Have you jumped on the plant-parenting trend? It’s hard to resist the allure of beautiful indoor foliage. But if you have furry friends at home, it’s crucial to be aware of the house plants that are toxic to dogs. While some plants may only cause minor discomfort, others can be extremely dangerous and even fatal for your beloved pets.
Why are Some Plants Toxic for Dogs?
Plants produce various toxins to protect themselves from being eaten by pests and animals in the wild. Unfortunately, these toxins can also harm curious pets. It’s essential to know which plants pose a risk to your dogs’ well-being.
14 Common House Plants Toxic to Dogs
Here is a list of 14 popular house plants that are toxic to dogs. If your dog ingests any of these plants, be on the lookout for the following symptoms:
Aloe vera, known for its soothing properties for humans, can be mildly to moderately toxic if ingested by dogs. It contains purgatives that may cause vomiting, diarrhea, sleepiness, tremors, and a change in urine color.
The asparagus fern is mildly to moderately toxic to dogs. Ingestion may lead to symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Additionally, repeated exposure can cause skin irritation in dogs, so it’s best to keep this plant away from high-traffic areas.
While cacti may only have mild to moderate toxicity, their spiky nature can cause significant discomfort and internal injuries if swallowed by your pet. Dogs tend to learn quickly from this mistake.
Dracaena / Dragon Tree
The Dracaena or Dragon Tree poses a mild to moderate poisoning risk to dogs due to its saponin content. All parts of the plant are potentially dangerous. Look for symptoms such as vomiting (possibly containing blood), loss of appetite, and increased drooling.
Ivy, including English ivy and Devil’s ivy, can be found in many households. Some varieties contain calcium oxalate crystals in their leaves, which can cause irritation to the mouth, tongue, and stomach. Severe poisoning may lead to difficulty swallowing, vomiting, diarrhea, and breathing difficulties.
The jade plant, also known as the money plant, is only mildly toxic to dogs. Ingestion may result in nausea, vomiting, and lethargy.
Lilies can be poisonous to dogs. Ingesting certain varieties may cause diarrhea, vomiting, decreased appetite, excessive drooling, and pawing at the face. Some lilies, like Lily of the Palace, can even lead to convulsions. It’s essential to check with your vet which lily varieties are safe for your dog.
Oleander is one of the most poisonous plants for dogs. Even contact with this plant can be fatal for them. Symptoms of ingestion include drooling, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, weakness, abnormal heart rate, and collapse. If your dog comes into contact with oleander, take them to the vet immediately.
Peace lilies have calcium oxalate crystals that can cause inflammation and irritation in the mouth and throat. Symptoms include excessive drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and an irritated mouth, which may lead to pawing at the mouth.
Several popular plants from the Philodendron family, like the Swiss cheese plant, heart leaf philodendron, and fiddle-leaf philodendron, can be mildly toxic to dogs. Ingesting their leaves may cause symptoms similar to peace lily ingestion, including swelling and pain in the mouth and tongue, drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.
Rubber trees are moderately toxic to dogs when their leaves or stems are cut or chewed on, exposing their sap. This can result in mouth and intestinal tract irritation, vomiting, drooling, and swelling.
The snake plant, also known as ‘Mother-In-Law’s Tongue,’ is mildly toxic to dogs. Ingestion may lead to symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, loss of appetite, and swelling around the face and mouth.
Sago palms can cause serious sickness or even death in dogs. All parts of the palm, including the roots, stem, leaves, and flowers, are extremely toxic. If your dog ingests any part of the sago palm, including fallen leaves, it is crucial to seek veterinary care immediately. Symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea (possibly with blood), liver failure, and death.
The ZZ plant, Zanzibar Gem, or ‘Never Water Me’ tree is mildly toxic to dogs. Symptoms include mouth and lip irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, and, in some cases, diarrhea.
What to Do if Your Dog Ingests a Toxic Plant
If you suspect your dog has ingested a toxic plant and is displaying signs of poisoning, contact your vet immediately. It’s helpful to provide them with a photo of the plant for identification and an estimate of the amount your dog may have eaten. Your vet will guide you on the best course of action to ensure your furry friend’s prompt recovery.
The information in this article has been checked by ZamiPet Veterinarian and General Manager, Dr. Andrew McKay, BVSc, University of Melbourne, 2000 (Vet Registration No: V3985).
Disclaimer: This information is provided as general advice only. Before starting any treatment or supplement for your pet, please consult your vet for the best approach to ensure your pet’s optimal health.
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