Florida is lucky to have beautiful plants year round but our rainy season still inspires gardeners everywhere to bring out the trowels. May is a great time to start updating your garden but you should also plan around the safety of your pets. Lots of common landscaping plants are highly toxic to dogs and cats.

Some common signs of toxic ingestion include vomiting, diarrhea, extreme salivation, loss of appetite, pale gums, weakness. If you ever think your pet may have ingested a potentially toxic substance, immediately call the Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.

Some common Florida gardening plants to be aware of

Toxic Garden Plants (both cats and dogs)


Instead, here are some safe alternatives


Maybe consider a pet-friendly herb garden? Basil, lavender, thyme, sage, rosemary – even some catnip for your furry friend. Whatever you plant, be safe and have a wonderful Spring!

If you have any questions about the toxicity of a plant you can speak with your veterinarian or reference ASPCA’s Toxic Plant list at https://aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants .

Lopez_Rizal thumbAbout The Author: Rizal Lopez, DVM, is Chief Veterinary Officer for SPCA Tampa Bay. He and his staff have completed over 8,000 procedures since opening the St. Pete Veterinary Center in late 2016. Dr. Lopez, since joining the organization in 2011, has performed over 20,000 spay/neuter procedures for the community. He held several positions with the organization before taking the lead veterinary role at the center.