Houseplants that are poisonous to dogs (and some safe alternatives)
Although most dogs instinctively avoid poisonous foods, you can never be too careful. Some plants simply look too appetising to a curious pup, or boast temptingly chewy stalks .... Has your four-legged friend eaten a toxic houseplant on the sly? The symptoms of poisoning are often clearly evident. They include panting, drooling, shaking, wheezing, vomiting, diarrhoea, a swollen mouth, gums and throat, loss of appetite or lethargy. Which is why it's really best not to bring poisonous houseplants into your home at all.
Indeed, it's important that your household is as safe as possible for your dog. Get rid of any poisonous plants, or move them somewhere (high) out of reach. And, if your pampered pooch visits a dog sitter, then be sure to ask them to thoroughly check their home for potential dangers too.
The following common houseplants are dangerous for dogs. Please note that this list is not exhaustive and doesn't include toxic outdoor plants. ALWAYS remain alert to suspicious symptoms, regardless of the plants in your home. Suspect your dog may have eaten something poisonous? If so, never allow him or her to vomit. Vomiting can result in additional damage to the oesophagus. Instead give your dog clean drinking water as first aid, and consult a veterinarian immediately.
Causes liver and kidney problems. Symptoms may include tears, nasal mucous, vomiting and paralysis. Potentially deadly.
Can cause swelling of the tongue and throat, putting your dog at risk of suffocation. An extremely dangerous plant.
Various types of Dracaena
, including the Dracaena Marginata. These are toxic and affect the mucous membranes.
Cheese plant (Monstera Deliciosa)
Can cause skin irritation.
An exceptionally poisonous plant, even a small dose of which is harmful. Can ultimately lead to cardiac arrest.
The entire plant is toxic, though its sap specifically affects the kidneys.
Cycad or Sago palm (Metroxylon Sagu)
Ingestion may cause your dog to drool and shake. Potentially fatal. Leads to kidney failure, liver problems and damage to the nervous system.
Sansavieria (mother in law's tongue)
The poisonous sap of this plant affects the mucous membrane
Paper plant (Fatsia Japonica)
Both the leaves and stem are toxic, and cause vomiting and diarrhoea, as well as stomach, intestinal and respiratory problems.
Plants that are safe for dogs
It's best to opt for dog-friendly plants. The species below are safe for both dogs and cats. Although, one word of warning: some cats find these extremely appetising:
- Areca palm
- Dwarf palm
- Grass lily
Searching for cat safe plants? Then please read our previous blog about cats and houseplants here.