Learn About Common Houseplants That May Be Harmful to Your Dogs

As a pet owner, you need to know what plants pose a danger to your dog. The best way to prevent poisoning is to avoid having any harmful-to-your-dog plants inside and outside your home.

Most puppies like to consume everything in sight, so if you have a new pup, you’ll need to be especially watchful. If ingested, a poisonous plant can be fatal. If you suspect your dog may have consumed a poisonous plant, take them to urgent care immediately and notify your vet.

Here’s a list of both popular and rare plants you want to avoid as a dog owner:

Lilies

Although lilies do not have the same severe toxic effects on dogs as cats, some lilies can still cause discomfort to dogs. The peace lily can cause harm and unrest to your four-legged best friend despite the name of the lily[1].

Symptoms include:

  • Irritation inside of the mouth
  • Vomiting 
  • Difficulty swallowing

The Calla lily is the most popular of the lilies. According to ASPCA, they are toxic to both dogs and cats, some of the symptoms include burning and irritation of the mouth and lips and tongue, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.

Other toxic lilies and lilies that may be considered non-toxic but causes discomfort to include:[2]

  • Lily-of-the-valley (considered highly toxic to cats and dogs)
  • Gloriosa (fire lily) lily (considered highly toxic to cats and dogs)
  • Calla lily 
  • Peace lily
  • Peruvian lily 

In general, it’s a good rule of thumb to keep your pets a safe distance away from lilies altogether.

Palms

Palm trees may be ubiquitous if you live in a tropical or subtropical climate. Various popular palms can pose an immediate threat to your dog’s well-being. Let’s break down the most toxic palms and how to avoid them.

The sago palm is more of an outdoor plant. It produces sago, an edible tapioca lookalike food used in many desserts. Although sago is known to have many health benefits for humans, the palm can have the opposite effect on dogs. Every aspect of the sago palm is poisonous to dogs. The seeds are the most detrimental. If you have puppies that like to taste or nibble at plants, always keep your pet away from a sago palm.

If your dog has been near a sago palm and exhibiting the following signs, take them to a veterinarian immediately: 

  • Vomiting 
  • Blood in stool
  • Increased thirst 
  • Bruising
  • Jaundice

If ingested, it can be fatal to your dog.

Other potentially harmful palms to your dog include:

  • Foxtail palm [3]
  • Cycads and zamias

Tomato Plants

Consult your veterinarian before giving your dog any food that isn’t a canine-friendly meal. Tomato plants and unripe, green tomatoes contain toxins that can cause your dog to experience harmful symptoms such as:

  • Loss of appetite and coordination
  • Weakness
  • Excessive drooling
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Abdominal pain
  • Cardiac effects
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Although the chances of your dog eating enough green tomatoes to cause tomato poisoning are low, it’s best to avoid them altogether and be safe.

 Clinical signs to watch look for:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Depression
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Gastrointestinal distress

Aloe Vera

While aloe vera carries medicinal properties for cuts and burns on humans, it can cause discomfort in canines if an excess amount is ingested. Aloe may only cause mild stomach upset. However, if a dog consumes a lot of the sap of the aloe, that can bring on diarrhea, which can cause concern since excessive diarrhea leads to dehydration. If you keep aloe as a houseplant, always keep it out of reach of your dog. Consider taking it outdoors where your pets won’t have access to it.

Adverse health effects include: 

  • Stomach upset
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Urine infection
  • Tremors
  • Depression
  • Skin irritation[9]

Before You Purchase Houseplants

If you want to buy a houseplant, consider reading which plants are safe for your dogs and pets. Various plant apps you can download will tell you if a plant is toxic to your pet.

Always consult your veterinarian if you’re still unsure. https://vetster.com/en-us/ with any of our licensed veterinarians at Vetster to see what houseplants are safe for your dog.

References:

[1]  https://www.aspca.org/news/top-10-toxic-plants-pets-what-look-out

[2] https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/animal-health-literacy/lovely-lilies-and-curious-cats-dangerous-combination

[3] https://homeguides.sfgate.com/queen-palm-tree-nuts-poisonous-dogs-86729.html

[4] https://humanesocietyofcharlotte.org/7-surprisingly-common-plants-that-are-poisonous-to-pets/

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