Dog-Friendly & Toxic Household Plants Every Dog Owner Should Be Aware Of

Ziggy
June 16, 2022

Adding plants to your home is a great way to freshen up the air, eliminate harmful toxins, and enhance the overall aesthetic of your interior space. But for all the benefits plants bring, did you know that some of them can actually be detrimental to your dog’s health? As a dog parent, it is your responsibility to differentiate between the poisonous plants that are harmful to your canine and the dog-friendly plants that provide a comfortable living environment for all.

Common Household Plants That Are Toxic For Your Dog

Now’s the time to take stock of what common household plants are safe to have if you live with a dog. Since dogs are always sniffing around, there’s little you can do to control this natural instinct. You can, however, control their surroundings and minimize the risk to their health and wellbeing.

Toxic Plants To Avoid

Some plants can cause minor dog ailments like acute diarrhea and vomiting. But there are other plants that are poisonous to dogs and can lead to more serious illnesses like low blood pressure and liver damage. Read on to find out which household plants your pup should avoid at all costs.

illustration-of-toxic-plants-for-dogs

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a common household plant that’s popular for producing a gel with medicinal properties for humans. But the plant also contains molecules with a mild to moderate level of toxicity for dogs.


How Is It Harmful?

If your dog ingests Aloe Vera, it can increase the production of mucus and water in the colon. This can lead to vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, breathing difficulty, and high body temperature.

American Holly

The American Holly plant is not only toxic to dogs, but also to other animals — and even children. When the berries fall off onto the floor as the plant dries, your dog can easily mistake them as a treat.

How Is It Harmful?

When ingested, the berries from an American Holly plant can cause Holly poisoning. The range of symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, bleeding in the mouth, and loss of appetite

Bird of Paradise

Bird of Paradise — also known as the Crane Flower or Bird’s Tongue Flower — is a beautiful tropical flowering plant. It produces a leguminous pod-like fruit, which is where the toxins that are harmful to dogs come from.

How Is It Harmful?

If your dog ingests part of this plant, symptoms can become apparent in as little as 20 minutes. Signs that your dog is suffering from Bird of Paradise poisoning include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, drowsiness, and a higher heart rate.

Branching Ivy

Branching Ivy is a common houseplant that contains toxins, which are harmful to dogs. Interestingly, one of the plant’s main toxic chemicals — saponins — are also found in many other plant species like spinach and asparagus, which are edible. In the Branching Ivy plant, however, they can be deadly for dogs.

How Is It Harmful?

If your dog ingests Branching Ivy, the signs of illness can vary depending on the dog’s size and amount of ivy ingested. Eating the leaves causes more severe illness than ingesting the berries as a result of the higher concentration of toxic saponins in the leaves. The symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, hyper-salivation, and abdominal pain. 

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is a popular houseplant that many people seek out for its multifaceted scent. It’s also the main source of Eucalyptus oil, which is common in a wide range of products, thanks to its antiseptic properties, flavoring, and aroma. That being said, Eucalyptus is harmful to your dog’s health when ingested.

How Is It Harmful?

Eating Eucalyptus can lead to gastrointestinal and neurological complications for your dog. Common signs that your furry friend is dealing with the effects of Eucalyptus toxins include excessive salivation, diarrhea, vomiting, weakness, and depression.

Philodendron

Philodendron is a tropical plant with large leaves in various shapes. It’s a low maintenance plant that adds life to the home. The plant also contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals that leave your dog with severe irritation or in serious pain if ingested or even just chewed.

How Is It Harmful?

Your dog can experience a range of effects that need veterinary attention from chewing or swallowing Philodendron. This includes pain and swelling of the mouth, tongue, mouth, and lips, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, excessive drooling, and labored breathing.

Sago Palm

Popular as both an indoor and outdoor plant, Sago Palm has a feathery foliage that’s easy to care for. The plant also has a moderate level of toxicity for dogs — something that a lot of pet parents aren’t aware of.

How Is It Harmful?

Ingestion of the Sago Palm plant by your dog can cause symptoms in as little as 15 minutes. However, some symptoms can take up to 12 hours to develop. The tell tale signs include vomiting, unusual thirst, bruising, liver damage, liver failure — and in the worst cases, liver failure can result in death if proper emergency treatment isn’t provided.

Weeping Fig

Weeping Fig plants come in a range of shapes and sizes. The leaves and fruit on this common houseplant can entice your dog to take a bite, but the toxic chemicals will leave your pup suffering from harmful side effects.

How Is It Harmful?

Look out for a variety of symptoms if your dog ingests the Weeping Fig plant. Signs of ailment include diarrhea, loss of appetite, agitation, excessive drooling, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

Yucca

Yucca — also known as Spanish Bayonet, Spoon-Leaf, and Silk-Grass, among other names — is a common desert plant with many varieties growing throughout the United States. It contains toxins that are harmful to dog health. The nasty taste of this plant and the instantaneous upset stomach it causes normally means your dog won’t consume it in life-threatening doses.

How Is It Harmful?

If your dog consumes the Yucca plant, it’ll lead to Yucca poisoning, which becomes evident in several ways. The symptoms include vomiting, dermatitis, diarrhea, excessive drooling, increased heart rate, and liver disease.

Should your dog ingest any of the harmful plants listed above, be sure to seek immediate treatment from your veterinarian. 

The Best Non-Toxic, Dog-Friendly Household Plants

It’s not all gloom and doom for plant life if you have a dog in the family! You’ll find many beautiful plants that make a great addition to your home and are also dog-friendly. Check out some of the best non-toxic houseplants that won’t leave you worried about your pup’s health below.



illustration-of-dog-friendly-plants

American Rubber Plant

Featuring rounded, leathery green leaves, the American Rubber Plant is a popular compact house plant that’s safe to keep around dogs.

  • Light Requirements: bright, direct sunlight for a couple of hours a day
  • Water: every one to two weeks, allowing the soil to dry out in between

Areca Palm

The Areca Palm is a graceful plant that many people use to enhance their interior decor. It’s non-toxic to common pets like dogs and cats.

  • Light Requirements: bright and indirect sunlight is preferred, but it can tolerate some shade
  • Water: every one to two weeks in the summer, and two to three weeks in the winter

Bamboo Palm

The Bamboo Palm is a popular houseplant thanks to its majestic look and ability to thrive in low-light conditions. It’s also a dog-friendly plant.

  • Light Requirements: minimal, indirect sunlight
  • Water: consistent moisture is required, so be sure to check every couple of days and water every time the soil feels dry

Boston Fern

Above and beyond their aesthetic appeal, Boston Ferns are the easiest plants in the Fern family to maintain. They also come with the added benefit of causing no harm to your dog’s health.

  • Light Requirements: morning sun is ideal, with lots of indirect light
  • Water: soil should be damp at all times, so check every two to three days

Calathea

These eye-catching plants have vibrant foliage that makes them popular additions at home. Calatheas also pose no health risks to your dog.  

  • Light Requirements: medium indirect light, with no direct sun exposure
  • Water: once per week in the warm months and less often in the winter

Chinese Money Plant

Chinese money plants — also known as pilea as a shorter version of its scientific name, or UFO plants for their shape — are a great decorative piece for your home that’s safe for dogs.

  • Light Requirements: bright and indirect light, but no direct sunlight
  • Water: roughly once a week, but check that the soil is dry before watering

Dwarf Palm

Dwarf palms, also known as pygmy palms, are non-toxic to dogs. As a result, this bushy, evergreen houseplant is a safe bet to brighten up your interior space.

  • Light Requirements: bright, indirect sunlight is preferred, but can also live in medium filtered light
  • Water: the soil must remain moist in the summertime, so water two to three times a week, but you can allow the soil to dry out before watering in the winter

Friendship Plant

This beautiful plant gets its name from the quick rooting of cuttings that can be gifted to friends or family to grow new plants. Importantly, no harm comes to dogs amidst all the friendly propagation.

  • Light Requirements: moderate to bright indirect sunlight
  • Water: allow the soil to dry out between waterings, can check weekly

Haworthia

The Haworthia is a small, compact house plant that’s native to Southern Africa. Its non-toxic nature makes it an appealing, dog-friendly addition to your home.

  • Light Requirements: bright indirect sunlight, but can also tolerate shade
  • Water: every two to three weeks, but allow the soil to dry out in between watering

Money Tree

Sought-after as a symbol of luck, you don’t have to miss out on the good fortune if you’re a dog parent, thanks to the Money Tree’s non-toxic properties.

  • Light Requirements: medium to bright indirect sunlight
  • Water: every two weeks, allowing the soil to dry in between

Parlor Palm

The name of this quintessential house plant says it all. Parlor Palms grow well in low light, look attractive, and don’t pose any threat to your dog’s health.

  • Light Requirements: medium to bright indirect light
  • Water: every one to two weeks, allowing the soil to dry out in between watering

Platinum Peperomia

Platinum Peperomia plants — often called Radiator plants — have beautiful dark green leaves that can sometimes turn purple or red. If you’re a dog parent, they’re safe to grow around your pup.

  • Light Requirements: low to medium indirect sunlight
  • Water: every one to two weeks, allowing the soil to dry out in between watering

Prayer Plant

With pretty decorative leaves that close up at night similar to praying hands before opening up again at sunrise, the Prayer Plant is both visually appealing and dog-friendly.

  • Light Requirements: medium to bright indirect sunlight
  • Water: never allow the soil to dry out, so be sure to check frequently

Spider Plant

Spider Plants have an unmissable unique look and are very easy to grow in the home. They’re also safe to care for alongside your dog.

  • Light Requirements: bright indirect sunlight, but can also tolerate low light
  • Water: ensure that soil is dry between watering, so check once a week

Watermelon Begonia

With no close relations to either watermelons or begonia, Watermelon Begonias still make for lovely house plants that don’t affect your dog’s health in any way.

  • Light Requirements: medium to bright indirect sunlight
  • Water: the soil must never dry out, so be sure to check frequently

Check with your vet if you’re ever unsure whether a plant you’re looking to bring home is toxic or dog-friendly. If you’re just looking to keep your dog looking their best, schedule a grooming appointment with Barkbus today.

WRITTEN BY
Ziggy

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