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Are Your Household Plants Toxic To Your Dog?

Household plants do a lot to spruce up our homes and clean up indoor air.  However, it’s easy to forget that some household plants can be toxic to our dogs.

Here’s a list of common household plants toxic to dogs that you should look out for.  If you have them in your home, make sure that they’re out of your canine companion’s reach.  Sometimes, all it takes is a tiny nibble to trigger disaster.

Better yet, gift them to your pet-less neighbors and replace them with dog-safe alternatives.

Aloe – Toxic to dogs due to Saponins and Anthraquinones

The aloe plant is common because it is known to clean indoor air and its gel is helpful in soothing skin irritations.

While dogs can safely consume the gel, the outer covering of the plant contains toxic substances. A dog that ingests this can suffer from gastrointestinal upset causing diarrhea or vomiting.  They may also experience bouts of lethargy.


Dog-safe alternatives:

  • Hawthoria
  • Blue Echeveria (also known as Copper Rose, Maroon Chenille Plant, Painted Lady, Plush Plant, and Wax Rosette)
  • Cushion Aloe

Caladium – Toxic to dogs due to Insoluble Calcium Oxalates

Caladium is a common houseplant that provides additional color to any home.  It’s also typically sold as Angel-Wings, Candidum, Elephant’s Ears, Exposition, Malanga, Mother-in-law Plant, Pink Cloud, Seagull, Stoplight, and Texas Wonder.

No matter the name, a single nibble can cause dogs to suffer from irritation of the mouth, lips, and tongue. In some cases, they can vomit, drool uncontrollably, and have a hard time swallowing.

Dog-safe alternatives:

  • Baby’s Tears (also known as Flamingo Plant, Freckle Face, Measles Plant, Pink Splash, and Polka Dot Plant)
  • Cyrtudeira (also known as Acajou, Flame, Flame African Violet, Frosty, Lady Lou, Moss Agate, Red African Violet)
  • Bloodleaf (also known as Chicken Gizzard, Joseph’s Coat, and Yellow Bloodleaf)

Castor Bean – Toxic to dogs due to Ricin

The Castor Bean Plant is one of the deadliest plants you can have at home if you have pets.

These are also commonly called African Wonder Tree, Castor Oil Plant, and Mole Bean Plant. The foliage is what commonly causes pet poisoning but it is the seeds that are most dangerous.  Just an ounce of the seed could cause death.

Early symptoms include the deterioration of the central nervous system.  Your dog could be weak, have difficulty breathing, lose their coordination, and even tremble.  Over time, they might convulse and go into a coma before eventually losing their life.

Dog-safe alternatives:

  • Japanese Aralia (also known as Big-Leaf Paper Plant, Formosa Rice Tree, and Glossy-Leaved Paper Plant)
  • Amur Maple (also known as Amur and Maple)
  • Chenille Plant (also known as Foxtail, Philippine Medusa, and Red-Hot Cat Tail)

Chinese Evergreen – Toxic to dogs due to Insoluble Calcium Oxalates

The Chinese Evergreen is popular for its variegated leaves and for being incredibly easy to care for.

However, dogs that are exposed to this could experience some serious irritation or swelling in their mouth, lips, and tongue. They could also drool excessively, vomit, or have a hard time swallowing.  Sometimes, skin contact can cause irritation as well.

Dog-safe alternatives:

  • Caeroba (also known as Peacock Plant, Rattle Snake Plant, and Zebra Plant)
  • Calathea
  • Candle Plant

Devil’s Ivy – Toxic to dogs due to Insoluble Calcium Oxalates

Devil’s Ivy is a common indoor plant because it tolerates shade very well and it’s very easy to care for. It is also commonly sold as Golden Pothos, Ivy Arum, Pothos, and Taro Vine.

Small nibbles to the leaves can cause some oral irritation. In large enough quantities, this can cause pain and swelling in the mouth, lips, and tongue. It could also affect the dog’s ability to swallow.

In bad enough cases, ingestion of Devil’s Ivy can cause vomiting and excessive drooling.

Dog-safe alternatives:

  • Blunt Leaf Peperomia (also known as American Rubber Plant, Baby Rubber Plant, and Pepper Face)
  • Ivy Peperomia (also known as Ivy Leaf Peperomia, Platinum Peperomia, and Silver Leaf Peperomia)
  • Grape Ivy (also known as Venezuela Treebine)

Jade Plant – Toxic to dogs for unidentified causes

The Jade Plant is a popular houseplant because it is a succulent that’s easy to care for and is amusing because it looks artificial. These are also commonly called Baby Jade, Chinese Rubber Plant, Dwarf Rubber Plant, Jade Tree, and Japanese Rubber Plant.

While it is still uncertain what substance causes irritation in dogs, ingestion of even a small portion could cause vomiting, loss of coordination, and depression.

Dog-safe alternatives:

  • Burro’s Tail (also known as Donkey’s Tail, Horse’s Tail, and Lamb’s Tail)
  • Wax Plant (also known as Hindu Rope Plant and Porcelain Flower)
  • American Rubber Plant (also known as Baby Rubber Plant and Pepper Face)

Lantana – Toxic to dogs due to Pentacyclic Triterpenoids

Lantanas are perennial shrubs that are commonly found in hanging baskets and gardens. They are also known as Red Sage, Shrub Verbena, and Yellow Sage.

Ingestion of this could cause dogs to suffer from weakness and difficulty breathing. It could also cause diarrhea and vomiting. In the worst cases, ingestion of Lantana could cause liver failure.


Dog-safe alternatives:

  • African Violet (also known as Cape Marigold)
  • Garden Marigold (also known as Gold Bloom, Marigold, Mary Bud, and Pot Marigold)
  • Petunia

Oleander – Toxic to dogs due to Cardiac Glycosides

Oleanders are common evergreen shrubs that are popular to garden owners because they produce small flowers in abundance.

However, all parts of the plant can be harmful to dogs and can cause excessive drooling and abdominal pain. It can also cause colic and diarrhea. In bad enough cases, exposure to Oleander can lead to death.

Dog-safe alternatives:

  • Arabian Gentian (also known as German Violet and Persian Violet)
  • Buzzy Lizzie (also known as Giant Touch-Me-Not, Impatience Plant, Patient Lucy, Patient Plant, and Tangerin Impatience)
  • Becoming Sally (also known as Fire Weed, Great Willow Herb, and Willow Herb)

Peace Lily – Toxic to dogs due to Insoluble Calcium Oxalates

The Peace Lily is one of the most common plants kept for its ability to clean indoor air. They’re also very easy to care for and produce simple yet dignified white flowers.

Spathe Flower and Mauna Loa are some of the names they are also known by.  Like many houseplants, Peace Lilies can cause oral irritation in dogs.

In some cases, they might experience a constant burning sensation in their mouth, lips, and tongue. Apart from vomiting, excess drooling and difficulty swallowing could also be some symptoms to indicate ingestion of this plant.


Dog-safe alternatives:

  • Cast-Iron Plant (also known as Bar Room Plant, Iron Plant, and Variegated Cast Iron Plant)
  • Lace Flower Vine (also known as Chocolate Soldier)
  • Canna Lily (also known as Common Garden Canna)

Philodendrons – Toxic to dogs due to Insoluble Calcium Oxalates

Philodendrons come in a variety of cultivars but some of the most common ones are called Split-leaf Philodendron or Monstera. These are loved because of their large and unusually shaped leaves.

However, they could cause difficulty swallowing and also excessive drooling in dogs. They could also cause dogs’ mouths, lips, and tongues to swell. In many cases, dogs that ingest this also end up vomiting as their system tries to expel the toxins.

Dog-safe alternatives:

  • Calathea Lancifolia
  • Trailing Begonia (also known as Trailing Watermelon Begonia)
  • Flame African Violet (also known as Flame Violet and Red Violet)

Poinsettia – Toxic to dogs due to Irritant Sap

The Poinsettia is commonly known as the Christmas Flower because it is an iconic part of Christmas decorations. As a fresh plant, it is loved because it generously produces clusters of large, bright red flowers.

In general, it is safe for dogs to be around Poinsettias. However, this plant contains sap that, in large enough portions, could cause some stomach and oral irritation.

Dog-safe alternatives:

  • Christmas Cactus (also known as Easter Cactus)
  • Blushing Bromeliad (also known as Aregelia, Crimson Cup, Marbled Fingernail, Miniature Marble Plant, and Ossifragi Vase)
  • Achira (also known as Arrowroot and Canna)



These are just some of the most common plants that could hard your dogs. For a more extensive list, visit the ASPCA’s comprehensive Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants List.

If you keep any of these plants in your home and you notice some of the symptoms described above, play it safe and visit your veterinarian right away or contact your local emergency poison hotline.

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