Which Plants are Toxic to My Pet?

August 02, 2022

Ever wondered if snake plants and cats get along or googled," are snake plants toxic to dogs?" This plant tops a long list of common household plants that are toxic to pets. Pet owners often obsess over the right brand of food to buy or whether their pets need allergy medication, but many live in the dark regarding household plants and the threat they pose to their pets.

What Common Plants Present a Threat to Pets?

Innumerable plants cause toxicity to dogs and cats, but some of the most common house plants that cause illness include:

  • Snake Plants
  • Morning Glory
  • Rubber Plant
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Rose Moss
  • Sago Palm
  • Oleander
  • Devil's Ivy
  • Aloe Vera
  • Jade
  • Tulips
  • Azaleas
  • Chrysanthemum

The ingestion of any of these plants can cause vomiting, diarrhea, or disorientation. The rubber plant is most toxic to dogs and can cause more severe symptoms like seizures, cardiovascular collapse, and even death. The Sago Palm, for instance, contains a toxin called cycasin which makes it dangerous even to cattle.

Lilies, common in homes around Easter, can cause dangerous effects, especially in cats. All parts of the flower - stem, petals, leaves, stamen - induce toxicity. Even the water in which a lily stem has been submerged can poison a cat. Other flowers that are especially dangerous to cats and dogs, include daffodils, which can cause cardiac arrhythmia. The ingestion of azaleas and rhododendrons can lead to seizures, arrhythmia, and even death.

Don't Eat Your Veggies

Although house plants comprise most of the toxic-to-pets list, some vegetables also belong there. Most cats reject vegetables and fruit in favor of protein, but dogs will often eat various foods. Feeding these fruits or veggies to canine or feline friends can cause symptoms ranging from gastric upset to toxicity:

· Avocado

· Grapes and Raisins

· Cherries

· Tomatoes

· Mushrooms

· Onions

· Garlic

· Eggplants

· Persimmons

· Peaches

· Plums

Allowing your dog to eat foods not meant for them can have dire consequences. For example, a dog who eats grapes, even once, could lapse into kidney failure. And stone fruits like peaches and plums present a problem far beyond choking for a dog: the pit of stone fruits contains cyanide. While humans know not to eat the pit, dogs, with their muscular jaws and made-for-chewing back teeth, can easily tear through stone fruit pits and release the cyanide.

When to Get Help

Because pets and owners don't speak a common language, determining when to take your pet to the veterinarian can be difficult. If you witness your cat or dog ingesting a house plant, get help right away. But what if you just suspect something is wrong?

Don't delay if your dog or cat changes its drinking or eating habits, has abnormal breathing or coughing, experiences vomiting or stool changes, has a hard or swollen abdomen, can't hold its head up, or experiences sudden paralysis of the back legs. Even if you don't see your dog or car directly ingest a house plant, look out for these signs and symptoms.

Happy Plants and Happy Pets

Although many house plants pose a danger to pets, just as many non-toxic house plants add beauty and freshness without the threat of harm. A few of these include:

· Spider Plant

· African Violet

· Bird's Nest Fern

· Venus Flytrap

· Boston Fern

· Watermelon Peperomia

· Prayer Plant

· Mexican Feather Grass

Adding plants and the color and freshness they bring to your home makes everyone happier, pets included. Hopefully, by limiting greenery to non-toxic plants, you limit your pets' veterinarian trips to wellness checks, boarding, and pet resort visits. That way, everyone in the family, pets included, will reap the benefits of a pet-friendly, plant-friendly home. Reach out to Forever Vets today if you suspect your dog or cat has ingested a toxic plant or have any questions about your house plants and how they may be affecting your furry friend.