Gardens are beautiful havens for humans but can also harbor toxic garden dangers to our pets. Many plants, mulch, fertilizer, and pesticides commonly found in gardens can be toxic to cats, dogs, and horses. Symptoms can range from vomiting, diarrhea, organ failure, depression, and worse.

Below are SIX common but toxic garden dangers for pets, including cats, dogs, and horses.

Oleander (Nerium oleander): Highly Toxic

Oleander is a popular ornamental shrub known for its beautiful flowers. Ingesting any part of the plant can cause severe gastrointestinal issues, colic, drooling, heart problems, and even death. The danger is significant for dogs, cats, and horses, making it essential to avoid planting oleander if you have pets.

Also known as Rose-Bay.

The Oleander Shrub is Toxic to Pets

Did you know there’s an ASPCA mobile app for 300+ everyday hazards for pets with information about the severity and critical next steps for both iOS and Android?

Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta): Extremely Toxic

Sago palms are another popular garden plant, especially in warmer climates. If any part of the plant is ingested by either a dog, cat, or horse (or just 1-2 seeds, which are even more toxic), it can affect the nervous system, cause gastrointestinal tract bleeding, liver failure, and even death. So, if you have pets, avoiding sago palms altogether is best.

Also known as Coontie Palm, Cardboard Plam, Cycads and Zamias.

A Toxic Sago Palm

Azaleas (Ohodedendron species)

These flowering shrubs are common due to their beautiful blooms. However, they contain substances called grayanotoxins, which can cause vomiting (not in horses), diarrhea, weakness, and severe cardiovascular issues in pets. Both dogs and cats are at risk, and horses can also suffer similar symptoms if they ingest this toxic garden danger.

Also known as Rosebay and Rhodeodendron.

A Beautiful but Toxic Azalea

Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis): Severe Risk

Lily of the Valley is a charming plant with delicate white flowers. Still, it contains cardiac glycosides, which can cause heart arrhythmias, digestive problems, low blood pressure, seizures, colic, and even death. Cats are particularly susceptible, but dogs and horses are also at high risk. If you have pets, you should avoid all kinds of lilies to protect your pets.

Immediately consult with your veterinarian or poison control if you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic!

Lily of the Valley is a Toxic Danger to Pets

Buttercups (Ranunculus species)

Buttercups may look innocent with their bright yellow flowers, but they contain an irritant compound called protoanemonin, which is toxic to pets. Ingesting buttercups can cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and even skin irritation in dogs, cats, and horses. Monitor your pets to ensure they don’t munch on these seemingly harmless flowers.

Also known as Butter Cress and Figwort.

The Dangerous Buttercups

Another Common Garden Risk: Cocoa Mulch

Gardeners often use cocoa mulch for its attractive appearance and pleasant smell. However, it contains theobromine, a toxic substance to dogs, cats, and even horses. Ingesting cocoa mulch can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, muscle tremors, seizures, and even death. If you have pets, choosing a safer mulch option without cocoa beans (or dyes) is best.

ASPCA 24-Hour Emergency Poison Hotline: 888-426-4435.
(A consultation fee may apply.)


Gardening can be a joyful and therapeutic activity, but we should be aware of the potential toxic garden dangers to our pets. Keeping our gardens safe for our pets requires vigilance and knowledge. By being aware of these common toxic dangers, we can protect our beloved cats, dogs, and horses while enjoying the beauty of our outdoor spaces.

The one-of-a-kind sweat/water scraper that can be used on every part of a horse’s body!

ELEVATE your next grooming experience with your horse with these healthy, DIY Carrot Cookies. Your horse will WHINNY every time, courtesy of!

Whether you need to scrape sweat or bath water, the 7” WaterWisk is the gentlest sweat scraper on the market today!

Homemade treats + comfortable grooming tools create a wonderful opportunity to bond with your equine!

Questions about our top-rated Grooming or Bathing Tools, Grooming Kits, Brush Sets or Starter Kits for your business?

Call us at 860-573-0604 or email us at today!

If there’s one thing all pet guardians can agree on it’s our precious pets never live long enough! While there are “average” life spans for cats, dogs and horses,
there are many factors that ultimately affect the
actual time they spend with us!

Pet Life Spans

If pet parents had their say, our pets would remain with us forever! But what are the “average” life spans for the dogs, cats and horses who share our life? According to

At a quick glance, below are the average pet life spans for canines, felines and equines.

Dogs: Average Life Span

Senior Yellow Lab with White Face
Older Yellow Lab with White Face

Small dogs: < 20 lbs.

  • 13 years (Chihuahuas are known to live up to 20 years)

Medium Dogs: 20-89 lbs.

  • 11 years (Oldest dog: 29 years old, an Australian Cattle Dog)

Large Dogs: 90+ lbs.

  • 8 years (Spayed/neutered dogs live longer)

PetCareRX: A Dog Years Chart by Breed

Dogs with the Shortest Lifespan

Old Yellow Cat
Senior Yellow Cat

Cats: Average Life Span

Indoors Only

  • 12-28 years (Oldest cat: 28 years old)

Outdoors Only

  • 2-5 years (Due to high exposure to illness, injury and disease)

PetCareRX: Average Lifespan of a Cat Breed Chart

Newsweek: 20 Cat Breeds with the Shortest Lifespans

Horses: Average Life Span

Two Wild Horses Nuzzling Each Other
Wild Horses Nuzzling Each Other

Deep Hollow Ranch: Horse Longevity by Breed

Deep Hollow Ranch: The Oldest Horses Worldwide

The Factors Behind Pet Life Spans

While there are “average life expectancies” for each kind of pet, paying close attention to the factors affecting the quality and length of our pet’s life can support a better and longer pet life span.

According to the PetFriendly website, the factors affecting our pet’s life expectancy may include:

  • Breeding and genetics: certain breeds are prone to shorter life spans.
  • Nutrition: fresh, high-quality and species-appropriate foods; avoid overfeeding.
  • Exercise and mental stimulation: daily and appropriate physical and mental activities/stimulation.
  • Well-being and health: vet care (both regular and preventative), consistent hygiene, grooming and dental care.
  • Environmental: indoor/outdoor pollutants, toxins or chemicals; outdoor exposure to weather.
  • Emotional connection: like people, pets also need a strong emotional bond with their human family.

The number of times a pet has reproduced can also affect its overall longevity.

While breeding and genetics determine a lot when it comes to life span, pet parents can educate themselves on how best to support a longer life expectancy for their pet. Talk to your vet to learn more about your pet’s life span.

Young Woman with Vet and Small Dog
Young Woman with Vet and Small Dog

How to Tell Your Pet’s Age

Sometimes, when adopting a homeless pet, information about their exact date of birth may not be available.

But there are physical ways to approximate how old your new pet may be. This includes your pet’s:

  • Teeth.
  • Eyes.
  • Hearing.
  • Overall coat
  • Body changes including muscle tone and build.
  • Mobility/activity level.

To learn more about your specific pet, click on the appropriate link below.

White and Gray Horse being Groomed by Woman
Horse being Groomed with the EquiGroomer WaterWisk

As mentioned above, your pet’s hygiene and grooming is critical to their overall well-being and longevity.

We guarantee your dog, cat, horse, other pets or livestock will LOVE the EquiGroomer!

Our blades are easy-to-use and comfortable for the most sensitive-skinned pet and ensures pain-free grooming!

For individual or bulk orders, call 860-573-0604 or click here to send us an email today!

Become a Reseller

Interested in becoming an EquiGroomer reseller? Contact us for more information and we’ll provide you all the details you need to get started.

Contact Us