Both dogs and houseplants can add a lot of joy to our lives, but the two don’t always mix. There are some houseplants that look gorgeous, but are highly toxic to dogs if ingested.
If a curious pup is part of your family, you’ll want to think twice before bringing one of these plants into your home.
About Toxic Houseplants
Ingesting any plant or non-food substance can cause illness or gastrointestinal distress in dogs. However, the plants on this list are known to be especially toxic for canines, and can cause discomfort, illness, or even death.
It’s important to note that this is not an exhaustive list of houseplants that are poisonous to dogs. If you have any questions or concerns about the plants in your home, please consult your veterinarian.
The reactions pets have to these plants varies from mild to extreme. If you suspect your dog has ingested any of the plants on this list, please contact your veterinarian right away.
The Houseplant Heaven team are not veterinarians, and this article is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Please consult your vet with any questions or concerns, and call a veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet has ingested one of these plants.
Plants That Are Mildly Toxic to Dogs
The plants listed below are considered mildly toxic to dogs. If your pupper snacks on one of these houseplants, they may end up with a tummy ache or some minor irritation. If you own these plants, do your best to keep them where your dog can’t reach them.
Aloe Vera Plant
Aloe vera plants have lots of benefits for humans, but they’re bad news for dogs, cats, and horses. It’s not known exactly what property of aloe plants make them toxic for pets (probably the saponins), but no matter the cause, the result is unpleasant for your furry friend.
If your dog ingests an aloe vera plant, you can expect vomiting and gastrointestinal distress. The juice and pulp of the aloe plant are most toxic to dogs.
Also known as the dumb cane plant, dieffenbachias come in many different varieties. They are a lovely addition to your houseplant collection, but you’ll want to keep them away from pets. Insoluble calcium oxalates in the plant make them poisonous to both dogs and cats.
If your dog consumes dieffenbachia, you may notice excessive drooling, swelling around the mouth, labored breathing, or vomiting. If you think your dog may have ingested dieffenbachia, you’ll want to contact your vet right away.
Pothos plants (also know as Devil’s Ivy) are popular with many plant lovers because they have gorgeous foliage and are easy to grow. There are also many varieties of pothos, each with its own unique look. Sadly, the pothos plant also mildly toxic to dogs.
The insoluble calcium oxates in the pothos plant can cause mouth and nose irritation, excessive drooling, and difficulty swallowing in dogs.
The zamioculcas zamiifolia plant, better known as the ZZ plant is a very popular houseplant that needs little and infrequent watering light to thrive. Many consider it to be the ultimate low-maintenance plant. However, the insoluble calcium oxalates make them mildly toxic to dogs.
If your dog ingests any part of a ZZ plant, you may observe swelling or irritation in the mouth and nose, difficulty swallowing, and excessive drooling.
Philodendrons come in many different varieties, including the heartleaf philodendron, the tree philodendron, and the red leaf philodendron. Philodendrons are stunning and easy to care for, but the insoluble calcium oxalates in the plant make them mildly toxic to dogs and cats.
If your dog eats philodendron, you may notice swelling around the mouth, drooling, vomiting, or labored breathing.
Caladium plants are know for their colorful variegated leaves, and are sometimes called malanga or via sori. The caladium plant is similar to the dieffenbachia plant, and the symptoms it causes are also similar.
When ingested by dogs, caladium plants can cause oral irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, or trouble swallowing. If your dog likes to chew leaves, you’ll want to keep your caladium far from your pet!
Fiddle Leaf Fig
The fiddle leaf fig (ficus lyrata) is one of the most popular indoor houseplants. It is known for its large, glossy, fiddle-shaped leaves. The fiddle leaf fig is also known to be mildly toxic to dogs.
The insoluble calcium oxalates in the fiddle leaf fig can cause irritation around the mouth, heavy drooling, vomiting, and heavy breathing. If you have one of these popular plants, be sure to keep it away from your dog.
Houseplants That Are Moderately Toxic to Dogs
The plants listed below are moderately toxic to dogs. If your dog ingests one of these plants, you could see vomiting, difficulty breathing, or other strong symptoms. You’ll definitely want to keep these plants out of the way of your pup, and if that’s not possible, you may want to give them to a pet-free home.
The jade plant (crassula ovata) is a lovely, low-care succulent. Jade plants are great for beginning plant owners, but they can be toxic for furry friends.
Unknown toxins in the jade plant can cause nausea, vomiting, and retching in dogs. If you own a jade plant, be sure to place it somewhere that your pet cannot ingest the leaves.
Eucalyptus Plants are unique, fragrant, and eucalyptus derivatives have a variety of uses. But be careful; this strong-smelling plant can have a strong effect on dogs.
Just the smell of the eucalyptus plant can be irritating to dogs, and eating it can cause lethargy, excessive drooling, weakness, vomiting, or diarrhea. Because dogs are so sensitive to the smell of eucalyptus, you should avoid diffusing essential oils or burning candles that contain eucalyptus as well.
The tropical peace lily plant produces beautiful flowers, but don’t let that beauty deceive you; for pets like dogs, the peace lily is very dangerous. Peace lilies of all types are harmful to dogs, but the Mauna Loa variety has been found to be the most toxic.
The insoluble calcium oxalates in the peace lily can cause digestive irritation, vomiting, swelling, and trouble swallowing if ingested by your pet. This plant also grows quite large, so if your dog is prone to plant chewing, it might be hard to keep the two apart. Be very careful with this plant!
English Ivy (hedera helix) is a shade-loving plant that is popular because it is both lovely to look at and easy to grow. However, the triterpenoid saponins in English Ivy make it moderately dangerous for dogs.
If your dog eats any part of your English Ivy plant, you may see vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, or signs of stomach pain. For the health and happiness of your dog, you’ll want to keep this plant out of your home or put it in a spot your pup can’t reach.
The cornstalk plant (dracaena fragrans massangeana) is a tall plant that originally comes from Africa. It has long, drooping leaves, and it can grow to be up to 6 feet tall. The cornstalk plant is hardy and easy to grow.
The saponins in the cornstalk plant make it moderately toxic to dogs. If ingested, the cornstalk plant can cause your pet to vomit up blood. It can also cause vomiting, depression, lack of appetite, and excessive drooling.
Because the cornstalk plant is a bigger plant with large leaves, you may want to pass on this one if you own pets, since it will be hard to place it in an area they can’t reach.
The tropical alocasia plant is becoming more and more popular as a houseplant. Alocasia plants are flowering perennials with large, beautiful leaves. Sadly, those leaves, along with the roots and stems of the alocasia are moderately toxic to dogs.
The insoluble calcium oxalates in the alocasia can cause burning, swelling around the mouth, vomiting, and difficulty breathing if ingested by your dog. If you suspect your pet has eaten any part of an alocasia plant, you’ll want to contact your veterinarian right away.
Poinsettia plants (Euphorbia pulcherrima) are a holiday favorite because of their bright and beautiful blooms. However, many dog owners purchase them during the Christmas season not realizing that they are toxic if ingested by their pet. Saponins in the plant can make dogs ill.
Symptoms of poinsettia poising include vomitting, drooling, diarrhea, itchy eyes, and skin irritation. Contact your vet immediately if you suspect your dog has consumed any part of the poinsettia plant.
Houseplants That Are Severely Toxic to Dogs
The plants listed below are severely toxic to dogs and other pets. If you own these plants, please consider removing them from your home, for the safety of your pup! If your dog ingests one of these plants, seek emergency veterinary care immediately.
Sago palms are native to Japan and are used both in landscaping and as houseplants. While this plant is very beautiful, it’s also very dangerous to dogs, cats, cows, and humans.
The sago palm contains a poisonous substance called cycasin, which can cause liver damage if ingested. Symptoms of cycasin poisoning include seizures, diarrhea and vomiting.
Dogs are not normally attracted to the sago palm, but if you suspect your dog has consumed part of this plant, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.
Bird of Paradise Plant
The bird of paradise (also known as strelitzia) is another plant that is beautiful, but dangerous for your pet. The prussic acid (hydrogen cyanide) and tannins in this plant make it highly toxic for dogs. The flower is the most toxic part of the plant.
Symptoms of bird of paradise plant ingestion include elevated pulse, excessive drooling, tremors, and labored breathing. If left untreated, ingesting this plant can lead to death. If you suspect your dog has eaten a bird of paradise plant, seek veterinary care immediately.
You can love both plants and pets, but you need to do it safely. If you own plants that are mildly or moderately toxic to dogs, be sure to keep them in a spot where your pup can’t get to them. If you own plants that are severely toxic to dogs, consider rehoming them to a household without pets.
And, as always, reach out to your veterinarian with any concerns or questions!