Dogs: they’ve always been our best friends. But what about plants? Adding a touch of green to your home is a great way to rejuvenate your living space; but if you’re a dog owner, being plant-friendly goes hand-in-hand with being pet-friendly. Many popular houseplants can actually be poisonous to your dog. Below is a basic list to help educate you on which harmful plants to avoid.
While one of the most useful succulents a plant owner could ask for, Aloe vera is not a plant the most sensible dog owner would want. Despite its well-known healing properties, aloe’s characteristic gel may induce diarrhea, tiredness, and vomiting when eaten by your dog. These effects occur because of the poisonous saponins and anthraquinones the gel contains.
Among some of the easiest to grow indoors, plants in the genus Dieffenbachia are known to add variety to any room thanks to their multicolored leaves. The insoluble calcium oxalates and proteolytic enzymes in them, however, are toxic to dogs. Chewing on these leaves will give rise to an intense burning sensation in your dog’s mouth, tongue, and lips; other symptoms include excessive drooling, difficulty swallowing, and vomiting.
Dracaena is another genus of plants commonly recognized for their tropical foliage, their ability to improve air quality, and their simple care requirements. While there are many species in this genus that are not poisonous, several are. Consuming the saponins found in Dracaena plants may cause anorexia, (bloody) vomiting, depression, and hypersalivation in your dog.
Succulents may not need much tending to, but many kinds of jade tend to be harmful to pets, especially dogs. These plants are considered poisonous because they can induce vomiting, a lack of coordination, and depression in dogs who eat them. Strangely, the principal source of these symptoms is still unknown.
Oleander is an outdoor flowering shrub that can be kept indoors—but growing this in your home can be extremely dangerous for your dog. Eating the cardiac glycosides found in this plant can later cause drooling, colic and other intense abdominal pain, depression, diarrhea, and even death.
While their name sounds complicated, the care required for these plants hardly is. You should take care not to buy one if you have a dog, though; toxic calcium oxalates in different philodendron varieties provoke swelling inside and outside the mouth, trouble swallowing, extreme drooling, and vomiting for dogs who choose to take a bite.
Looking for another small, low-maintenance, and adaptable houseplant? A pothos may seem like a good first choice for the novice plant owner but definitely isn’t when a dog lives at home. Like philodendrons, this popular tabletop plant, if eaten, can produce symptoms of intense oral irritation, hypersalivation, swallowing difficulties, and vomiting in your dog.
8. Sago Palms
While the majority of palms are dog-friendly, one palm-like plant is incredibly dangerous: the sago palm. All of this cycad is considered poisonous, especially its seeds. Symptoms seen in dogs who have consumed its toxic agent, called cyclasin, include vomiting, bloody stool, jaundice, and hemorrhagic gastroenteritis; in the worst cases, liver damage, liver failure, and death can occur.
9. Snake Plants
Named for its long leaves and their snakeskin-esque pattern, the snake plant is a helpful, air-purifying houseplant as far as humans are concerned; for dogs, though, it’s actually quite harmful. Again, saponins are what make this plant poisonous. The clinical signs that are associated with ingesting a snake plant are diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
Are there houseplants that aren’t poisonous to dogs?
Luckily, there are plenty of non-toxic houseplants out there waiting to become a part of your home. Finding the right one for you and your dog may take some searching, but any time you dedicate toward keeping your dog safe is absolutely worth it. To help get you started, feel free to browse our dog-friendly plant suggestions below:
- Cushion aloe
- Prayer plants
- Bamboo palms
- Spider plants
- Friendship plants
If you think your pet may have been poisoned from eating any unsafe plants or plants that are suspected to be unsafe, contact your local veterinarian immediately.
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