When your household includes four-legged family members, it’s vital to their health to choose pet-safe houseplants. There are more than 700 identified poisonous plants that are potentially harmful to dogs and/or cats. This includes common houseplants you may already have in your home. Some toxic plants cause discomfort like excessive drooling, oral irritation and nausea, but others can be lethal through kidney, central nervous system and/or heart damage.
Your pet’s vulnerability to a specific plant’s toxicity depends on the type and size of your pet and how much of the plant your pet ingests. If you see abnormal conditions like vomiting, difficulty breathing and/or weakness, visit Festival Animal Clinic immediately. Located in Centennial, Colorado, we also provide care for pets in the Highlands Ranch, Littleton and Englewood areas. To safeguard your furry companions, compile a thorough toxic plant list, starting with these top offenders.
Common Poisonous Plants to Avoid
Some plants are only toxic in high doses, but others take very little to produce a potentially fatal result. Lilies are one example that are toxic in small amounts, especially to cats. Although dogs aren’t as sensitive to all lilies, the Calla Lily, Kudu Lily and Peace Lily are toxic to both animals. Likewise, the Sago palm can cause liver failure with ingestion of just one or two seeds. Other common plants have a mild to moderate toxicity level for dogs and cats. This includes all philodendrons, such as the highly popular fiddle leaf philodendron or fiddle leaf fig tree, and pothos plants, which can cause soft tissue damage.
Popular Poisonous Plants to Avoid Include
Caladium or Elephant’s Ears
Dieffenbachia or Dumb Cane
Dracaena or the Dragon
Snake Plant (aka Mother-in-law’s Tongue)
*Some plants go by the same or similar names, but have different toxicity. When in doubt, look up the scientific name of a plant to ensure yours is a non-toxic variety.
Non-Toxic Plants to Consider
You don’t have to give up plants in your home entirely. There are plenty of flowers and plants that are non-toxic to both dogs and cats. If you like a certain type of plant, look for non-harmful varieties. For example, replace a Sago palm with a bamboo palm, paradise palm, ponytail palm, feather palm or cane palm. Replace potentially harmful succulents like Jade and Aloe Vera with non-toxic species like Blue Echeveria aka Painted Lady, Hens and Chicks, Haworthia or Mexican Rosettes.
Popular, non-toxic plants include
Phalaenopsis Orchid (Moon Orchid)
Polka Dot Plant
Whitman or Verona Fern
Visit the ASPCA website to compile a list of toxic and non-toxic plants and their potential toxicity for quick reference. Their site offers a searchable database of plants by common and scientific names, so you can easily look up specific species.
If poisoning is suspected, it’s important to know what your pet ingested and seek immediate treatment. Doctors Yvonne Knapp and Rob Leenerts at Festival Animal Clinic can help identify toxins through diagnostics and in-house blood work, so your furry family member gets the help it needs quickly. Contact us at (303) 850-9393 with any of your veterinary concerns today.