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8 Common Household Plants That Are Dangerous for Dogs

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8 Common Household Plants That Are Dangerous for Dogs

With their bright colors and lush foliage, nothing quite like household plants can liven up an indoor space. Before deciding which greenery to incorporate into your home next, however, you should be aware of the danger many common plants may pose to your furry family members.  

 

As naturally curious creatures, dogs will occasionally sniff, chew, or eat things they shouldn’t. If you’re a pet parent, you know this all too well! The consequences of your dog munching on one of your plants, though, can be severe. Check out the list below to learn which ones to avoid or at least keep far out of your pet’s reach.  

 

1. Zamioculcas Zamiifolia (ZZ Plant)

ZZ plants are a popular choice because they can survive just about anywhere, including in limited light. Because it functions closer to an irritant that it does a poison, it’s unlikely this low-maintenance plant will cause significant harm to your dog, but remain cognizant of the potential impact if ingested.

 

Toxins: Insoluble calcium oxalates

Toxicity Level: Mild

Toxic Part(s): All

Symptoms: Mucous membrane irritation, intense burning, irritation of mouth and lips, and excessive drooling

 

2. English Ivy

English Ivy is another common indoor decorative plant that can be mildly toxic to dogs when ingested. The naturally-occurring sapogenin and polyacetylene compounds, which are especially concentrated in the leaves, are to blame for this.

 

Toxins: Sapogenin, polyacetylene compounds

Toxicity Level: Mild

Toxic Part(s): All, but the leaves contain the largest amount of toxins

Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, and abdominal pain

 

3. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera has powerful soothing properties that come from the juice inside (which is safe for dogs when applied topically), but ingesting the plant exposes your four-legged friend to harmful toxins.

 

Toxins: Saponins, anthraquinones

Toxicity Level: Mild to moderate

Toxic Part(s): Pulp and juice

Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, and red urine

 

4. Philodendrons

There are many types of philodendrons, and all can thrive in variable temperatures and grow in harsh conditions, making them ideal for an interior space. This type of plant is, however, mildly to moderately toxic to dogs due to the insoluble calcium oxalates it contains.

 

Toxins: Insoluble calcium oxalates

Toxicity Level: Mild to moderate

Toxic Part(s): All

Symptoms: Mucous membrane irritation, intense burning, irritations of the mouth, lips, tongue, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty breathing

 

5. Dieffenbachia (Dumb Cane)

Dieffenbachia, often referred to as dumb cane, are variegated tropical plants that can reach up to six feet in height depending on the variety. This plant is appealing because it’s one of the easiest to grow at home, but be cautious of where you place it if you have a dog, as it can cause moderate effects.

 

Toxins: Insoluble calcium oxalates, proteolytic enzyme

Toxicity Level: Moderate

Toxic Part(s): All

Symptoms: Intense burning, irritations of the mouth, lips, tongue, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty breathing

 

6. Strelitzia (Bird of Paradise)

The bird of paradise is a tall tropical plant with a very distinct flower on top of the stalk that resembles a bird in flight (fitting name, right?). Its leaves contain hydrocyanic acid, which is non-toxic to humans but can lead to gastrointestinal irritation in dogs.

 

Toxins: Hydrogen cyanide

Toxicity Level: Moderate to high

Toxic Part(s): All

Symptoms: Mild nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, difficulty breathing, and potentially death

 

7. Tulips

As eye-catching as they are, these beautiful almost perfectly symmetrical blooms are toxic to most animals. All parts of a tulip contain toxins, but the toxins are most concentrated in the bulb of the plant.

 

Toxins: Glycosides

Toxicity Level: Moderate to very high, depending on the part ingested

Toxic Part(s): All, but the bulb contains the largest amount of toxins

Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, abdominal pain, seizures, coma, and potentially death

 

8. Sago Palm

Despite what its name may imply, the sago palm isn’t a true palm. With its feather-like fronds though, this plant is a household favorite, and unfortunately also one of the most dangerous for dogs. The same is true for humans, so if you have small children, keep sago palms away from them too.

 

Toxins: Cycasin

Toxicity Level: Very high

Toxic Part(s): All, but the seed or “nuts” contain the largest amount of toxins

Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, liver failure, and potentially death

 

The severity of symptoms dogs may experience ultimately depends on how much of a given plant they ingest. If you suspect your dog has bitten into any of the plants mentioned above, call your vet or ASPCA Poison Control (888-426-4435) immediately. Also remember that this is not a comprehensive list, and many plants have multiple names, so we encourage you to take time to research before bringing new greenery into your home.

 

You’ve reached the end of this article! See you next time. 🐶

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