KEIGHLEY pet owners are being warned about the 'hidden dangers' to their animals of some common plants and flowers.

A garden expert says the likes of lilies, tulips and azaleas – and even tomatoes and potatoes – could prove deadly.

"Flowers can look gorgeous and smell even better but many can be very dangerous to a beloved cat or dog," said a spokesman for

"So when you're deciding which plants to put in your garden, or even a pot in the house, do check first to make sure it isn't toxic to your pets.

"If your pet shows any sign of having ingested poison – such as vomiting, diarrhoea, weakness or confusion – seek veterinary assistance straight away."

Plants to be wary of include:

* Azaleas. A type of rhododendron, they contain a poisonous substance called grayanotoxin, which can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and even blindness and comas in cats and dogs.

* Foxtails. Spikelets that carry the seeds of the foxtail grass, they are barbed and meant to burrow into the ground to germinate – but this also means they could penetrate an animal's body and damage internal organs. Check your pet's body – especially entry points such as the ears, mouth and eyes – frequently, especially after a walk, and uproot – not mow – any foxtails you see in the garden.

* Lilies. Every part of a lily is toxic to cats – even one leaf or petal can make them very ill – and some kinds are poisonous to dogs as well. They are even toxic to horses.

* Tulips. They're a member of the lily family, so are also toxic to cats, dogs and horses. The toxins tulipalin A and tulipalin B are found within tulip bulbs, but if you think your pet has eaten any part of the plant, seek veterinary assistance immediately.

* Potatoes. Unripe, green or raw potatoes are dangerous to dogs, and the leaves are toxic too. If you must grow potatoes, make sure your pets can't get at them.

* Tomatoes. The leaves are toxic to cats and dogs, so either avoid growing them or ensure animals can't get to them.

* Castor Beans. Ricin is a well-known poison and it's present in the bean of the castor oil plant – although all parts of the plant are toxic. Even tiny amounts can poison a cat or dog and cause twitching, tremors, seizures, comas or death.

* Heavenly Bamboo. Also known as sacred bamboo or the Nandina plant, this produces red berries that are very dangerous. They contain cyanogenic glycosides, which release hydrogen cyanide when chewed.

* Autumn Crocus. Not to be confused with the spring crocus, which can still cause vomiting and diarrhoea, all parts of this plant are toxic. It can cause liver and kidney damage, seizures and death.

* Sago Palm. These ornamental houseplants are very poisonous to cats and dogs. The whole of the plant is dangerous, but the nuts are the worst. If you think your pet may have ingested some, take it to a vet immediately.