7 Common Household Plants That Are Toxic to Dogs

7 Common Household Plants That Are Toxic to Dogs

We’ve hit a wave of new green thumbs being discovered at home. From aesthetic to conservation, plants are more and more prevalent. 

Right now, it’s reported that 66% of Americans have at least one plant in their home, noting that it continues to grow as plants compound their presence in trends year after year.

Why? Houseplant Resource Center explains, “Millennials and Gen Zers are busy with demanding jobs and social lives and may not spend as much time in nature as they like. Many live in urban environments where nature is hard to come by.”

They continue, “With skyrocketing home prices, student debt, and a competitive job market, many young people are also putting off home buying and choosing to rent instead, which means that many live in apartments without their own yards. Houseplants are a great way to carve out a little piece of nature all to yourself!”

If you’re a dog owner, keep reading before you buy the next plant.

While plants are seemingly harmless (they don’t hurt you, how could they hurt something else?) there are common household plants that are toxic–even fatal–to dogs.

Before you bring more plants into your home, be sure to:

  • Do a thorough search of the plant to see if it’s toxic to dogs
  • Have veterinarian information available 
  • Have a plan to keep them out of reach of your fur babies

Here’s a starting list to work with, 7 common household plants that are toxic to dogs.

1. Aloe Vera

If your dog ingests aloe vera, they can experience aloe vera poisoning. You see, aloe vera is normalized as an at-home care remedy, so the traces around your house can be dangerous to your dog whether the aloe vera is in gel form or plant form.

When ingested, dogs can experience:

  • Cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Low blood sugar

“How well your dog does depends on how much aloe they swallowed and how quickly they receive treatment. The faster medical help is given, the better the chance for recovery. Monitor your pet once home, and be certain to attend all follow-up appointments as scheduled by the veterinarian.” - Wag

2. Lilies

Lillies paint the aisles of grocery stores, floral shops, and farmers' markets, and they make beautiful centerpieces. But lilies, as beautiful as they are, are poisonous to dogs. Most lilies are not safe for dogs especially when ingested.

According to Pure Pet Food, “These [true] lilies are dangerous because they contain alkaloids that damage the red blood cells. In cats, eating these lilies can cause organ failure and death. Although it is less likely, your dog might suffer from damage to their organs too if they eat a significant amount.”

The bulb of the lily plants is significantly more toxic to dogs. If you have lilies in any flower arrangements, be sure to keep them away in a different room and monitor droppings from vases.

3. Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia)

This plant is a popular household plant because it thrives in sunlight at any level except direct sunlight. It’s the plant lover’s dream! But a nightmare for your pooch. 

The ASPCA reports symptoms including:

  • Oral irritation
  • Intense burning and irritation of mouth, tongue, and lips
  • Excessive drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty swallowing

Symptoms can continue for a few weeks but seek medical attention as soon as possible as symptoms are very uncomfortable and can prevent your dog from eating, drinking water, etc.

4. Elephant Ear

These big, leafy plants bring so much vibrancy to your room but, unfortunately, they share similar symptoms to the Dumb Cane plant. If ingested, dogs experience difficulty swallowing, experience increased salivation, vomiting, and oral irritation.

Wedgewood Pharmacy shares a few more names that Elephant Ears go by so you can keep an eye out while shopping for houseplants.

  • Taro
  • Pai
  • Malanga
  • Via Sori
  • Ape
  • Caladium

5. Daffodils

Another plant to keep a lookout for especially during the spring season is the daffodil. The entire plant is toxic: the stems, flowers, and leaves. ASPCA shares, “These flowers have lycorine, which is an alkaloid that can trigger vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and even heartbeat irregularities. However, it is the bulbs that hold the most concentrated amount of lycorine, which is what makes them the most dangerous. The bulbs and flowers also contain calcium oxalates, which are tiny, needle-shaped crystals that cause intense pain in the mouth, tongue, lips, and throat. Once ingested, they can cause stomach pain and vomiting.”

If your dog ingests a daffodil, bring part of the daffodil with you so your veterinarian can identify the type of daffodil ingested and the severity of the toxicity.

6. Chrysanthemums

The beautiful chrysanthemums (mums) flower shares similar symptoms of toxic response when ingested by dogs, however, the risk is dependent on how much is consumed.

KidADL reports, “Chrysanthemums can cause mild to severe health issues in a dog depending on how much your dog has come in contact with the plant. The signs or symptoms can be anything starting from just a rash to even death if it's too severe.”

7. Asparagus fern

There’s a toxic agent that’s found in the asparagus fern–and in other various plants–called sapogenin and it’s a steroid that causes severe abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and more in cats and dogs. 

It also can cause skin irritations with prolonged exposure.

“How well your dog does depends on how much aloe they swallowed and how quickly they receive treatment. The faster medical help is given, the better the chance for recovery. Monitor your pet once home, and be certain to attend all follow-up appointments as scheduled by the veterinarian.” - Wag

For more doggie photos and pup-related fun, follow us on Instagram at @joyrideharness. And for a more detailed blog post about finding the best size dog harness for your pup, check out this blog post!

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