Dog owners: before you go out and buy a pretty potted plant, do your research! Some houseplants can be dangerous for dogs—even deadly—so make sure you know before you grow. We’ve rounded up 11 of the most toxic common houseplants for dogs.
Check out the list here, and scroll down for pictures and identifying details.
|1. Aloe Vera||5. Philodendron||9. Elephant Ear|
|2. Ivy||6. Pothos||10. Corn Plant|
|3. Jade||7. Sago Palm||11. Asparagus Fern|
|4. Dumb Cane||8. ZZ Plant|
11 Poisonous Plants for Dogs
1. Aloe Vera
This stuff is great to have on hand for skin-soothing purposes, but it’s not so fun when your dog decides to munch on a leaf. Topical use of the gel found inside the leaves is no problem, but there are other proponents of the plant that can irritate the digestive system if ingested.
2. Hedera Helix, or “Ivy”
You know it as ivy and it sure looks pretty falling from a bookshelf, but things will get not pretty if you ingest its leaves. Symptoms range from something minor such as breathing difficulties or a rash, and can be as serious as paralysis or even coma, so make sure it’s far out of reach.
3. Crassula Ovata, or “Jade”
A rubber plant popular for its hard-to-kill properties, crassula ovata, commonly known as jade, is toxic to pets and can cause vomiting and a slow heart rate in addition to a hard-to-identify symptom: depression.
4. Dieffenbachia, or “Dumb Cane”
It’s the common houseplant with an uncommon name. Chewing on the leaves of this low maintenance plant can lead to severe swelling and burning of the mouth and tongue, which can in turn lead to difficulty breathing and in severe cases, death.
Like dieffenbachia, philodendron is a popular pick for its low maintenance needs, but if ingested, can result in swelling and burning of the mouth and tongue as well as digestive issues, spasms, and even seizures.
6. Epipremnum Aureum, or “Pothos,” or “Devil’s Ivy”
Like its close cousin philodendron, pothos is a hard-to-kill houseplant with very few needs. Unfortunately, that means it can also cause the same symptoms as philodendron if ingested.
7. Cycas Revoluta, or “Sago Palm”
Sago palm lends an instant exotic look to your home, but every single part of the plant—from the seeds and the roots all the way to the leaves—are poisonous and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and in some cases, liver failure.
8. Zamioculcas, or “ZZ Plant”
Attractive to homeowners and office dwellers with little to no light, the ZZ plant can cause adverse reactions such as vomiting and diarrhea.
9. Caladium, or “Elephant Ear”
Whatever you call it, caladium is a favorite for its colorful leaves. However, it’s bad news if ingested and can cause swelling and burning of the mouth and tongue, lots of drooling, and vomiting.
10. Dracaena Fragrans, or “Corn Plant”
Vomiting—sometimes with blood—is the main symptom when the corn plant is ingested, but it can also lead to appetite loss and depression.
11. Asparagus Fern
It doesn’t just cause vomiting and diarrhea if ingested, but it can also create skin irritation if your dog is exposed to it repeatedly.
Safe plants for dogs
Scared? Never fear! Life-threatening reactions are rare, but it’s better to be safe. And there are plenty of options for 100% non-toxic houseplants, too. Looking to brighten up your home and freshen up the air? Blue echeveria, “burro’s tail,” and “hens and chicks” all have a succulent feel. Want something a bit more classic? Try bamboo or “ponytail palm.”
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Top image via Flickr/HackBitz