34 Poisonous Houseplants for Dogs | Plants Toxic to Dogs

There are poisonous houseplants for dogs and cats. Some are mildly poisonous, and some are fatal. It is better to know about them if you own a pet and here we’ve listed 34 plants toxic to dogs.

The purpose of this article is not to discourage you from growing houseplants but to make you aware of some of the popular and common houseplants toxic to dogs. Labeled as mildly, moderately, highly, and very highly poisonous.

We believe a dog is a curious animal, especially when it’s young (puppy). Extremely argus-eyed in its quest and if your dog has a tendency to look for something to nibble on then this list of poisonous plants for dogs will help you.

Note: Many of our readers suggested through emails and comments that we should not label plants that contain calcium oxalate as toxic and we are in agreement. You can exclude the plants that contain only calcium oxalate crystals or the plants that are termed as mildly or moderately poisonous in this list!

Poisonous Houseplants for Dogs

1. Sago Palm

sago_palm

This exquisite plant sago palm is one of the favorites of landscapers. The bad news is if your dog has a tendency to bite or chew anything then this plant is dangerous. It contains a toxin called cycasin, which is known to cause liver damage. *Sago palm is also poisonous for cattle.

Toxins: Cycasin

Severity: Very high

Malicious Parts of the Plant: The whole plant

Symptoms: Vomiting, jaundice, increased thirst, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, bruising, clotting disorder, liver damage, liver failure and death.

2. Alocasia

Alocasia 'Polly' 1

A genus of plants of the family Araceae, it consists of 79 species, originated from the area of the Eastern Himalayas, the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, to tropical regions of the western Pacific and eastern Australia. Some species are endemic. They are also grown as a houseplant.

Toxins: Insoluble calcium oxalate

Severity: Moderate

Malicious Parts of the Plant: Leaves, Stems, and Roots

Symptoms: Mucous membrane irritation, intense burning and irritation of the mouth, lips, and tongue, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing.

3. Aloe

Aloe

A kind of leaf succulents, many varieties have various medicinal uses. But aloes are the plants toxic to dogs but only when they ingest it. There are around 500 species, comes in various forms– woody shrubs and sometimes vines. The geographical range of the plants of this type includes the Arabian Peninsula, Africa, South Asia and Madagascar.

Toxins: Saponins

Severity: Moderate

Malicious Parts of the Plant: Pulp and Juice

Symptoms: Vomiting, depression, diarrhea, lack of appetite, chills, change in the color of urine.

4. Arrowhead Plant

Syngonium podophyllum

Most common species is Syngonium podophyllum. It comes from the tropical areas of Central America and the Northern areas of South America. It is cultivated as an ornamental plant. The plant contains calcium oxalate in its sap, which is harmful if contacted or ingested.

Toxins: Insoluble calcium oxalates

Severity: Moderate

Harmful parts of the plant: All parts of the plant

Symptoms: Vomiting, depression, diarrhea, lack of appetite, chills, change in the color of urine.

5. Calla Lily

Calla Lily

Calla lilies are beautiful, but at the same time, they are one of the poisonous plants for dogs and cats. When the plant is chewed, clinical signs are visible immediately.

Toxins: Insoluble calcium oxalates and unidentified, toxic alkaloids

Severity: Mild to Moderate

Harmful Parts of the Plant: All parts of the plant

Symptoms: Oral pain, diarrhea, drooling, lack of appetite, pawing at the mouth.

6. Strelitzia (Bird of Paradise)

Strelitzia-reginae-Bird-of-Paradise

 

Strelitzia, which is also called “bird of paradise” is an extraordinary ornamental plant native to South Africa.
It is also grown as an indoor plant and for cut flowers but it comes in our list of poisonous houseplants for dogs as it contains Hydrogen Cyanide (prussic acid).

Did you know?

Hydrogen cyanide was used by Iraq in the war against Iran. During the Second World War, a form of hydrogen cyanide (Zyklon B) was used in the Nazi gas chambers.

Toxins: Hydrogen Cyanide (Prussic Acid)

Severity: High

Malicious parts of plants: All Parts

Symptoms: Mild nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, difficulty in breathing, less appetite, death.

7. ZZ Plant

zz-plant

ZZ plant belongs to Araceae family; it contains calcium oxalate crystals. However, plants that contain calcium oxalates don’t possess many serious threats.

Toxins: Insoluble calcium oxalates

Severity: Mild

Harmful parts of the plant: All parts of the plant

Symptoms: Mucous membrane irritation, intense burning, and irritation of the mouth and lips, tongue, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing.

8. Dieffenbachia

Dieffenbachia 1

Often called dumb cane, it is one of the easiest houseplants you can grow at your home but be careful if you own a dog or cat that is playful. Chewing or biting into this plant can cause injury.

Toxins: Insoluble calcium oxalates, proteolytic enzyme

Severity: Moderate

Malicious Parts of the Plant: The whole plant

Symptoms: Mucous membrane irritation, intense burning, and irritation of the mouth and lips, tongue, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing.

9. Jade Plant

jade plant

Crassula ovata is such a low care houseplant that even a nongrower can grow it happily. This tropical tree from Africa comes in our list of poisonous houseplants for dogs. However, it is mildly toxic.

Toxins: Unknown

Severity: Low

Harmful Parts of the Plant: All parts of the plant

Symptoms: Nausea, retching.

10. Kafir Lily

Clivia-miniata kaffir lily

Kafir lily is an exquisite plant with succulent leaves and orange flowers. It is not a true lily and can be grown as a houseplant. Its ingestion can cause kidney failure in cats; it is also one of the toxic plants to dogs.

Toxins: Licorine and other alkaloids

Severity: High

Malicious parts of the plant: The whole plant is poisonous, but especially the base of the leaf, stem, and bulbs

Symptoms: Vomiting and diarrhea. Large intake causes convulsions, low blood pressure, tremors and cardiac arrhythmia.

11. Dracaena fragrans

Dracaena fragrans

Its common name is cornstalk plant. Dracaena fragrans is mildly toxic to pets.

Toxins: Saponins

Severity: Moderate

Malicious Parts of the Plant: The whole plant

Symptoms: Vomiting (sometimes with blood), depression, lack of appetite, drooling.

12. Cyclamen

Persian cyclamen

Cyclamen is a beautiful flowering annual houseplant that is grown for ornamental purposes. However, cyclamen contains saponins and if its roots are ingested it causes some clinical symptoms, which require veterinary attention.

Toxins: Saponins

Severity: Low to Moderate

Malicious Parts of the Plant: Rhizome, tubers

Symptoms: Salivation, vomiting, diarrhea. At high intake cardiac, arrhythmia and convulsions are also possible.

13. Desert Rose (Adenium)

adenium

A beautiful succulent that belongs to the family of oleander originated from eastern Africa. It is commonly cultivated as an ornamental plant and can be grown in pots. But adenium is one of the plants poisonous for dogs.

Toxins: Digoxin – an organic compound with a group of glycosides

Severity: High

Malicious Parts of the Plant: All parts of the plant are poisonous, including sap

Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, depression, irregular heartbeat, and death (If ingested in higher amount).

14. Golden Pothos

golden_pothos

An excellent climbing plant that can be grown without sun, golden pothos (Epipremnum pinnatum) contains insoluble calcium oxalates that can cause mild clinical symptoms if chewed by your dog.

Toxins: Insoluble calcium oxalates

Severity: Mild

Harmful parts of the plant: All parts of the plant

Symptoms: Mucous membrane irritation, intense burning, and irritation of the mouth, lips and tongue, excessive drooling, difficulty in swallowing.

15. Kalanchoe

yellow-kalanchoe

A genus of plants of the Crassulaceae family. Kalanchoe is a beautiful common houseplant with flowers. This plant contains naturally occurring poison that affects the heart.

Toxins: Bufadienolides

Severity: Moderate to High

Harmful parts of the plant: All parts of the plant

Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythm (rare).

16. Dracaena

Dracaena marginata

Dracaena is a genus that consists 40 species of woody and shrubby plants. They are found in subtropical and tropical regions of Asia, Africa, and the Canary Islands and commonly grown as the houseplant.

Toxins: Saponins

Severity: Mild to Moderate

Harmful parts of the plant: All parts of the plant

Symptoms: Vomiting (sometimes with blood), depression, lack of appetite, drooling.

17. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus gunnii
Eucalyptus gunnii

If you are growing eucalyptus as a houseplant and you have a dog then be aware eucalyptus oil can trigger lethargy and depression. Even the smell eucalyptus oil can trigger the bad mood of your dog.

Toxins: Eucalyptus oil

Severity: Moderate

The harmful part of the plant: Any part of the plant

Symptoms: Salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, weakness.

18. Flame Lily (Gloriosa superba)

Gloriosa superba

A beautiful ornamental plant, its flowers look like a flame. It can also be grown as a houseplant and particularly used as a medicinal plant and have a variety of uses in Ayurveda. Apart from all these facts, it is useful to know that like most of the lilies, flame lily comes in the list of toxic plants to dogs. All parts are poisonous but mostly the tubers (swollen, underground stems). The ingestion of flame lily has caused many accidental deaths. It has also been used to commit murder, suicide, to induce abortions and to poison dogs. *Most of the lilies are poisonous.

Toxins: Colchicine related alkaloids

Severity: Very High

Malicious Parts of the Plant: The whole plant. Due to the presence of colchicine, whole plant is deadly poisonous. Particularly high content of colchicine recorded in seeds and tubers of plants. Superbine is present mainly in flowers.

Symptoms: Salivation, vomiting (bloody), diarrhea (bloody), shock, kidney failure, liver damage, bone marrow suppression, paralysis, death.

19. Ficus Benjamina

Ficus benjamina

Also called weeping fig, it occurs naturally from Southern Asia to Northern Australia and the Solomon Islands. It is the official tree of Bangkok, Thailand.

Toxins: Proteolytic enzyme (ficin), psoralen (ficusin)

Severity: Low

Harmful Parts of the Plant: All parts of the plant

Symptoms: Contact with skin can cause inflammation of the skin, ingestion may cause irritation of the mouth, salivation, and vomiting. Similar symptoms occur when pets come in contact with Rubber tree plant (ficus elastica).

Also Read: How to Grow Rubber Tree Plant

20. Flamingo Flower (Anthurium scherzeranum)

Flamingo flower contains calcium oxalates and can cause irritation in mouth and other mild clinical symptoms if ingested.

Toxins: Insoluble calcium oxalates

Severity: Mild

Harmful Parts of the Plant: All parts of the plant

Symptoms: Mucous membrane irritation, intense burning, and irritation of the mouth, lips and tongue, excessive drooling, difficulty in swallowing.

21. Gardenia

Gardenia jasminoides

Gardenia is one of the most fragrant flowers in the world. However, if you are growing gardenia as an houseplant, you must know that it is mildly poisonous. All parts of the can cause nausea and vomiting like symptoms to your pet, after ingestion.

Toxins: Geniposide, gardenoside

Severity: Low

Harmful Parts of the Plant: All parts of the plant

Symptoms: Mild vomiting, diarrhea

22. Geranium

Geranium

Usually, pets don’t touch this plant, but geranium can cause mild clinical symptoms to your dog or cat.

Toxins: Geraniol, linalool

Severity: Low

Harmful Parts of the Plant: All parts of the plant

Symptoms: Vomiting, anorexia, depression, dermatitis.

23. English ivy (Hedera helix)

English ivy

Beautiful English ivy is one of the best plants you can grow in the shade, even indoors. But the plant must not be ingested as it contains a toxin called saponins and it comes in our list of poisonous houseplants for dogs.

Toxins: Triterpenoid saponins (hederagenin)

Severity: Moderate

Harmful Parts of the Plant: All parts of the plant

Symptoms: Drooling, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Abdominal pain.

24. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

Spathiphyllum (2)

The peace lily is worthy of growing in homes, it can be grown without direct sunlight and requires low care and maintenance. But peace lily contains calcium oxalates if it is chewed by your dog or cat mild clinical symptoms may occur.

Toxins: Insoluble calcium oxalates

Severity: Mild

Malicious Parts of the Plant: The whole plant

Symptoms: Mucous membrane irritation, intense burning, and irritation of the mouth, lips and tongue, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing.

25. Schefflera

schefflera-amate

Another plant that belongs to Araceae family (Dieffenbachia, Calla lily, Arrowhead, Dumbcane, Peace Lily, Philodendron, Pothos, Umbrella Plant, Elephant’s Ear, Chinese Evergreen, and Schefflera), plants from this family contains calcium oxalate crystals that cause injury if chewed.

Toxins: Calcium oxalate crystals

Severity: Mild to Moderate

Harmful parts of the plant: All parts of the plant

Symptoms: Mucous membrane irritation, intense burning, and irritation of the mouth, lips and tongue, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing.

26. Oleander

nerium-oleander-cardinal

Oleander needs no introduction; it is a poisonous plant and we even listed it in 13 most common plants that are poisonous. Oleander is grown as a houseplant too.

Toxins: Cardiac glycosides

Severity: Very high

Malicious Parts of the Plant: The whole plant

Symptoms: All parts of the plant contains toxic cardiac glycosides as digoxin. Its ingestion can cause colic, diarrhea (possibly bloody), sweating, difficulty with coordination, shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing, muscle tremors, and can even cause death due to heart failure.

27. Amaryllis (Amaryllis sp.)

Amarillis

Amaryllis belongs to the lily family, but it is mildly poisonous when compares to other lilies like Easter lily, day lily, Asiatic lily, tiger lily, lily of the valley and flame lily.

Toxins: Lycorine and other glycosides

Severity: Mild to Moderate

Malicious parts of the plant: Bulbs

Symptoms: Vomiting, depression, drop in blood pressure, abdominal pain, drooling, loss of appetite, seizures.

28. Asparagus Fern (Asparagus setaceus)

Asparagus Fern

Asparagus fern is not a fern though its leaves resemble one. Also called lace fern, it is a common houseplant.

Toxins: Sapogenins

Severity: Mild

Malicious Parts of the Plant: Foliage, berries

Symptoms: The consumption of its berries can cause gastrointestinal upset, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

29. Ti plant (Cordyline terminalis)

Ti plant

This tropical houseplant is extremely low maintenance though it is moderately toxic to dogs.

Toxins: Saponins

Severity: Low

Malicious parts of the plant: The whole plant

Symptoms: Vomiting (sometimes with blood), depression, lack of appetite, drooling.

30. Begonia

Rex Begonia
Rex Begonia

Begonia is one of the plants you can grow indoors. But begonia is toxic; it contains insoluble oxalates.

Toxins: Insoluble oxalates

Severity: Mild

Harmful Parts of the Plant: A whole plant

Symptoms: Mucous membrane irritation, intense burning, and irritation of the mouth, lips and tongue, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing.

31. Peyote (Lophophora williamsii)

peyote Lophophora williamsii

A plant in the cactus family. Popularly known as peyote. It comes from the regions of New Mexico and Texas. It is a useful medicinal and ornamental plant for us but comes in the category of poisonous houseplants for dogs.

Toxins: Mescaline and other alkaloids

Severity: Moderate

Malicious Parts of the Plant: The whole plant

Symptoms: Psychotropic, intoxication, vomiting, diarrhea.

32. Brunfelsia

Brunfelsia nitida

Brunfelsia whose popular names are Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, Kiss-Me-Quick, Lady-of-the-Night contains a stimulant toxin called brunfelsamidine and other toxic agent called hopeanine, which is a depressant.

Toxins: Brunfelsamidine, hopeanina

Severity: High

Harmful Parts of the Plant: All parts of the plant

Symptoms: Irritation of the mouth and stomach (salivation, vomiting, and diarrhea), muscle cramps, muscle rigidity, paralysis of the nervous system, coma.

33. Cactus

cactus 1

Cactus species are mainly grown as the ornamental houseplants. Most of the plants of this family are toxic and create a potential danger to house pets due to their thorns and spikes.

Toxins: Many species have different toxic substances. Spikes are the threat too.

Severity: Moderate to High

Malicious parts of the plant: The whole plant, in particular, spikes

Symptoms:  Inflammation of the skin, injury

34. Philodendron

Philodendrons

When it comes to easiest houseplant Philodendrons come to mind. Philodendrons are mildly toxic, they contain calcium oxalate crystals, which trigger clinical problems after ingestion.

Toxins: Insoluble calcium oxalates

Severity: Mild to Moderate

Harmful Parts of the Plant: All parts of the plant

Symptoms: Mucous membrane irritation, intense burning, and irritation of the mouth and lips, tongue, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing.

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34 Poisonous Houseplants for Dogs (2)



5 COMMENTS

  1. This article contains some important information, but it is mostly obscured by the unimportant. The article should start with the plant species that have the toxicity level listed as “very high,” and “high.” These are the only ones that pose serious threats to animals. The other plants will cause at most some barfing and drooling, but should not be called “poisonous” in the same way as the High Toxicity varieties. Very few animals will try more than a few bites, presumably because they taste bad. In fact, I think some animals “self-medicate” this way. I’m not a veterinarian, but in a lifetime of working with and living with animals, usually with a houseful of plants, I’ve never seen a cat or dog get sick, beyond a bit of barf, from chewing on any of the plants listed as “moderate” or “mild” toxicity.

    • I totally agree with your viewpoint. No doubt there are some poisonous plants for dogs and other animals but a number of them listed here as moderate need not level as poisonous. Calcium oxalate is found in onion, spinach, figs and a number of plants but these have never been called poisonous.

  2. Because so many of the most communally used houseplants are on this hit list, perhaps it would be more helpful to post a listing of commonly used houseplants known to be SAFE for dogs and other pets.

  3. Desert Rose is deadly to any animal! The animal will die a horrible death involving seizures and severe pain.

    A few petals falling into a large koi pond killed every fish in the pond and just a few petals caused my goat such severe pain, she had to be euthanized.

    The plant shown in the article has white flowers. They turn into a pretty pink color as they get older. Please do not keep this plant anywhere near animals or small children.

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