Dog, Beware: 20 Common House Plants Toxic to Dogs

woman gardening with black dog

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Many people think of a perfect home with a happy family, loving pets, practical yet aesthetically pleasing decor, and some decorative house plants. However, two elements of this household may be kept apart as there are several common house plants toxic to dogs. 

Having pets and maintaining a healthy collection of greens certainly make houses more comfortable and beautiful. However, you must ensure that you don’t cultivate toxic house plants to dogs. 

Let’s check out what household plants are poisonous to dogs. 

House Plants That Are Toxic to Dogs

Are house plants toxic to dogs? Not all of them! In fact, you can even build your dog a sensory garden, a small space where you can grow plants that would cater to the dog’s most active sense: smell. According to experts, chamomile, lavender, rosemary, and mint are among the best plants for a dog’s sensory garden.

“Each smell is like reading a different book for a dog.”

Dr. Julie Albright, University of Tennessee – College of Veterinary Medicine

Just make sure you don’t include the following toxic house plants to dogs indoors or outdoors:

1. Amaryllis

What types of plants are toxic to dogs? It’s not about the type of plant, but the toxins within individual species. 

For example, the amaryllis is an indoor and outdoor plant with attractive red flowers with white accents. It contains lycorine and glycosides that can make your dog suffer from abdominal pain, a drop in blood pressure, vomiting, and even depression. 

2. Alocasia

Alocasia has broad, dark green leaves with prominent veins. It has beautiful foliage that could elevate any garden or the entire backyard. But if dogs ingest the leaves, they will likely begin vomiting because of the presence of insoluble calcium oxalate. 

The plant is not deadly, but it’s best to keep it away from your dog at all costs.

3. Aloe

Aloe has medicinal properties and contains tons of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The plant is also known to reduce wrinkles and slow down the process of aging, which is why it is a common ingredient in many beauty products. It is a succulent plant that is fantastic to have at home—unless you have a dog. 

Unfortunately, aloe also contains saponins, which are toxic to dogs. 

4. Arrowhead Plant

Can dogs eat cabbage? Find out:  https://upperpawside.com/can-dogs-eat-cabbage/  They can, they should, and most of them really love it! However, make sure they don’t mistake the arrowhead plant for cabbage if you plant it at home. They have similar coloring and veining. 

Arrowhead plants contain insoluble calcium oxalates that are poisonous to dogs. 

5. Asparagus Fern

The asparagus fern is a common house plant because of its attractive foliage. It has delicious-looking berries that, when ingested, could cause severe abdominal pain or gastrointestinal upset in dogs. 

6. Begonia

Begonia truly is one of the most attractive indoor plants you can grow. But it contains insoluble oxalates that could irritate your dog’s mucous membrane.

7. Calla Lily

Which indoor plants are toxic to dog? There are quite a few, and one of them is the gorgeous calla lily. It is poisonous to cats and dogs because of insoluble calcium oxalate that will cause problems when ingested. Common symptoms include pain, diarrhea, extreme drooling, and loss of appetite. 

8. Cyclamen

If someone asks, what should you not plant around a dog? The answer is cyclamen. It’s an outdoor plant that has very colorful and beautiful flowers. They are aromatic, which just adds to their desirability. 

Dogs must be kept away from cyclamen because it contains poisonous saponins. Symptoms include diarrhea, salivation, vomiting, and cardiac arrhythmia. 

9. Desert Rose

The pure white color of the desert beautifully hides its toxicity. This flower is part of the oleander family, which is toxic even to humans. Desert rose contains digoxin, which, if ingested in large amounts, could kill a dog. Ingesting small amounts may lead to diarrhea and vomiting. 

10. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is another practical plant to grow at home because of its many uses. For one, it is a natural air freshener. It also promotes a calming effect and can treat colds. 

However, the eucalyptus oil in the plant can irritate your dog. It’s not fatal, but it could cause weakness or induce diarrhea and vomiting. 

“The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) lists eucalyptus as a plant that is highly toxic to dogs. Although they are technically not allergic to the essential oil, it can still cause terrible kidney and liver damage.”

Dr. Jamie Whittenburg

11. Flamingo Flower

To add splashes of bright color to your home, you may consider flamingo flowers or anthuriums. But they are not great for pet owners because of the insoluble calcium oxalate present in them. This toxin can irritate your dog’s mucous membrane, and ingestion can result in intense burning of the lips and tongue. 

12. Ficus Benjamina

Known as the weeping fig and recognized as Bangkok’s official tree, the benjamin fig can grow as high as 30 meters. It can be a great addition to the backyard for homeowners without pets. However, dogs may experience rashes and skin irritation when they touch this plant. 

13. Gardenia

Gardenia is undoubtedly among the most popular common house plants toxic to dogs. They are popular because of their fragrance; their flowers are beautiful, too. 

But if you have a dog, you must avoid this plant entirely. It contains geniposide and gardenoside, which can be quite toxic and cause diarrhea and nausea in dogs. 

14. Geranium

Some plants are toxic even if dogs don’t ingest them. What plants are poisonous to dogs by touch? Geranium is one of them. A simple touch of geranium and your dog may experience dermatitis and vomiting. In the most severe cases, dogs may even experience anorexia. 

15. Jade

Feng shui enthusiasts usually have at least one jade plant at home for financial luck. Pet owners, though, have to find luck somewhere else because dogs do not react well to jade plants, especially if they have a taste of it. Dogs could experience nausea and vomiting when they ingest the plant. 

16. Kafir Lily

The kafir lily is the epitome of “if looks could kill.” It has beautiful orange flowers and perfectly contrasting, long green leaves. This gorgeous flowering plant could be deadly. It contains licorice and other alkaloids that may result in possible convulsions and cardiac arrhythmia in dogs. 

17. Peyote

When somebody asks: what house plants are toxic to dogs? Cacti may be the last thing on people’s minds. Peyote is a small, spineless cactus variety that looks cute and makes for good interior decor. This house plant has medicinal properties for humans, too.

But for dogs, it’s poisonous because of the presence of mescaline and other alkaloids. 

18. Sago Palm

The good news is the sago palm is not exactly a type of plant that a dog would be interested in. However, if your dog starts eyeing it, there are two dangerous components: for one, the leaves are a bit sharp and could prick its skin and mouth. And two, it contains a toxin known as cycasin. The toxin can cause liver damage in dogs. Ingestion of a seed or two with cycasin can be fatal. 

19. Ti 

If you don’t have a green thumb, you may be encouraged to grow a ti plant at home because they are relatively low maintenance. However, the saponins present in the plant could harm your dog to the point it might vomit with blood. 

20. ZZ

Most plants need TLC (tender loving care), but not ZZ plant, which makes it very attractive for homeowners and plant enthusiasts. Imagine having a touch of green at home that you don’t need to spend a lot of time tending to. 

However, the insoluble calcium oxalates in the plant can cause mild illness in dogs. Ingestion of the plant may result in an intense burning sensation in the mouth and stomach. 

Will Dogs Stay Away from Toxic Plants?

Common house plants toxic to dogs don’t come with warnings. There is no way for a dog to know that some plants are toxic until it has a taste of them and gets sick in the process. Dogs will not stay away from poisonous plants on their own, especially fragrant or highly colorful ones. 

You shouldn’t risk even the most minor symptoms if you love your dog. Before you purchase a plant, you must do your due diligence and ensure it does not have components that will harm your pet. Hundreds of plant species are just as beautiful—some even more attractive—as the 20 plants mentioned above that pose a health risk to your dog.

Let's grow together!

Patrick Chism

Patrick likes to pretend that urban gardening is just a hobby, but he’s actually prepping for the apocalypse. He’s a practical grower, specializing in hydroponics systems and grow lights. His dream is to one day feed his family with just the food he grows in his Chicago-based condo.

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