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Animal Safety: 5 Plants You May Love But That Are Toxic to Your Pets

Some pet owners don't realize it, but there are certain household plants, garden plants, flower plants, and wild plants that are extremely harmful to their pets' health. To ensure your pet's health and safety, here are five plants that you'll want to avoid planting or at least put a barrier around to keep your pets away:

1. Aloe Vera Plant

While you may have an aloe vera plant around the house to help aid burns when they occur, the problem is that the plant is very toxic to your pet. According to the ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), aloe vera is toxic to both cats and dogs. Some of the most common symptoms of poisoning include diarrhea, vomiting, tremors, and change in urine color.

2. Tomato Plant

Whether you are growing a tomato plant in your house, on your porch, or in the garden in the backyard, if you have pets that roam around, you need to make sure that they steer clear of the tomato plant. According to ASPCA, the tomato plant, when ingested, is toxic to cats, dogs, and even horses. It can slow the animal's heart rate, dilate their pupils, cause drowsiness, result in severe gastrointestinal upset, increase salivation, and even change their behavior.

3. Azalea Flower Plant

Azaleas are some of the most beautiful flowers, but they're extremely toxic for your pets. If you have a cat, dog, or horse, you need to take extra precautions to make sure that they don't get near your azalea plant. The ASPCA says that it only takes a couple of leaves to cause some major problems. The ingestion of the azalea plant can result in common symptoms, such as vomiting and diarrhea, but more serious symptoms can occur as well, including cardiovascular collapse, coma, and even death. Symptoms typically begin sometime during the first several hours following the ingestion and may last for two days or longer.

4. Poinsettia Plant

Around Christmastime, you may add some poinsettias to your lineup of decorative flowers in and around the house. However, be careful because they are toxic to common household pets, including cats and dogs. Luckily, the ASPCA says that the toxicity is often over-rated and over-exaggerated, although the ingestion of the plant can result in stomach and mouth irritation, including vomiting.

5. Rhubarb Plant

According to WebMD, rhubarb is a beneficial plant that can be used to reduce hemorrhoid pain, relieve constipation, and even treat cold sores. While it is extremely beneficial to you as a human, the rhubarb plant is seriously toxic to horses, cats, and dogs. The ASPCA reports that common symptoms include tremors, increased salivation, and kidney failure.

If you believe that your pet has ingested any of the above plants or any other plan that you believe may be toxic, it is crucial that you find a veterinary service and make an appointment immediately. Depending on the plant, it could literally be a life or death situation for your pet.