9 Popular Houseplants That Are Toxic to Dogs

9 Popular Houseplants That Are Toxic to Dogs

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Many houseplant enthusiasts have watched their prized plants get destroyed by their dogs; anyone who’s ever lost a specimen to their dog knows how infuriating it can be. Not only is it bad for your plant collection, but it can also be dangerous for your dog. Few things are more devastating for families than to see their dog injured or killed by such a preventable mistake.

If you have a dog, take extra caution with the following trendy houseplants.

20 Houseplants Safe for Cats and Dogs

Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata)

We're sorry to break it to you, but one of the Internet's most infamous houseplants—the fiddle leaf fig—is toxic to dogs if ingested. Revered by interior decorators and houseplant enthusiasts alike, the fiddle leaf fig is a medium to large-sized houseplant with a thin trunk and large fiddle-shaped leaves.

Unfortunately, consuming fiddle leaf fig foliage can cause painful symptoms for your dog including skin and gastrointestinal irritation. If your dog is prone to chewing on plants, do not bring a fiddle leaf fig into your home.

Toxic Properties: Ficin, furocoumarins, and ficusin

Philodendron (Philodendron bipinnatifidum)

Philodendron is a large genus of tropical plants that are beloved amongst indoor gardeners thanks to their stunning foliage and ease of care. Popular philodendron varieties include the heartleaf philodendron, philodendron 'Brasil', and philodendron 'Micans,' among others.

While Philodendron varieties are harmless to the touch, they are toxic to both dogs and cats if ingested. Symptoms of philodendron poisoning include oral irritation, swelling, vomiting, trouble breathing, and excessive drooling.

Toxic Properties: Insoluble calcium oxalates

ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

ZZ plants (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) have exploded in popularity in recent years thanks in part to the fact that they can survive in almost complete darkness and therefore make excellent low light plants. ZZ plants are grown from rhizomes, which means that they appreciate infrequent watering, making them an overall low-maintenance houseplant.

Sadly, ZZ plants are toxic to dogs and cats if ingested and can cause symptoms typical of calcium oxalate poisoning such as vomiting and diarrhea.

Toxic Properties: Insoluble calcium oxalates

Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis miller)

Aloe vera, which has many positive medicinal uses for humans, can paradoxically be quite toxic if ingested by dogs. Aloe is a species of succulent that is native to Western Asia and is cultivated around the world for its medicinal and agricultural uses. Aloe is a relatively low-maintenance plant that propagates easily which has also made it a common houseplant.

While Aloe vera is harmless to humans, it is toxic to dogs if ingested and will cause symptoms such as lethargy, vomiting and gastrointestinal issues.

Toxic Properties: Saponins, anthraquinones

Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae)

Bird of paradise plants (Strelitzia) are tropical houseplants native to South Africa. They became popular as houseplants due to their large foliage and stunning orange and blue flowers that resemble birds in flight. Interestingly, the most infamous part of a bird of paradise plant—the flower—is also the most toxic.

Symptoms of bird of paradise poisoning include gastrointestinal irritation resulting in nausea and vomiting as well as drowsiness. If veterinary care is sought on time, it is possible for dogs who suffer from bird of paradise poisoning to make a full recovery.

Toxic Properties: gastrointestinal irritants

Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia)

Commonly known as dumb canes, Dieffenbachia are wonderfully variegated tropical plants that can vary in size from less than a foot tall to four to five feet tall depending on the variety. There are several different cultivators of Dieffenbachia, the most popular of which include the D. picta  'Camilla' and D. amoena 'Tropic Snow.'

Dieffenbachia are toxic to both cats and dogs if ingested. Symptoms of Dieffenbachia poisoning include oral irritation and swelling, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty breathing.

Toxic Properties: Insoluble calcium oxalates

Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)

Sago palms are native to the tropical regions of Japan and are popular as houseplants in their bonsai form. They are characterized by a crown of thick green palm leaves supported by a shaggy trunk. They are slow-growing plants, usually staying fairly small, especially when grown indoors.

Sago palms are extremely toxic to both humans and animals, causing liver failure and even death if ingested. Early symptoms of sago palm poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures. If you have a dog at home, sago palms are an important houseplant to avoid.

Toxic Properties: Cycasin

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

Distinguished by their white flowers and dark, glossy leaves—these tropical plants make terrific houseplants. When properly cared for, peace lilies can bloom up to twice a year with the flowers lasting several months at a time.

Unfortunately, the peace lily is poisonous to both dogs and cats, especially the 'Mauna Loa' variety. This large cultivar, which can grow up to two feet, causes irritation around the contacted area and will induce vomiting in animals if ingested.

Toxic Properties: Insoluble calcium oxalates

Alocasia (Alocasia macrorrhizos)

Alocasia is a genus of flowering perennials native to tropical and subtropical Asia and Australia. Alocasia can be temperamental houseplants that require adequate light, water, and humidity, but their stunning leaves make them popular nonetheless.

Sadly, Alocasia contains calcium oxalate crystals which makes them toxic to dogs, cats, and humans and can cause oral irritation, burning of the lips and mouth, swelling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing and breathing if ingested.

Toxic Properties: Insoluble calcium oxalates

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