We know that the curiosity of four-legged friends often gives us moments of laughter and joy. But this curiosity can also land them in serious trouble. Plants, for example, are very interesting for pets and you may have even noticed your pet sniffing these plants once in a while. Sometimes, your pet’s curiosity may get the best of them and they may end up chewing or eating these plants. Ingestion of certain common houseplants can be extremely toxic for pets.
To keep our pets safe at all times, let’s take a look at the top 10 popular safe and unsafe houseplants for pets.
Unsafe houseplants for pets
When ingested by dogs or cats, the following common houseplants can prove to be dangerous and sometimes even fatal.
“The most common signs of ingesting toxic houseplants include vomiting, diarrhea, seizures and depression. In severe cases, liver failure, kidney failure and cardiovascular problems may also occur,” says Dr. Ajay Satbige, Veterinary Officer at Wiggles.
Dr. Dilip Sonune, Directory of Veterinary Services at Wiggles also added that neurological problems such as incoordination, seizures and tremors might also occur upon ingestion of toxic plants.
Here’s a list of some popular houseplants that are dangerous for pets:
Sometimes also known as silk or silk pothos, this common houseplant can be toxic for both dogs and cats. Ingestion of this plant can irritate their mouth or tongue. It can also cause vomiting, diarrhea, excessive salivation, difficulty in swallowing and even liver failure. Every part of this plant i.e. the stem, roots, leaves and seeds are poisonous for dogs and cats.
Dumb Cane, Exotica or Tropic Show is a very common houseplant, especially in Indian households. If a pet eats this plant, it can cause burning or swelling in their mouth and also difficulty in swallowing. Sometimes it can also lead to difficulty in breathing and even death.
A colorful plant that also goes by the name of Malanga, Taro, Sori, Via, Cape or Ape. The chemicals found in this plant are similar to the ones found in Dumb Cane and hence also have a similar effect on dogs and cats when ingested by them.
Popularly known as crassula in India, the jade plant is another harmful plant for pets. It also goes by other names such as Dwarf Rubber Plant, Friendship Tree, Baby Jade, Chinese or Japanese Rubber Plant and Jade Tree. The specific toxins that make this plant harmful to pets are still unknown. If a dog or cat ingests this plant, it can cause uncoordinated movements, vomiting, slow heart rate and depression.
Some common houseplants are dangerous for pets when ingested
Lillies are as common as they are toxic, especially to cats. There are many different types of lily plants, out of these, The Mauna Loa or Peace Lily is harmful for dogs and cats. Lilies like Stargazer and Easter Lilies are poisonous for only cats. These lilies can prove to be fatal for cats as they affect a feline’s appetite and kidneys. Ingestion of Peace Lily can cause vomiting, irritations around the mouth area and problems in swallowing for dogs.
Aloe vera is another common houseplant that has multiple benefits for humans but is harmful for pets. The gel-like substance inside the aloe vera isn’t toxic for dogs and cats but the other parts of the plant can cause serious health issues.
While it is considered safe for dogs to consume ripe and red tomatoes, the plant itself contains toxins that are not safe for your pet. Solanine and tomatine are the toxins responsible for making the tomato plant unsafe for dogs. You should also avoid giving your dogs green or unripe tomatoes.
Also known as Emerald Fern, Lace Fern, Plumosa Fern, Sprengeri Fern and Emerald Feather, this plant can be harmful for both dogs and cats. Asparagus Fern contains a toxic known as sapogenin and if the berries of this plant are consumed by your pet, it can lead to inflammation of the skin, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea.
All types of chrysanthemum plants are toxic for dogs and cats. They have a chemical known as sesquiterpene lactones which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, excessive salivation, loss of appetite and uncoordinated movements. They can also irritate your pet’s eyes, nose and digestive tract.
Sansevieria (Snake Plant)
Commonly known as the Snake Plant, Sansevieria consists of a chemical known as saponin which is toxic to both dogs and cats. Symptoms of ingesting the snake plant include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling and nausea.
What to do if you have harmful plants for pets in your house?
Love your plant and your pets too? If you already have the above plants in your house, you can:
- Move them to a location that is unreachable or restricted for your pet
- Give them away to a fellow plant lover
- Plant them outside your house and out of your pet’s reach
- Take your plants to a farm, nursery or park where others can take care of them
Now that we know which plants are unsafe for pets, let’s look at some common houseplants that are safe for pets.
Safe houseplants for pets
With these plants around your house, you can stay worry-free. Eating, chewing or biting on these plants won’t cause any harm to your pet.
- Money Plant
- Baby Tears
- African Violet
- Spider Plant
- Areca Palm
- Boston Fern
- Polka Dot
- Purple Waffle
Ensure you keep pet-friendly plants in your house
That’s a lot of names to remember, right? That is why we created this short guide that you can take a quick look at to know which plants are safe and unsafe for pets. Save it, share it and spread the love.
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*Disclaimer: This blog is vet-approved and includes original content which is compiled after thorough research and authenticity by our in-house team of vets and content experts. It is always advisable to consult a veterinarian before you try any products, pet food/treats or any kind of treatment/medicines on your pets, as each pet is unique and will respond differently.