Toxic Houseplants Pet Parents Should Know About

Corgis sitting on grass with flowers

Millennials are making house plants cool again. It’s a well-documented frenzy by economists and plant lovers worldwide. This is a positive and healthy trend around the world, and many people have been focusing on improving their green thumbs and adopting beautiful houseplants. While owning plants is the latest trend, unfortunately many dog owners are unaware that some houseplants may not always bring brightness into their homes.

Here are ten of the many common house plants:

  • African Violet (Saitpaulia)
  • Aloe Vera
  • Bamboo (Bambusoideae)
  • Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema modestum)
  • English Ivy (Hedera helix)
  • Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
  • Indian Rubber Plant (Ficus Benjamina)
  • Jade Plant (Crassula Argentea)
  • Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
  • Red Emerald (Philodendron bipennifolium)

Out of these ten houseplants, there are eight that are considered toxic to dogs according to the ASPCA. Only the African Violet and Bamboo are non-toxic for your pup. Toxic plants are considered life-threatening to dogs. Even if plants are considered non-toxic, they can still cause illness and negative effects in your dog if ingested.

Your dog might not be as inclined to take a bite of your jade plant, but that doesn’t mean they never will. Decrease the risk for your pet by keeping your plants out of their reach and discouraging any interest your dog might find in them. Puppies are at a greater risk—they often want to chew and eat everything.

If you are a plant owner or are interested in becoming one, consider using the ASPCA’s resources on plant toxicity. The symptoms your dog may show if they ingest the plants are listed in the plant description as well, so if you suspect your dog was eating one of your plants, you will be more aware of the warning signs.

Plant Names

Another thing to consider when dealing with houseplants are their names. Some houseplants have common names that can be confusing or useless when trying to identify their toxicity. Several plants, both toxic and non-toxic, have common names that overlap. A Ribbon Plant, for example, is a common name for both the Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) and Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana). Spider Plants are non-toxic to dogs while Lucky Bamboo is toxic. Knowing the scientific names of your plants is the easiest way of looking up its toxicity with the bonus of learning more about your houseplant!

Dog in patio garden
What to Do if Your Dog Eats Something Toxic

If you see signs of toxic poisoning in your dog or know for a fact that your dog has eaten something toxic, you may need to induce vomiting. Always call your animal poison control hotline or vet before doing so because it can be dangerous in many cases. If they suggest it, three percent hydrogen peroxide will often help. Ask your vet for the correct dosage, but the rule is often that you should administer one teaspoon for every 10 pounds your dog weighs. For example, a 15-pound dog would need one and a half teaspoons. Your dog should vomit within 15 minutes. If they do not, you can try again. Even with induced vomiting, you may still need to take your dog to the vet and need to do this in the process. This process is dependent on the seriousness of the issue and professional opinion of the vet. Always get a professional opinion if it is possible.

With some research, effort, and love, your house may be filled with non-toxic plants, dogs, happiness, and health!

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