Watch your pet closely: various plants, flowers can be toxic if eaten by dogs, cats

Q: My dogs and cats love to eat all the blooms outside in my yard right now. They all seem fine, but should I be worried? I’ve heard some plants and flowers can be poisonous for pets. R.W., Farragut

A: You are correct — there are many plants that can be a problem for our pets, certainly to varying degrees. For example, daffodils and tulips are G-1 irritants but can cause serious illness if large amounts are ingested. And take care if you are splitting bulbs, as the toxins are more heavily concentrated there.

Azaleas and rhododendrons can also cause vomiting and diarrhea, but heart issues can occur if large amounts are swallowed.

Common landscaping shrubs that you may consider avoiding if you have pets include yew, Nandina and milkweed.

If you have cats in your home, pet owners should avoid lilies of all types, as they are especially toxic to cats.

The website has an extensive list of poisonous plants, including photographs for identification purposes. If your pet has eaten a plant and becomes ill, it is important to bring the leaves/plant (or clear photographs) to your veterinarian when seeking care.

If you have concerns about your pet, you may e-mail Dr. Myers at