The answer to the question, “Is aloe poisonous to dogs?” is, unfortunately, yes. Even though the aloe vera plant is known for its therapeutic qualities, it’s toxic to dogs.
Actually, a lot of indoor plants can be dangerous for dogs and other pets. Pet owners need to be careful about what they bring into their home.
If an animal accidentally ingests one of these plants, an emergency trip to the closest veterinarian is in order.
Here are a few of the plants you should never have in your home if you have an indoor pet. The toxins these plants produce can lead to a wide range of problems, ranging from skin irritation to, in some cases, death.
Why Aloe Is Toxic To Pets
The aloe vera plant produces a sap that has a lot of beneficial properties for humans. If you’ve ever had a sunburn, for example, you’ve probably found relief by spreading aloe gel on the affected area. Aloe extracts are found in everything from supplements and flavored water to cosmetic products.
Unfortunately, aloe contains substances known as saponins, making it one of the most poisonous plants for dogs. These substances can really do a number on a dog’s body – specifically, on their gastrointestinal tract. This can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy.1
Other Indoor Plants That Are Toxic To Dogs: Asparagus Ferns, English Ivy, Philodendron, And More
Here are some of the other popular plants that pet owners should avoid bringing into their homes. If you happen to already own one of these pet-toxic plants, its best to give it away to a friend or family member. If you just can’t part with your plant, place it somewhere where your pet will never be able to reach it, such as a very high shelf or window sill.
Like a lot of household plants, the asparagus fern goes by several other names. These include the “sprengeri fern,” “emerald feather,” and the “emerald fern.” The berries of the asparagus fern contain sapogenin, a toxic compound that can cause abdominal pain, vomiting, and other issues in dogs. Skin irritation can also occur.2
Also known as “elephant ear,” caladium is a beautiful plant, but it has a high toxicity level when it comes to pets. If your dog eats caladium, their mouth may swell and burn. This can result in excessive salivation and a seriously upset stomach.3
Poinsettia And Mistletoe
These plants are staples of just about any home’s Christmas decorations. But if you have a pet, you’ll need to keep them out of your home (or out of your pet’s reach) this holiday season. Poinsettia sap can irritate a dog’s esophagus and mouth, and can also lead to nausea.
Thankfully, serious poisoning from poinsettias isn’t common. Most dogs won’t eat enough to get really sick because the plant tastes bad.
Ingestion of mistletoe, on the other hand, can lead to very dangerous issues, including a rapid drop in blood pressure and breathing difficulty. Dogs who ingest mistletoe berries are at risk of suffering seizures and even dying. So please, keep this plant out of your home.
Think about bringing home an artificial mistletoe(made from plastic or fabric) or a Christmas cactus for the holidays instead. A Christmas cactus is non-toxic for both cats and dogs.4
This plant might have a funny name, but the effects it can have on a dog are anything but. The dieffenbachia, also known as the “dumb cane plant,” can be poisonous to a dog. It can cause swelling in a dog’s mouth, abdominal pain, and vomiting.
The reason this occurs is a substance known as calcium oxalate. As it turns out, calcium oxalate crystals are found throughout the dieffenbachia plant. These tiny crystals can lead to big problems, so avoid bringing this plant into your home.5
Philodendron plants are another type of plant that contain calcium oxalate crystals.6
The English ivy, like many other ivy plants, contains compounds known as polyacetylene and triterpenoid saponins. These compounds act as an irritant to the gastrointestinal system of dogs, leading to diarrhea, vomiting, and other problems.7
While there are a lot of plants you’ll want to keep away from your pet, that doesn’t mean you have to stay away from all plants. Many beautiful varieties of plant life, with incredible flowers, are safe for all pets. These include:
- Purple waffle plant
- Boston fern
- Areca palm
- Spider plant
- African violet
- Money plant
- Bamboo palm8,9
Your vet can tell you which additional plants are safe for your pet, and others you’ll need to avoid. I may be best to check in with them before purchasing any plants for your home.
Signs Of Plant Poisoning: When To See The Vet
Dogs are known for getting into things they shouldn’t. They also like eating human foods they shouldn’t eat, like macadamia nuts and chocolate. When it comes to plants, there’s a fair chance your pup likes to nose around in your garden. They may also like checking out your indoor plants. This is why it’s so important to know common plants that could be dangerous to your pets.
If your dog ingests a poisonous plant, how can you tell whether you need to take them to the nearest veterinarian’s office?
The best bet is to be better safe than sorry. If you notice vomiting or excessive drooling, or your dog doesn’t want to eat, get to the vet immediately.
You should also consider taking your dog to the vet if you see signs of skin irritation, such as blisters or rashes. Your pet might have accidentally brushed up against a plant and developed a skin reaction as a result.10
If you have any questions about whether or not a plant could cause signs of poisoning in your pet, get in touch with your vet or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.
You can reach the AAPC by calling (888) 426-4435.11
How To Throw The Perfect Halloween Dog Party
What Human Foods Can Cats Eat? People Food For Pets
The Ultimate Guide to Dog Poop (everything you need to know)