Updated: May 22, 2022

Evening Primrose plant, scientifically known as Oenothera biennis, is a flowering plant that is widely cultivated for its therapeutic properties. The plant is native to North America and has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for various ailments. However, the question remains – is the evening primrose plant safe for pets?

The Toxicity of Evening Primrose Plant

The evening primrose plant contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which are toxic to both humans and animals. These alkaloids can cause liver damage and other health problems in pets if ingested in large quantities. However, it is important to note that the concentration of these alkaloids varies depending on the part of the plant and the method of extraction.

Effects of Ingesting Evening Primrose on Pets

If your pet ingests a small amount of evening primrose, they may experience gastrointestinal distress such as vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. In severe cases, it can cause liver failure and even death. Pet owners should be cautious about allowing their pets to come into contact with this plant.

Precautions to Take When Growing Evening Primrose

If you are planning to grow evening primrose in your garden or indoors, it is important to take some precautions to ensure the safety of your pets. Here are some tips:

  • Keep the plant out of reach of pets
  • Supervise your pet when they are near the plant
  • Train your pet not to eat plants
  • Clean up any fallen leaves or flowers immediately
  • Consult with a veterinarian if you suspect your pet has ingested any part of the plant

Benefits of Evening Primrose Oil for Pets

While the evening primrose plant itself may be toxic to pets, evening primrose oil is commonly used as a dietary supplement for pets. It contains high levels of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid that has anti-inflammatory properties. Some pet owners use evening primrose oil to help with skin conditions, allergies, and arthritis in their pets. However, it is important to talk to your veterinarian before giving your pet any dietary supplements.


In conclusion, the evening primrose plant can be toxic to pets if ingested in large quantities. Pet owners should take precautions when growing this plant and keep it out of reach of their pets. While evening primrose oil may have health benefits for pets, it is important to consult with a veterinarian before giving any dietary supplements to your pet.


Can cats and dogs eat evening primrose?

No, cats and dogs should not eat any part of the evening primrose plant.

Is evening primrose oil safe for pets?

Evening primrose oil can be safe for pets when used under the guidance of a veterinarian.

What are the symptoms of evening primrose poisoning in pets?

Symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and liver damage.

Can I grow evening primrose indoors with my pets?

Yes, you can grow evening primrose indoors as long as you take precautions to keep it out of reach of your pets.

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