous, it made me want to tell the world about the dangers. Also it made me realise how important Pet First Aid is as well so we wrote and article on that as well.

Here is the story

We Recently purchased a new family home in the rural suburb of the Central Coast of New South Wales called Erina Heights. It's a large 1800 sq mtr block that is surrounded by acreages with a perfect big backyard for our two rescue pups Mia and Manny.

While perfect, the property was not fenced, so while we moved in and waited for the fencers to come and make the yard secure, Mia and Manny have been getting spoiled rotten at Grandma’s.

While planning the fencing, we had an area that we wanted some expert feedback regarding some gardens and some planting we wanted to do alongside the fencing to create some screening from the neighbours.

One of our friends is a local garden expert Kelly Saffy, who we asked to come over and help us choose the right plants for the purpose, and we are so fortunate that we did.

While we were giving her the tour of the new property and explaining that we need to make the yard puppy proof she casually pointed at a few of the trees growing in our yard and said “you will want to get rid of those before the dogs come, they are Castor Oil Plants and they are lethal to your dogs AND your kids.


I can’t believe that something like this was not common knowledge for Pet Owners. What if we had not invited her over to look at our garden, we would have unknowingly put our dogs and kids would have been put in harm's way.

So this article is a list of all the things in the garden I could find from my research that might be harmful to our fur babies, there are so many it’s frightening! Please note that the list might not be all inclusive, just what I could find in my research so please carry out your own before hitting the garden centre.

If you are like me and not very plant savvy, you can check to see if any of your existing plantings are on this list, I recommend using a plant identification app like Picture This where you take a photo and it tells you the species of plants.

Also be aware of indoor plants and some cut flowers, especially cat owners and if you think your pet has ingested something that might be harmful, head to the vet with a sample of the plant you think was the culprit.

Anyways, brace yourself, for here is the list.

Agapanthus (Roots)

Aloe (Leaves)

Angels Trumpet (All parts)

Apricots  (Stem, bark and seed kernels)

Arum Lily  (Spine and bulbs)

Asparagus Fern  (All parts)

Avocado  (Fruit, leaves, bark, seed)

Azalea  (All parts)

Bird of Paradise  (Fruit, seeds)

Caladium  (All parts)

Cape Lilac  (Berries)

Clematis  (All parts)

Cotoneaster glaucophyllus  (Fruit)

Cycads  (Seeds)

Daffodils  (All parts but especially bulbs)

Daphne  (Berries, bark, leaves)

Dumb Cane Dieffenbachia  (All parts)

Foxgloves  (Leaves, seeds, flowers)

Frangipani  (Sap)

Gladioli  (Bulbs)

Hellebore  (All parts)

Hyacinth  (Bulbs, leaves, flowers)

Hydrangea  (Leaves, stems)

Ivy  (All parts of most varieties)

Jonquil  (Bulbs)

Kalanchoe  (All parts)

Lantana  (All parts)

Lily  (All parts)

Lily of the Valley  (All parts)

Lobelia  (All parts)

Macadamia  (Nuts)

Marijuana   (All parts)

Fruit Salad Plant Monstera  (Unripe fruit)

Morning Glory  (Seeds)

Nightshade  (All parts)

Oleander  (All parts, including dead leaves)

Onion  (Bulbs)

Ornamental chilli  (Fruit)

Philodendron  (All parts)

Poinsettia  (Leaves, flowers)

Rhododendron  (All parts)

Rhubarb  (Leaves)

Savin Juniper  (All parts)

Sweet Pea  (Seeds, pods)

Tomato Plants (Leaves)

Tulip  (Bulbs)

Umbrella Plant   (All parts)

Wandering Jew  (Leaves, stems, sap)

Wisteria  (Seeds, pods)

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow  (All parts)

Yucca  (All parts)

For more information there is a great book written by Nicole O’Kane called Poisonous 2 Pets which you can find here http://www.poisonous2pets.com.au/

To get some help planning the purrfect pet friendly garden, Kelly is happy to help anyone who is part of our pack … you can reach Kelly via email at kelly.saffy@designerplants.com.au and follow on instagram @kellyjeansgardennotes.

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