15 House Plants Poisonous to Dogs: Don’t Let Your Pet Get Sick!

House plants and dogs don’t always mix. As much as these pots can add a lively look to your home, it can become dangerous to your pet without your knowledge. There are many house plants poisonous to dogs that land canines to unscheduled vet visits. Some of these plants have mild to moderate toxicity levels which may manifest as mild irritation.

As someone who loves bringing home lilies and other plants, this is a major concern. I love placing pots of plants to improve indoor air inside our home. But chances are I’m going home to chewed leaves or messed-up soil. It seems pesky at first but after chatting with a friend, I was told that some innocent-looking plants can actually harm my pooches.

To say the least, I brought all my lilies and palms outside and did my research. Personally, the thought of inadvertently poisoning my pooch brings a wrench in my stomach. Here’s the list of plants poisonous to dogs that I compiled:

1. Azalea

Azaleas are favorite house plants because of its colorful blooms. It doubles as a natural decor and air purifier too. But upon knowing that this is poison to dogs, you may want to bring that pot out. This flowering shrub contains the potent neurotoxin grayanotoxin which can wreak havoc to the body cells of a pet.

If ingested in substantial amounts, Azalea can impede nerve functions and even disturb skeletal processes of the dog’s body.

Dogs that swallowed a large amount will be exposed to the risk of heart failure, tremors, abnormal heartbeat, and very low blood pressure.

When your dog ingested azalea leaves or flowers, consider it as an emergency situation.

Signs of poisoning: Diarrhea, vomiting, cardiac failure, weakness

house plants poisonous to dogs

2. Lilies

Who would’ve thought that those lovely lilies are silent killers?! The likes of calla lily, tiger lily, and Easter lily are just some of the notorious house plants that can harm dogs.

The compounds found on lilies can affect kidney function and appetite of the dog. It could also cause lip and tongue irritation that will make it hard to swallow.

The colchicine alkaloids, which are the poisonous substances, are highly present in the tuber. A single tuber may result in intense stomach problems. If the dog ate more without being noticed by the owner, it can lead to organ damage and cardiac imbalance.

Signs of poisoning: poor appetite, hiding, depression, difficulty swallowing, shock

3. Areca palm

Areca palm is one of my favorite indoor plants. It’s elegant and very easy to maintain. This green pinnate adds life to a room and its yellow flowers provide a cheery vibe. All the parts of palm plants have cycasin, a dangerous substance that can cause intense drooling and diarrhea to dogs.

The Areca seeds contain the most cycasin concentration and can be lethal if ingested. Dogs that have ingested the seed of the palm plant may manifest poisoning symptoms within 15 minutes.

If you think your dog have ingested areca palm leaves, seeds, or flowers, don’t wait for the symptoms to occur. Time is your enemy here and your dog should receive treatment right away.

Signs of poisoning: drooling, diarrhea, vomiting, poor appetite, central nervous system damage, liver damage

4. Philodendrons

Philodendrons are great indoor plants with a unique leaf structure. It also thrives on warm indoor environments which makes it a top choice on humid and arid states.

If ingested, this can cause mild to moderate levels of poisoning. Philodendrons ingestion can even lead to coma, renal failure, and convulsions if not treated right away.

Some of the cousin plants of Philodendrons are fiddle-leaf, Swiss cheese plant, and heartleaf. All of these house plants poisonous to dogs are equally potent.

The calcium oxalate on Philodendrons will be the cause of poisoning. Regardless if your dog just nibbled a leaf or chewed a whole stem, it’s best to have him checked.

Signs of poisoning: tongue and mouth swelling, difficulty swallowing, vomiting

5. Ivy

All kinds of climbing ivy are poisonous to dogs. The likes of English, American, English, Devil’s, and Five-leaved are all silent killers.

The triterpenoid saponins and polyacetylene compounds found on ivy plants are the causes of poisoning. Take note that the leaves are more poisonous than the berries. Still, your dog shouldn’t ingest any of it.

Even a small amount can pose danger to your dog’s life. If you suspect your dog nibbled on your ivy, you should go straight to the vet. Make this list of plants poisonous to dogs your guide.

You’ve probably heard of Poison Ivy before and yes, it’s literally poisonous for your doggo. Some people may develop rashes when exposed to it. But for dogs, the effects could be as serious as coma.

Signs of poisoning: foaming at the mouth, excessive drooling, swollen lips, tongue, and mouth

6. Jade

The Jade plant is a favorite centerpiece, especially if cultivated as a Bonsai tree. The tiny, rubbery leaves look artificial which amazes guests and anyone who sees it. However, it’s also one of the house plants poisonous to dogs.

However, if your dog chewed and ingested it, the wonderful Jade plant becomes a notorious poison.

Vets are yet to identify the exact substance that causes Jade plant poisoning. Still, the effects may include depression, ataxia, and cardiovascular problems among dogs.

Jade is a cousin plant of rubber plant, dwarf rubber plant, and Japanese rubber plant. All of these are poisonous so make sure that you pick your plant well.

Signs of poisoning: incoordination, vomiting, depression, lethargy

7. ZZ plant

I once got addicted to decorating my house with ZZ plants. It’s low maintenance and adds a clean look in my living room. However, it also contains calcium oxalates that can poison my dog.

Many said that this only causes mild poisoning so if your dog is trained not to chew on things, you can probably exclude ZZ on this list of plants poisonous to dogs.

Anyway, I still won’t take chances when it comes to the safety of my pooches.

All parts of the ZZ plant contain oxalates which can induce drooling and other effects. Small dogs that have ingested large amounts of ZZ plants should be sent to the vet right away.

Signs of poisoning: intense burning, drooling, mucous membrane irritation, mouth irritation

house plants poisonous to dogs

8. Elephant ear

Elephant ears (caladium) are appealing to many households due to its unique color combination. The leaves have green linings that fade into a silvery white color. Meanwhile, the veins are bloody red which adds color in a dull home.

The Elephant ear plant is also known as Ape, Cape, Malanga, Taro, and Via Sori. The substances found in the plant can cause drooling and swallowing problems.

It can also lead to swollen airway which can cause further complications. Worst, this is the first symptom that will manifest.

If your dog finds it hard to breathe and is pawing his face, you should have him treated right away.

Signs of poisoning: skin pain, teary eyes, inflamed skin, difficulty breathing, mouth ulcers

9. Dumbcane

Dumbcane or Dieffenbachia is poisonous to all household pets including cats and dogs. When ingested, this can induce the same effect with that of the elephant ear – burning sensation, drooling, and mouth irritation.

Dumbcane will also make it difficult for the dog to breathe. Since the airway will swell, the poisoning requires immediate veterinary attention.

This plant is also known as Tropic Snow, Exotica, and Exotica Perfection. Dumbcane is usually spotted on tropical places as it thrives on warm to hot weathers. But do remember that this is one of the house plants poisonous to dogs.

Typically, Dumbcane will cause mild to moderate poisoning but it can still take a lethal turn when large amounts are ingested.

Signs of poisoning: oral pain, poor appetite, pawing at the mouth, drooling, vomiting

10. Asparagus fern

Asparagus ferns have fine blades which makes it a sophisticated indoor décor. Many homeowners also plant this on their gardens as it can grow lavishly and climb on fences. Also, this fern is popular in hot and tropical areas.

The Asparagus fern is also known as Emerald Feather, Lace Fern, Emerald Fern, and Plumosa Fern. This plant has the toxins called sapogenin which is highly concentrated on the berries.

If ingested, either the leaves or the berries, the dog will experience vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Usually, Asparagus ferns only cause mild poisoning. Still, continuous exposure and ingestion can become deadly.

Signs of poisoning: poor appetite, skin redness and swelling, vomiting, abdominal pain

11. Sago palm

I often see sago palms on offices and minimalist homes. The clean and stiff leaves make a great indoor addition. It’s also a favorite among landscapers and it’s very rare for dogs to find it attractive.

However, if your doggo like chewing, nipping, and exploring things through its mouth, you have to be careful with this plant.

Like the areca palm, this has the dangerous cycasin compound that can lead to liver damage if not prevented. This is one of the most potent on this list of plants poisonous to dogs.

Sago palm is quite potent as it can down adult cattle. If you have this in your house and your dog is vomiting and pooping with blood, you shouldn’t waste time. Send the canine to the vet.

Signs of poisoning: jaundice, bruising, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, liver damage, clotting disorder

12. Aloe vera

This came as a surprise to me. Aloe vera is a common ingredient on dog shampoos and products, but if ingested, it can pose threat to your doggo’s health.

Aloe vera is a succulent plant that has tons of medicinal benefits. There are around 500 species all over the world and many households plant this indoors for various purposes. It can be a living room décor or a staple in the herb garden.

Take note that Aloe vera plants contain saponins which can cause mild to moderate poisoning. Commercially processed Aloe is rid of this but it’s strictly for topical use only.

Both the pulp and juice of the Aloe vera plant can be dangerous. Wild species are even more potent so watch out for your succulents which might be your dog’s next snack.

Signs of poisoning: poor appetite, change in urine color, vomiting, depression, diarrhea

house plants poisonous to dogs

13. Alocasia

Alocasia is a fancy indoor plant that originated from the Eastern Himalayas. It has glossy leaves which are sleek decors for modern households. This is endemic to tropical regions like countries in the western Pacific including Australia.

When ingested, Alocasia will cause moderate poisoning to dogs. Its leaves, stems, and roots all contain the poison.

Like most house plants poisonous to dogs, Alocasia will cause your dog’s airway to swell. Over time, breathing can be blocked which can be deadly to pets with lingering illnesses.

As a cousin plant of Elephant ear, Alocasia contains calcium oxalates that will leech into your dog’s tissues. If your pooch’s mouth starts foaming, you should drive straight to the vet.

Signs of poisoning: eye irritation, burning skin, skin redness, delirium, diarrhea, numb mouth

14. Cannabis

For dog owners leaving in states where recreational marijuana is legal, they should watch out for their pooches. Even leftover stems and edibles can put your pet’s life at risk.

The THC content of cannabis will affect the neurological system of your dog which can impact coordination, thinking, memory, and sensory functions.

Sure thing, there are cannabis products made for pets. However, ingesting 3 grams of cannabis in one sitting will be deadly. The symptoms will start to show after an hour or so.

Signs of poisoning: ataxia, agitation, body tremors, hypermetria, seizures, hypothermia, excessive excitability

15. Lantana

This is a colorful and adorable indoor plant with orange, red, yellow, and white blooms. However, it also contains triterpenoid, a toxic substance that can damage your dog’s bile duct, gall bladder, and liver.

The entire plant is poisonous but the most evil is the berries.

Not all lantanas will have berries but there are some species that do with very potent substances.

Some believe that if the berries are ripe, the toxicity dwindles. However, this is the total opposite of what vets say.

Signs of poisoning: bloody diarrhea, vomiting, shock, sensitivity to sunlight, frequent urination, depression

Now, do you have these house plants poisonous to dogs? It might be time to put those pots away. As much as these plants are aesthetic, your dog’s life is more important.

Good news! There are non-toxic house plants that you can use as alternatives. Here, Erika lists down those doggo-friendly plants:

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15 House Plants Poisonous to Dogs: Don’t Let Your Pet Get Sick!

by Kevin Zhou time to read: 8 min
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