Indoor plants for the home can be beautiful additions and provide a natural way to filter interior air. Many homeowners prefer to enhance their spaces with green house plants and various flowers. Though that is a great way to design a home’s interior, pet owners must exercise caution with pet-safe indoor plants.
Adults understand that they may need to wash their hands after handling certain types of plants and that it can be unsafe to consume them. Children are instructed by their parents to do the same. Even though many pets can be trained to steer clear of certain dangers, their natural propensity to gnaw on various items out of curiosity or even boredom may entice them to investigate plants.
Some plants are more dangerous than others. According to Farmer’s Almanac, more than 700 indoor/outdoor plants contain toxic substances that are not safe for cats and dogs. Learning about common indoor plants and their hazards can help keep pets safe. The following are some plants that are toxic to cats and dogs, courtesy of the ASPCA website.
Adam and Eve Root (Arum, Starch Root): This plant can cause oral irritation, pain and swelling of the mouth, tongue, and lips, excessive drooling, and difficulty swallowing.
Live Aloe Vera Plant: While the gel is considered edible, the rest of the plant may cause lethargy, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Amaryllis Lily: There are many different types of amaryllis, and most will cause vomiting, depression, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hypersalivation, and tremors in cats and dogs.
Azalea: These plants of the rhododendron family cause vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, and potential cardiac failure.
Begonia: The most toxic part of this plant is underground. Still, it may cause vomiting and salivation in dogs and cats.
California ivy: The foliage is more toxic than the berries, and could contribute to vomiting, abdominal pain, hypersalivation, and diarrhea.
Clematis: Salivation, vomiting, and diarrhea are common if the plant is ingested.
Daisy (and other chrysanthemum species): Dermatitis, vomiting, diarrhea, hypersalivation, and incoordination may occur.
Large Elephant Ear Plants: This plant may cause oral irritation, pain and swelling of the mouth, tongue, and lips, excessive drooling, and difficulty swallowing.
Fox Glove Flowers: This may cause cardiac arrhythmia, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, cardiac failure, and death.
Geranium Varieties: Ingesting geranium may lead to depression, dermatitis, and vomiting.
Holly: Vomiting, diarrhea, and depression may occur. However, leaves and berries are low toxicity.
Mother of Millions Flower: This succulent could cause vomiting, diarrhea, and, in rare instances, abnormal heart rhythm.
Philodendron: Oral irritation, pain and swelling of the mouth, tongue, and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing could occur.
Sago palm: The Sago palm can cause vomiting, increased thirst, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, bruising, coagulopathy, liver damage, liver failure, and death.
Snake Grass Plant: Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea could occur if pets ingest this plant.
For a complete list of plants that can be toxic to cats, dogs, and horses, visit www.aspca.org. Those who suspect their pets may have ingested a potentially toxic substance should call their local veterinarians as soon as possible or the ASPCA at (888) 426-4435.