You love your plants. You enjoy having them all over your house. But did you know that there are a lot of poisonous plants for dogs? Those gorgeous flowers could lead to problems if your pooch gets a hold of them. While houseplants add beauty to your home, they might be dangerous for dogs and other animals.
The following is a list of poisonous plants for dogs, as well as some plants that are safe for your pets. You’ll also learn what to do if your beloved companion should ingest a toxic plant.
Some Of The Most Common Poisonous Plants For Dogs
Doing a little research before you bring new houseplants into your home is a great idea. The last thing you’ll want to do is to have to rush your pet to the veterinarian because they munched on something they shouldn’t.
These are just some of the most common poisonous plants you should scratch off your list if you have animals in your home.
Lily Of The Valley
Lilies are beautiful, and they also smell wonderful. The lily of the valley plant produces flowers each spring that are typically pink or white in color. When they do, they fill an entire room with a fantastic scent.1
It’s hard to believe that something so attractive, and something that emits such a great scent, could possibly be dangerous. But that’s absolutely the case with the lily of the valley. When ingested by a dog, the flowers can upset the heart rhythm, which might necessitate an emergency trip to the vet.2
Please don’t have this plant either in your home or near a backyard tree (lilies are often used for landscaping). The risks are just too high.
The oleander is a hearty plant, one often used for landscaping purposes. It explodes with color during the summer months, and its flowering will typically last until the middle of fall. Colors include pink, yellow, red, and white.3
The problem with oleander is that it contains substances known as glycosides that can cause severe heart problems – in pets and humans. Ingesting even a tiny amount could lead to severe illness or even death. Signs of oleander poisoning include confusion, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.4
This is an ornamental plant you’ll see mainly in warmer climates. What’s really bad about the sago palm is that dogs can’t stay away from it – there’s just something about the plant they find irresistible. And, like oleander, every part of the sago palm is toxic to dogs. Consuming it could lead to liver damage or liver failure.5
What’s more festive during the holiday season than holly? People around the world bring this plant into their home, but this really isn’t a good idea for those who have pets. Holly comes in several different varieties – and they’re all toxic to animals. This goes for not only Christmas holly, but also English, Japanese, and American holly.6
The leaves of the holly plant have spines. Ingestion of these leaves can lead to serious oral irritation and gastrointestinal problems.7
You’ve probably experienced the soothing relief of aloe at one time or another when you had irritated skin. But the aloe vera plant is really bad for your dog. It can result in diarrhea, lethargy, tremors, and even nerve damage. Keep this houseplant out of your pet’s reach.8
There are medicinal uses for aloe vera when it comes to dogs, but they should only be administered by a veterinarian. Too much can cause major problems.
Milkweed (AKA Asclepias)
Milkweed attracts butterflies, which is reason enough to have it in your yard – unless you have a dog, that is. The plant contains certain toxins that could damage the heart and other vital organs. If eaten by your dog, milkweed may also cause weakness, depression, diarrhea, seizures, and respiratory issues.9
Houseplants That Are NOT Harmful To Your Dogs
While this list of poisonous plants for dogs may make you think twice about bringing any kind of plant into your home, there’s no reason for you to feel this way. Many plants aren’t dangerous to your pets.
Here’s a look at just a few of the common plants you can bring into your home or yard without worries they’ll make your pup sick.
- African violet – This is a small plant that only grows to about a foot in height. But its beauty makes up for its lack of height. The African violet, also known as the Cape marigold, produces incredible pink and purple flowers. Even better, it’s low maintenance. All you need to do is occasionally give it a good soaking and keep it in low light.
- Blue echeveria – The blue echeveria is a very popular plant among those who don’t exactly have a green thumb. The reason is that it can go weeks without needing water. If you like succulents, this is a great pet-friendly choice.
- Bromeliad – This is another plant that is not only beautiful, but also hearty. It can thrive without water for extended periods of time, and it loves to be exposed to direct sunlight. Known for producing huge flowers, the bromeliad typically grows to about 20 inches high.10
Other Common House Plants Safe For Pets:
- Spider Plant
- Parlor Palm
- Boston Fern
- Date Palm
- Prayer Plant11
Signs Your Dog May Have Eaten A Poisonous Plant
Hopefully, you never have to deal with a situation where one of your dogs encounters poisonous plants. But if accidental ingestion does occur, the first thing to do is keep calm.
In most cases, you’ll know pretty soon if your pet has eaten something toxic. If you notice any of the following, take action as soon as you can.
- Bloody diarrhea
- Upset stomach
- Trouble breathing
- Seizures or muscle tremors
- Lethargy or weakness
- Paleness of the gums or a bluish tint to the gums
- Changes in behavior12
What To Do If It Happens
The faster you act, the better. Animal poison control can be found here.
- Get to your vet – or if it’s after hours, your nearest emergency veterinarian – immediately. It will be a big help if you’ll be able to tell the vet what kind of plant your dog ate, and how much of the plant was ingested.13
- Also, give them your best guess as to when it happened. Consider bringing a sample of your dog’s vomit or diarrhea with you if you’re not sure what plant was eaten.14,15
- Don’t panic – the chances are that if you take the action you need to take, your veterinarian will be able to take care of your beloved pet. Hopefully, you’ll never have to deal with this kind of frightening experience again. Getting rid of poisonous plants – or giving the ones you have to people in households without pets – can help keep your dog happy and healthy for years to come.
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