What houseplants are toxic to dogs? Stay away from these!

My home is brimming with greenery, a usual scenario for plenty of plant lovers. A significant number of these plant enthusiasts also have an affinity for pets, often wishing to have one. Keeping a dog, or perhaps even several dogs, at home is ideal, although there can be a struggle to harmonize one’s affection for both, as they don’t always live together in perfect harmony.

What houseplants are toxic to dogs? The list is extensive. A wide variety of houseplants are toxic to your dogs. Popular houseplants like Arrowhead or Peace lilies, along with many others, can make your dogs ill. In this article, I will cover what houseplants to watch out for.

Of course, you should note that the level of toxicity of these plants and their effect on your dog will vary according to type, how much of the toxins are ingested or inhaled, and the extent of the symptoms the dog may show. This post will address most of your concerns.

Certain plants are not suitable to have around your dogs. They can be toxic to your dog if ingested or even sniffed in some instances. Dogs like to nibble on green things if given enough freedom.

Dogs like sniffing the edges of leaves before they chew, and while they may have a good nose, they don’t always know what toxins are harmful, and they eat green leaves for several reasons: play, boredom, or because they have an upset tummy.

Dogs getting ill is not so common, and even suspecting your plant may be the cause is even less common, so it is always necessary to check your dog to ensure they aren’t playing near any toxic plant. I hope you find this article helpful and can pick the best houseplants which won’t affect your love for dogs.

Below are some of the main houseplants or other plants used in flower arranging that are toxic to dogs.

  • Alocasia (Alocasia macrorrhizos)
  • Arrowhead Plant (Syngonium podophyllum)
  • Strelitzia (Strelitzia reginae)
  • Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium)
  • Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
  • Dracaena (Dracaena fragrans)
  • Oleander (Nerium oleander)
  • Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
  • Fig Tree (Ficus carica)
  • Begonia (Begonia semperflorens)
  • Calla Lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica)
  • Azalea (Rhododendron)
  • Hostas (Plantain lilies)
  • Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)
  • Aloe (Aloe vera)
  • Daffodils (Narcissus)
  • Tulip (Tulipa)

Alocasia (Alocasia macrorrhizos)

Alocasia is a houseplant, alternatively referred to as the elephant ear plant because of its large and pointed leaves. It is a genus of plants of the family Araceae. It has about 79 species, originating from a wide range of areas, such as the Eastern Himalayas, to tropical regions of the Western Pacific and Eastern Australia.

Alocasia plants may, however, be very toxic to dogs. The Elephant’s ear contains insoluble calcium oxalate, which has a crystal that can cause injury in the mouth of the dog. Skin contact can also cause burning skin pain, eye irritation, redness, and inflammation. At the same time, ingestion may lead to abdominal pain, diarrhea, lack of appetite, speaking difficulty, drooling, and much more.

Arrowhead Plant (Syngonium podophyllum)

The Arrowhead Vine is a plant with spade-shaped leaves and markings on them. Also called the goosefoot plant and botanically, Syngonium podophyllum is found mainly in tropical areas of Central America and South America. However, it is also cultivated as a houseplant.

The Arrowhead plant, however, has insoluble calcium oxalate crystals, which may cause intense irritation or pain when swallowed. It can also cause diarrhea, dilated eyes, excessive drooling, hoarse barking, vomiting, numbness, etc.

Strelitzia (Strelitzia reginae)

Strelitzia, the bird of paradise, is a great ornamental plant native to South Africa. Grown as an indoor plant and for its cut flowers, it would appear toxic to dogs when ingested. Its flower seeds contain toxic tannins, and flowers with hydrocyanic acid can cause labored breathing, eye discharge, and digestive discomfort.

Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium)

Although they are lovely, the chrysanthemums are as deadly to dogs as they are beautiful. They are also known as daisies; this gorgeous flower comes in several colors, depending on varying species. They contain, however, sesquiterpene, lactones, pyrethrins, and other potential irritants to a dog. It can also cause vomiting, diarrhea, hypersalivation, and incoordination.

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

This is a tropical flower that belongs to the Araceae family. Also known as the Mauna Loa, the peace lily leaves are broad and green. They also have a shiny and glimmering appearance. A popular indoor plant because it does not require much plant maintenance, it can bloom all year, and it requires only a little sunlight to the flower.

The peace lily, however, contains calcium oxalate that is toxic to dogs. It can cause oral irritation and gastrointestinal upset in dogs. It can also lead to vomiting, irritated lips, and tongue.

Dracaena (Dracaena fragrans)

Dracaena is a term that does not exclusively refer to just one particular species of houseplants. This genus includes very several beautiful houseplants, popular in several houses. Names such as Corn Plant, Cornstalk Plant, Dragon Tree, and ribbon plant are commonly used for plants under this genus.

These varying species, however, contain unknown steroidal saponins, which may be dangerous to dogs. Saponins are capable of causing drooling, vomiting, weakness, a lack of coordination, and dilated pupils when ingested.

Oleander (Nerium oleander)

Also known as Nerium, all parts of this popular ornamental shrub are toxic to humans and dogs. Its cardiac glycosides, often as flower and fruit pigments, harm dogs. Ingesting this plant can cause fatal heart abnormalities, muscle tremors, incoordination, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea.

Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

Also known as the devil’s ivy, taro vine, or ivy arum, the Golden Pothos, this leafy vine is one of the easiest plants. It is a popular choice for house vines since they can grow to impressive sizes. It can reach up to 10 feet indoors, even longer in its natural environment.

However, the leaves and stems of the golden pothos contain calcium oxalate crystals, which can be very toxic to dogs. It has symptoms such as pain in the oral cavity, vomiting, loss of appetite, excessive drooling, and difficulty swallowing.

Fig Tree (Ficus carica)

Figs are trendy houseplants that are commonly grown at home. The weeping fig and the Indian rubber plant, commonly otherwise called the fig tree, grow well indoors. Their long, glossy, green leaves are beautiful for indoor use. It can produce fruit indoors because the flowers do not require pollination.

As with several other plants, while perfectly safe for humans, figs, fruit, leaves, and sap may irritate dogs. Due to the proteolytic enzymes and psoralen they contain, they can pose severe problems for dogs. Its poisoning symptoms range from vomiting, drooling, and excessive head shaking to diarrhea and skin irritation.

Begonia (Begonia semperflorens)

Commonly found houseplants in most households, the Begonia holds this title because the Begonia can tolerate low-light conditions in your home. From the family name Begoniaceae variety, they come in various leaf colors and shapes, and begonias do well without direct light.

The Begonia, which contains soluble calcium oxalates, can poison dogs. Its toxicity can lead to vomiting and salivation, difficulty swallowing, excessive drooling, tongue irritation, and even kidney failure, although these are very extreme.

Calla Lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica)

Calla Lily is a beautiful house flower with a spade shape, funnel-like single flowers. Botanically referred to as Zantedeschia aethiopica, they contain calcium oxalate crystals which cause immediate mouth pain, burning and irritation, drooling and vomiting.

Azalea (Rhododendron)

Azaleas bloom in the spring (May and June in the temperate Northern Hemisphere), their flowers often lasting several weeks. It doesn’t take much for this plant to affect your dog. Ingestion of a few azalea leaves can irritate your dog’s mouth and cause vomiting and diarrhea. In severe cases, azaleas can cause a drop in blood pressure, coma, and even death in dogs. It’s best to keep these away from your dogs.

Hostas (Plantain lilies)

Known for their exceptionally popularly beautiful leaves, Hortas are common houseplants because of their ability to preserve in low light conditions. Due to their ability to thrive in limited sunlight, hostas are very dangerous to dogs, and their toxic saponin can cause diarrhea and vomiting.

Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)

Known also as Crassula Ovata, jade plants go by several names, such as the Japanese rubber plant, friendship tree, and baby jade; they are trendy houseplants. Their glossy oval-shaped leaves and mini-tree-like appearance make them very appealing houseplants.

It is the perfect plan for those who forgetful about watering their plants because the jade plant can survive for a good period and not lose its color without being watered.

The Jade Plant, however appealing as they are to look at, is also very toxic to dogs. Although their exact toxin is unclear when ingested, the jade plant can cause vomiting, lethargy, a lack of coordination, and a low heart rate in most dogs.

Aloe (Aloe vera)

Aloes are common houseplants and help make beauty products and burns. Many people keep an aloe plant in the kitchen or bathroom mainly because it adds style and beauty to the room, but it also comes in handy if you need to soothe a burn.

There are many varieties of aloe plants. However, your dog must avoid some of the same compounds that make helpful aloe (i.e., saponins) aloe. Symptoms of aloe poisoning in dogs include vomiting, depression, anorexia, diarrhea, tremors, and change in urine color.

Daffodils (Narcissus)

Daffodil is a flowering bulb referred to botanically as Narcissus. They are suitable for being extremely beautiful and surprisingly low maintenance. They are commonly called “jonquil” and bloom during the spring. A daffodil in one’s home is gorgeous unless you own a dog.

All daffodil plants are considered poisonous, but the daffodil bulb is the most poisonous to dogs. Alkaloids, including toxic lycorine, are found in the bulbs of daffodils. Eating any part of a daffodil can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, arrhythmias, convulsions, and a severe drop in blood pressure.

Tulip (Tulipa)

Just as with daffodils, the bulb of the tulip is the most poisonous to dogs. However, note that the entire plant of a tulip is toxic to dogs, just like with other plants. Eating the bulb makes it more dangerous and can cause significant oral irritation, excessive drooling, and nausea.

Safe plants to get for dogs

As in our previous article, which featured What houseplants are toxic to cats? Avoid these Now! Dogs have similar plants that are good for them. It’s best to consider other plants that may beautify your home and make you and your dog happy. Some of them include the following:

Plants are safe to keep when you have dogs.

  • African Violet (Saintpaulia)
  • Parlour palm (Chamaedorea elegans)
  • Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura)
  • Baby Rubber Plant (Peperomia obtusifolia) 
  • Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
  • Swedish Ivy (Plectranthus verticillatus) 
  • Haworthia zebra (Haworthia attenuata)
  • Peperomia green (Piperaceae Giseke)
  • Bamboo palm (Dypsis lutescens)
  • Baby Tears (Soleirolia Soleirolii)

African Violet (Saintpaulia)

Native to East Africa, these are grown better indoors. They have leaves that are inedible as well as non-toxic.

Parlour palm (Chamaedorea elegans)

Hearing the word “palm” might make you think of a sunny, calm climate, but the parlor palm has been prized for a long time for its resilience to indoor conditions.

Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura)

This Brazilian rainforest plant thrives in high humidity and bright, indirect sunlight.

Baby Rubber Plant (Peperomia obtusifolia) 

Though the rubber plant (Ficus elastic) might be poisonous, the baby rubber plants are non-toxic and can serve as adequate substitutes in a home.

Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)

Some fern varieties produce harmful toxins, especially for felines. Boston ferns are safer varieties of ferns for a home that has cats.

Swedish Ivy (Plectranthus verticillatus) 

A perfect plant for hanging baskets, its preference includes moisture and indirect light.

Haworthia zebra (Haworthia attenuata)

If you’re an individual who can never remember to water plants, then this Lil’ zebra is a perfect option. This is because it’s used to desert conditions.

Peperomia green (Piperaceae Giseke)

The Peperomia is an immortal plant that can be easily propagated by cutting off its leaves and completely regenerating after entirely dead.

Bamboo palm (Dypsis lutescens)

A bamboo palm adds tropical vibes to your home if that is what you love, and all this without that much effort. All that is needed is to water it a few times a week.

Baby Tears (Soleirolia Soleirolii)

This plant is both child-safe and pet-safe. The baby tears are the plant for you, especially with its beautiful white flowers and the fact that it is the perfect non-toxic plant for a home.

You may check the RSPCA or the ASPCA websites for more examples of plants that may or may not be toxic.

How to keep your dogs safe from these plants?

With the huge list above, you would be forgiven for thinking you want to rid your house of all plants to keep your dogs safe. However, there are ways to keep your dogs safe and still have plants. Some of those include:

  • Keep plants dogs will not chew on
  • Use a pebble mulch
  • Consider sacrificial plants
  • Move plants to a safer location
  • Hanging plants to keep dogs away
  • Spray plants with a dog deterrent
  • Ensure your dog has toys to occupy itself

Keep plants dogs will not chew on

There are many plants that dogs do not like to eat; these include heavily scented plants like rosemary and spiky plants like cactus; these plants are ideal for keeping around dogs.

Use a pebble mulch

Dogs play with plant pots and soil when they are bored. They love to make a mess by pulling over and chewing plants and soil. Adding large pebbles as mulch to the tops of your pots will help to distract the dogs from the soil below.

Consider sacrificial plants

Why not consider using sacrificial plants? These are plants that dogs like to eat. You could place these in a more accessible place for the dogs to chew on. Consider plants like catnip and lemon balm for these.

Move plants to a safer location.

Although dogs can’t climb around the house, they quickly turn over pots on low levels. You could place your plants in safer locations around the house. High shelving may be out of the dog’s jumping distance or in windowsills blocked for dog access.

Hanging plants to keep dogs away

Even better than just moving your plants, consider hanging them from the ceiling or having a dedicated stand to hang them from. This will keep the dogs away from your plants thoroughly.

Spray plants with a dog deterrent.

Many dog deterrents on the market; make the plants smell unfavorable to them, and therefore, they are left alone. Products such as the following can be used, all with significant effects.

Ensure your dog has toys to occupy itself

With such an array of dog toys on the market, you shouldn’t need your dog to want to chew your plants. The owner is responsible for providing adequate attention-style toys for your dogs. Consider chewing toys and toys that smell like things dogs love

Sometimes we may have both dogs and cats in the same home. If you have both, consider checking out my article What houseplants are toxic to cats? Avoid these Now! Although there are a lot of similarities, there are differences that need to be addressed.

Conclusion

In summary, toxicity may vary depending on the amount of plant ingested or the type of plants, as discussed above. If you want to buy plants for the home, you should first research whether they are toxic to dogs to avoid wasting your money on poisonous plants.

As discussed, many plants are toxic to dogs, and we should also engage with vets just in case we see symptoms like swelling, redness, and itchiness of the eyes, mouth, or skin. Other symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive urination, and difficulty breathing.

If treatment is delayed, ingestion may be deadly, while some plants may require a special dog diet. We should remove such toxic plants from home and keep the dog indoors with special supervision to avoid all these.

However, I do not want to prevent you from growing these plants at home. Maybe get rid of your dog instead. ONLY JOKING! But in all seriousness, consider the plants you are growing and their location within the home.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post about what houseplants are toxic to dogs. I trust it answers your question fully. If this interests you, why not consider checking out some of my other blog posts and subscribing so you don’t miss future content?

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Remember, folks, You Reap What You Sow!

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