10 Common Toxic Household Plants for Pets

10 Common Toxic Household Plants for Pets

As a responsible pet owner, it's important to be aware of the potential dangers that certain plants can pose to our furry friends. While plants can bring beauty and freshness to our homes, some can be toxic to pets if ingested. In this blog post, we will explore some common plants that are toxic for pets and provide you with the knowledge to pet-proof your home and keep your beloved companions safe.

1. Lilies

Lilies are a popular choice for floral arrangements, but they can be extremely toxic to cats and dogs. Ingesting any part of the lily plant, including the leaves, petals, or even the pollen, can cause severe kidney damage in cats. It's crucial to keep lilies out of your pet's reach or opt for pet-friendly alternatives.

2. Sago Palm

The sago palm is a common houseplant that can be found in many households. However, all parts of this plant, especially the seeds, contain a toxin called cycasin, which can cause liver failure in dogs if ingested. If you have a sago palm at home, make sure to keep it away from your furry friends.

3. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is well-known for its medicinal properties and is often used in skincare products. While it can be beneficial for humans, it can be toxic to both cats and dogs if ingested. The gel inside the aloe vera plant contains compounds that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even tremors in pets.

4. Azaleas and Rhododendrons

Azaleas and rhododendrons are popular flowering shrubs that can add vibrant colors to your garden. However, these plants contain toxins called grayanotoxins, which can cause symptoms such as drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and even cardiac abnormalities in pets. Keep your pets away from these plants, especially during the blooming season.

5. Tulips and Daffodils

Tulips and daffodils are beautiful spring flowers that many people love to have in their homes or gardens. However, these plants contain toxic compounds called alkaloids, which can cause gastrointestinal upset, drooling, and even cardiac issues in pets. If you suspect your pet has ingested any part of these plants, seek veterinary attention immediately.

6. Dieffenbachia

Dieffenbachia, also known as dumb cane, is a popular houseplant known for its large, variegated leaves. While it can be a stunning addition to your indoor space, it contains calcium oxalate crystals that can cause intense oral irritation, swelling, and difficulty swallowing in pets. Keep this plant out of your pet's reach or consider pet-safe alternatives.

7. Oleander

Oleander is a beautiful flowering shrub that is commonly found in warm climates. However, all parts of this plant, including the leaves, flowers, and stems, contain cardiac glycosides, which can be highly toxic to pets. Ingesting oleander can cause symptoms such as drooling, tremors, seizures, and even cardiac arrest.

8. Poinsettia

Poinsettias are often associated with the holiday season, but they can be toxic to pets if ingested. While the toxicity of poinsettias is generally mild, it can still cause gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting and diarrhea, in dogs and cats.

9. Philodendron

Philodendrons are common houseplants that are known for their heart-shaped leaves. However, these plants contain calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause oral irritation, excessive drooling, and difficulty swallowing in pets. Keep your pets away from philodendrons to avoid any potential issues.

10. Cyclamen

Cyclamens are popular flowers characterized by their beautiful and vibrant colors. However, they can cause drooling, diarrhea, and vomiting upon ingestion by pets. Keep them out of your pet's reach or switch to a pet-friendly alternative.

These are just a few examples of plants that can be toxic to pets. The list goes on and it's important to research and identify any plants you have in your home or garden to ensure they are safe for your furry friends. You can also find more toxic and non-toxic/pet-friendly plants for pets on the ASPCA's website for a more exhaustive list. My personal rule of thumb: keep any plants that I'm unsure about out of my pet's reach.

If you suspect your pet has ingested a toxic plant, contact your veterinarian and head to the ER immediately, and take the plant or toxic substance with you to the vet. If you need more professional advice on preventing or what to do about poisoning in pets, call the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Hotline (888-426-4435) or the Pet Poison Helpline (855-764-7661) for advice anytime (they are available 24/7!). Remember, prevention is key when it comes to keeping your pets safe and healthy.

Images from Pixabay.