LIFESTYLE

10 of your favourite houseplants that are actually toxic to dogs

Plus, the best alternatives that are pet-friendly.

A pothos or philodendron may fit perfectly in your living room, but it can be deadly to your pooch…

Houseplants are a great addition to any home. They provide a touch of greenery, a focal point for a room and even extra oxygen production. However, as much as they may elevate your style, there are some indoor plants that are toxic to dogs. 

These plants may not look threatening or pose any danger to humans, but if your pet chews on or consumes them, it can cause serious harm. 

Let’s go through the most common indoor plants that are poisonous for dogs, and the best alternatives you can place inside the home instead. 

Related: 10 plants in your garden that are toxic to dogs

10 common indoor plants that are toxic to dogs

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1. Aloe vera

The beautiful aloe vera plant is mostly safe for dogs. Pups are able to eat both the juice and the gel found inside of an aloe, however chewing on the plant can release toxins called anthraquinone glycosides. This can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and digestive problems. 

Alternative: Haworthia. Similar looking with small spines, however does not pose the same risk as aloe vera.

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2. Philodendron

Philodendrons may turn your home into a leafy jungle, but they can be quite hurtful to your dog. If consumed, they can cause digestive issues, including diarrhoea and vomiting. 

Alternative: Swedish Ivy. Looks beautiful draping from a shelf or placed on a side table. 

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3. Jade plant

Jade plant can be considered to be quite a lucky plant, but not for your pets. While they are known to be very toxic to both cats and dogs, there is not a lot of knowledge about the toxins themselves. If ingested, they can cause a slowed heart rate as well as depression. 

Alternative: Christmas cactus. This one has red succulent bulbs instead, but is just as hard to kill as a jade plant.

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4. Ficus

The whole family of ficus, including the popular fiddle leaf fig and rubber tree, are not safe for dogs to ingest. These plants contain insoluble calcium oxalates which can cause oral irritation, drooling, vomiting and difficulty swallowing if nibbled at.

Alternative: Prayer plant. A beautiful alternative that looks just as aesthetic as a fiddle leaf does. 

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5. Snake plant

Popular for bathrooms and humid areas of the house, snake plant or mother in law’s tongue is certainly not good for your pooch. Not only does it have that nasty spike at the top of the leaf, it could cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea if ingested.

Alternative: Phalaenopis Orchid. Great for humid environments, and has the same exotic feel as a snake plant does.

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6. Sago palm

Exotic and tropical this plant may be, and it is definitely an exotic to your pups stomach. Every single part of this plant is poisonous for dogs, from the seeds and roots all the way to the fronds. The toxin in it, cycasin, can cause vomiting and diarrhea. In severe cases, it can produce seizures, lethargy, and liver failure.

Alternative: Parlor palm. Keep your tropical vibe with a plant grows tall and to a similar size of the sago palm.

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7. Monstera deliciosa

This ‘Swiss cheese’ plant is extremely popular in all styles of home, however it can cause severe mouth burning and irritation for pets. While no ‘poisoning’ in the digestive system or body occurs, the mouth discomfort is enough to choose a different plant.

Alternative: Cast iron plant. Although not the same shaped leaf, a similar deep green shade will keep you within your design desires.

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8. Pothos or devil’s ivy

Devil is in the name, and it is devilish for pets. The culprit in this plant is again the calcium oxalate crystals in the leaves, which can irritate a dog’s mouth and cause severe swelling and burning.

Alternative: Spider plant. It also looks great from a hanging basket!

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9. Elephant ear

The colourful leaves of the elephant ear plant may make it an enticing choice, but if it looks enticing for your pup, stick with an alternative. This plant contains sharp calcium oxalate crystals in its leaves that can irritate a dog’s mouth, causing swelling, burning, difficulty breathing, and sometimes death.

Alternative: Peperomia caperata. With similar leaf shape and annually blooming flowers, this one might be even better than an elephant ear.

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10. Peace lily

One of the all-time favourites for house plants, the peace lily is unfortunately toxic for dogs. All plants within the lily family can cause organ failure in dogs if ingested. 

Alternative: Money tree. This one may even bring you good luck!

Signs of poisoning in dogs

It can be quite scary if your pup becomes unwell, especially in the case of poisoning. If you have any of these plants already in your home, then being able to spot when your dog is sick is extremely important. Here are the most common signs of poisoning in dogs: 

  • Vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness or lethargy
  • Seizures 
  • Excessive drooling 
  • Changes in behaviour 
  • Abdominal pain or stiffness

What to do if your dog has ingested a poisonous plant

If you notice a leaf missing out from your monstera, or your pooch is acting very unusually, then a trip to the vet is the first thing you should do. 

In cases of seizure or severe symptoms, calling an emergency vet or animal poison control centre (Animal Poisons Helpline:1300 869 738)  may be the best option for you. Do not attempt to treat your dog at home. 

It can be very stressful to see your dog in pain or an emergency situation, so familiarising yourself with possible toxins, both inside and out in the garden, is always a great idea. Similarly, making sure you have all the right phone numbers and vet addresses at the ready is very helpful in these scenarios. 

As far as recovery goes, your pup can definitely recover from plant poisoning. Poisoning is actually quite common in dogs, and vets know exactly how to treat their symptoms.

If your dog is treated by a professional, they can fully recover and run you around in circles like normal!

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