Plants provide beauty and fresh air to our indoor spaces. Moreover, they are proven to have beneficial effects on our well-being, like reducing fatigue, easing dry skin, or decreasing stress and anxiety. However, if you own a puppy or dog, your pet may see houseplants as an extra snack or a toy. This can prove dangerous since some plants are toxic or even poisonous. And since you want your little doggo to live in a secure environment, you should only surround yourself with plants that are safe for your puppy to live among. If you wish to add a little green to your house without accidentally harming your dog, familiarize yourself with the following list of ten toxic houseplants for dogs.

Aloe Vera

aloe vera dogs Aloe Vera is one of the most popular houseplants. Not only does it look gorgeous, but it also comes with numerous skin-smoothing properties. The thing is, though, while Aloe Vera can work wonders when it comes to human skin, it affects dogs the opposite way. Chewing on the plant might expose a dog to toxins called anthraquinone glycosides. These can harm your dog's digestive system, causing diarrhea and vomiting. On the other hand, not all parts of the plant are poisonous for dogs. The juice and gel found inside the plant are perfectly safe. That's why Aloe Vera is considered a moderately toxic plant.

Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)

Another common houseplant pet parents should look out for is Crassula ovata, better known as the jade plant. Interestingly, the jade's toxic compounds aren't that well understood. What we do know is that if a dog eats its part, it can lead to vomiting, incoordination, and a slow heart rate. According to some sources, it can even cause depression.

Elephant Ear

plant dog health Elephant Ear, also known under the name of Caladium, is a plant mostly recognized for its beautiful leaves. Unfortunately, as gorgeous as it may look, it's also one of the most poisonous plants for dogs. That's because Caladium contains sharp calcium oxalate crystals in its leaves, which can irritate a dog's mouth, causing intense burning and swelling of the mouth and tongue. In some cases, this irritation can lead to difficulty breathing. In extreme cases, even to death.

ZZ Plant (Zamioculas zamiifolia)

houseplant dog health Popular among households due to its ability to bloom in low-light environments, the ZZ plant is extremely toxic to dogs, causing vomiting and diarrhea. On top of that, the plant contains harmful toxic substances in the form of calcium oxalate crystals. These can cause severe swelling and irritation in the mouth, even leading to respiratory issues.

Devil's Ivy

Devil's Ivy, otherwise known as pothos or its Latin name Epipremnum auerum, is a low-maintenance plant, incredibly popular among homeowners, mostly for its mesmerizing leaves. Unluckily, while pothos looks gorgeous, it contains harmful toxins - sharp calcium oxalate crystals - that may cause harm to dogs. These can cause swelling and burning of the tongue and mouth, often leading to difficulty breathing, and in severe cases, even death.

Sago Palm

dog plant Sago palm is a fabulous plant, perfect for giving any home an exotic look. However, the problem with it is that it's also one of the most poisonous houseplants to both dogs and cats.  That's because sago palm contains a toxin called cycasin, listed in the Pet Poison Helpline's Top Terrible Toxins list. Cycasin can cause diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, lethargy, and, in severe cases, liver failure.

Chinese Evergreen

Chinese evergreen is an ideal plant for darker rooms, as it thrives in indirect sunlight. Additionally, the plant's characteristic leaf color works great when it comes to brightening any space.  The only problem is that Chinese evergreen contains calcium oxalate crystals, meaning that if a dog consumes its leaves, it can lead to vomiting, oral pain, severe swelling, and difficulty swallowing, which can also cause issues with breathing.

Asparagus Fern

houseplant puppy Asparagus fern comes in many names, such as Emerald Feather, Lace Fern, or Plumosa Fern. The most important thing about it, though, is that it's highly toxic for cats and dogs alike. It contains Sapogening, which is a toxin that can cause diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and skin inflammation.

Peace Lily

If you're looking for a more minimalistic interior design, the peace lily will make a great addition to your household. However, if you're a proud pet parent, you should be extremely careful as peace lilies, like any other flower from the lily family, are highly poisonous. Lilies contain calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause excessive drooling, severe oral irritation, and difficulty swallowing.

Desert Rose

houseplant dog Although it looks mesmerizing, the desert rose is highly toxic to dogs. If your dog gets a bite of its pink flower, it can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, depression, irregular heart rhythm, and in severe cases, even death. These symptoms are caused by a toxin called cardiac glycoside, which is highly poisonous to dogs.

Protect Your Dog From Toxic Plants

As a loving dog parent, you should do everything you can to protect your beloved pet from all the toxic plants listed above. For this, you should implement several good practices, including:
  • Before you buy a plant, make sure to learn its specifics and whether it might be toxic for your dog.
  • Keep the list of your plants and know how different toxins can affect your dog.
  • Hang the poisonous houseplants from the ceiling or place them on high shelves so that your dog can't sniff around them or take a bite.
  • Ensure your dog has enough food so that it doesn't feel tempted to eat your plants.
  • Keep your pet busy with exercise and make sure it gets plenty of mental stimulation to prevent it from biting the plants.
  • Pay attention to any clinical signs and take your pet to the vet as soon as you notice something is wrong.
  Once you implement the protective strategy, you'll soon find out that dogs and plants can happily coexist together, no matter how poisonous they might be. However, if you don't want to take any risks, the best thing would be to decorate your home with suggested alternatives, such as the African violet, spider plant, cast-iron plant, zebra plant, orchid, or waffle plant.

In Summary

And there you have it, the list of ten common species of houseplants considered toxic to dogs. For the full list, visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control page, where you will find more information regarding the plants you should be careful with when living with dogs and cats. If you don't want to take any risks, the best thing is only to buy non-poisonous houseplants. However, as mentioned, even toxic plants can coexist with dogs, provided you implement several protective practices, such as keeping a plant out of your dog's reach and paying attention to any disturbing symptoms. This way, you won't need to give up your dream of decorating your home with a specific plant without risking your dog's health.   To ensure your dog is even safer find out what are the top foods your dog should avoid!