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Safety Tips

Everyday people foods and common backyard plants can be toxic to your family pet. Watch out for these potentially deadly items at holidays and year-round.

Potentially Poisonous Foods

Certain foods can be potentially poisonous to pets, and while the risks are present year-round, they are especially high around holidays. Do you have leftover Easter basket candy? Halloween treats still hanging around? Thanksgiving and Christmas goodies left over from holiday celebrations? Keep these foods away from your beloved cats and dogs:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Apple seeds
  • Apricot pits
  • Avocados – toxic to birds, mice, rabbits, horses, cattle, and dairy goats
  • Cherry pits
  • Candy (particularly chocolate, which is toxic to dogs, cats, and ferrets, and any candy containing the sweetener Xylitol)
  • Coffee (grounds, beans, chocolate covered espresso beans)
  • Grapes
  • Hops (used in home beer brewing)
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Moldy foods
  • Mushroom plants
  • Mustard seeds
  • Onions and onion powder
  • Peach pits
  • Potato leaves and stems (green parts)
  • Raisins
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Salt
  • Tea (caffeine)
  • Tomato leaves and stems (green parts)
  • Walnuts
  • Yeast dough

Potentially Poisonous Plants

Many varieties of plants can cause illness and possible death of your dog or cat. Exercise caution when bringing plants into the house. In addition, supervise pets when they are outside so that they do not ingest any plants or seeds that may cause harm. Keep animals away from these types of foliage, commonly found in Florida. Seek immediate medical attention for your pet if you suspect he or she has bitten, licked or eaten any part of these plants, including plant’s seeds or roots.

Azalea/Rosebay/Rhododendron (Scientific Name: Rhododendron) both the leaves and honey from the flower nectar are toxic.


Cardboard Palm (Scientific Name: Zamia Furfuracea) can cause vomiting, increased thirst, liver damage, liver failure or even death. Cardboard Palm
Japanese Yew/English Yew (Scientific Name: Taxus sp) the entire plant and seeds are poisonous. Japanese Yew
Lantana/Shrub Verbena (Scientific Name: Lantana camara) the entire plant, especially the berries, is poisonous. Lantana
Lilies/Easter Lily (Scientific Name: Lilium longiflorum) some types of Lilies are dangerous. Easter Lily
Nightshade/Black Nightshade (Scientific Name: Solanum spp) some varieties of these plants have leaves and fruit that may be hazardous. Nightshade
Oleander/Rose-Bay (Scientific Name: Nerium oleander) is highly toxic if any part of the plant is ingested. In addition, water that has touched the leaves may be poisonous and should not be licked. Oleander
Philodendron/Fiddle-Leaf/Cordatum (Scientific Name: Monstera deliciosa) may cause painful stinging of a dog's mouth and lips. The skin and eyes of the dog may become irritated upon contact. Philodendron
Poinsettia (Scientific Name: Euphorbia pulcherrima) irritating to the mouth and stomach of dogs and cats and may cause vomiting. Poinsettia
Rosary Pea/Precatory Bean (Scientific Name: Abrus precatorius) both the seeds and other parts of the plant are poisonous when ingested. Rosary Pea
Sago Palm/Coontie Palm (Scientific Name: Cycas revoluta, zamia species) the entire plant is poisonous and even a few seeds can cause death. Sago Palm