Plants add comfort and visual appeal to a home, but as a dog owner, one must be careful when choosing the horticulture for the space you share with your beloved pet. With over 700 plants that can be toxic to our canine friends, it can be challenging to avoid the ones that can cause poisoning, particularly due to variations in names of plants, from region to region, and from scientific name to common name.
To see your dog in distress from poisoning can be terrifying, and signs can range from simple stomach upset to severe illness, and in the worst cases this can be fatal. Listed here are 12 common plants to walk away from when choosing plants for your property and home.
1. Corn plant, Dracaena fragrans
The saponin in this plant is the cause of poisoning in dogs. If it is consumed by your canine you might see vomiting, possibly blood in conjunction with the vomiting, increased drooling, reduced appetite, overall depression and affect. Dilated pupils in cats may also indicate poisoning from corn. The corn plant is known my many different names: Cornstalk Plant, Dracaena, Dragon Tree
2. Tulip, Tulipa
This very common plant is toxic in its entirety to dogs, however its bulb is the most severe in poisoning risk. If your dog digs up the bulb or eats a portion of the plant, you may see very sore and irritated mucous membranes in the mouth area, a great deal of drooling and even vomiting.
3. Daffodil, Narcissus (known as daffadowndilly, narcissus, and jonquil)
Like the tulip, the whole of the plant is poisonous to our canines, and again the bulb is most dangerous. The reactions to this plant are more extreme than to the tulip however. Not only will you see stomach upset, but reactions range from diarrhea to stomach discomfort, up to heart beat irregularities (arrhythmias), seizures and even a dangerous reduction in blood pressure.
4. Azalea, Rhododendron (also known as Rosebay)
The leaves of this plant are the risk, and even a small amount can cause a severe reaction. You may see just irritated mucous membranes in the mouth, stomach upset including vomiting and diarrhea, up to reduced blood pressure, coma and it can even be fatal to your dog with a small amount consumed.
5. Asparagus Fern, Asparagus densiflorus (Emerald Feather, Emerald Fern, Sprengeri Fern, Plumosa Fern, Lace Fern, Racemose Asparagus, Shatavari)
The sapogenin in the berries of this plant are toxic, as it is a steroid that the plant produces. If your dog is exposed quite a bit, you may notice skin irritation, allergic dermatitis, due to this plant. This is also toxic to cats and the same symptoms are present in both animals: nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach upset or pain can be seen.
6. Amaryllis (Belladonna lily, Saint Joseph lily, Cape Belladonna, Naked Lady)
This plant can cause a whole range of symptoms, from drooling, to vomiting and diarrhea, stomach pain and discomfort, no interest in eating and even tremors. So, be careful when you choose your Easter flowers and decorations, this may be a plant to avoid, or at least keep far from the reach of your dog. It is beautiful, but not to your dog’s health.
This decorative bush is very toxic to dogs, especially affecting heart function as it has cardiac glycosides, which are similar to the heart medication digoxin. It is a beautiful decorative bush, particularly in the warmer southern climates of the US, but ingestion can result in anything from vomiting/diarrhea/stomach upset to muscle tremors, poor coordination of muscle function, up to heart abnormalities, up to and including fatal heart malfunction.
8. Sago Palm, Cycas Revoluta
This plant can be deadly poisonous to canines, again, presenting with an entire range of reactions in an animal that has eaten it: vomiting/diarrhea, bleeding issues, up to liver damage or failure and death.
9. Dieffenbachia (known as Dumb Cane / Leopard Lily)
This houseplant is frequently found in homes, and is also referred to as Dumb Cane, that affects the oral mucous membranes and throat membranes, resulting in burning of the oral area, vomiting including difficulty swallowing due to irritation of exposed areas.
10. Autumn Crocus, Colchicum autumnale (known as Meadow Saffron, Mysteria or Naked Lady)
Like other bulbular plants discussed above, the entire plant is toxic, however the bulb is most dangerous to your pet. It causes mucous membrane and oral irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, even resulting in more severe effects with seizures, organ damage – kidney and liver, as well as even affecting heart rhythms.
11. Kalanchoe (common names: Mother-In-Law-Plant, Devils Backbone, Chandelier Plant, Mother of Millions)
This is another popular houseplant, has small flowers. Commonly called the Mother-In-Law plant it causes vomiting and diarrhea, but can cause heart irregularities, however this is not common.
12. Cyclamen (known as Sowbread)
This plant produces terpenoids that have poisonous affects on dogs. A houseplant, also known as Sowbread, consumption of it again has a range of effects, from stomach upset to diarrhea, effects on the heart, seizures, and can even be fatal.