Houseplants make your home feel welcoming, and some also improve indoor air quality. When you have a dog, however, you cannot just grow any plants. Several of the most common house plants, although harmless to humans are toxic — or even fatal — for dogs.
It is critical that you avoid buying the following plants. You should also remove any that you have in your house already, or at least keep them out of reach from your pet. No matter how well behaved your dog is, there is always a risk that she may decide to eat a leaf or flower — or even the entire plant.
A few plants are collectively called elephant ear:
Whatever the name, this plant is part of the Araceae family and has large leaves that resemble elephant ears (hence the name). Plus, this plant contains chemicals that are toxic to dogs.
Ingestion of this plant leads to irritation in the mouth and symptoms like drooling, vomiting, and loss of appetite. You may also notice your dog pawing at her mouth. In rare cases, elephant ear can even cause swelling in the upper airway, which can make breathing difficult.
You may be under the impression that aloe vera is a good choice of houseplant because of its healing qualities. When applied to the skin, it can soothe irritation, treat allergies, and act as an anti-inflammatory, both for humans and dogs.
However, aloe vera plants can still be dangerous for your pet’s health. Whereas the gel is safe, other parts of the plant can cause discomfort in the digestive system if ingested. Symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, lethargy, and change in urine color.
Jade plants are particularly popular as indoor house plants, as they are easy to care for and resemble bonsai trees. You may know the plant by a different name: it also goes by rubber plant, friendship tree, and Chinese or Japanese rubber plant. Unfortunately, it is quite toxic for dogs.
Although the cause of the toxicity is unknown, what is clear is that consumption of jade can lead to vomiting, decreased heart rate, poor coordination, and lethargy.
If you grow your own produce, think twice about tomatoes. Whereas the ripe fruit is safe for dogs (in limited amounts), the leaves and stalk of the tomato plant are toxic. This is due to a chemical called solanine.
Solanine is present in all the green parts of the tomato plant, including unripe fruit. If your dog consumes any of these parts, she could suffer from tomatine poisoning, which leads to symptoms including confusion, weakness, tremors, incoordination, diarrhea, vomiting, and depression.
If you do decide to grow tomatoes, never leave the plants inside where they are accessible to your dog. If you grow them outside, monitor your dog whenever she is in the yard and keep her away from the plants.
Many flowers fall into the lily family. Not all are poisonous to dogs, but some are. Therefore, if you want to have lilies in your home, you must check that they are not one of the toxic varieties.
One of the most dangerous types of lilies is Mauna Loa, or peace lily. If your dog ingests any of this plant, her lips and tongue could suffer from irritation. This can cause vomiting and difficulty swallowing.
Above are five of the most common houseplants that pose a danger to your dog. However, there are a few more that are worth mentioning. These are:
Plenty of house plants are completely safe for dogs. Some will even provide your dog with health benefits if she does decide to eat them. Avoid all the above and opt instead for plants like purple basil, spider plants, bamboo, and African daisy.