Houseplants make your home look beautiful and can be great for the mental health of everyone in your household—furry pals included. But when you share your home with a dog, you need to pay extra attention when you’re choosing plants and setting up your indoor oasis. Some popular types of houseplants can actually be toxic for our pets.
To keep everyone safe, here are common houseplants that are toxic for dogs, and tips for keeping your pup—and your plants—out of harm’s way.
Poisonous Houseplants for Dogs
If a plant is considered “toxic” for dogs, exposure to the leaves can cause some skin irritation for your pup. But the real thing to watch for is your dog getting curious and taking a bite from one of these plants’ leaves, stems, or flowers.
Not every plant that is considered poisonous poses an immediate threat to your dog. Some plants can cause mild, temporary side effects if your dog takes a nibble, while others are much more toxic.
Plants Considered Mildly Toxic
Plants that are considered mildly toxic for your dog can cause what amounts to a temporary allergic reaction. Drooling, sneezing, and a runny nose are symptoms of mild toxicity. It’s also worth noting that these plants typically only cause side effects when they are consumed in large amounts-- meaning that snacking on a leaf or two of these plants probably won’t warrant a trip to the vet for your dog.
Common houseplants with low-to-mild toxicity include:
Plants Considered Highly Toxic
Plants that have a high toxicity can cause digestive upset (beyond just throwing up the plant leaves), loss of energy, and loss of appetite. These types of reactions can mean your dog needs a vet’s help. Houseplants that are considered to have a high toxicity for dogs include:
Christmas Plants and Your Dog
You may love to decorate with sprigs of traditional holly and mistletoe during the holiday season. These plants add a beautiful pop of vivid red to your space and put everyone in a merry mood. But these decorations, especially the berries of these plants, have a high toxicity level for dogs and should only be placed somewhere Fido can’t reach.
Live poinsettias, on the other hand, are not highly poisonous. The white sap in poinsettias can cause skin irritation or digestive upset, but a large amount of the plant leaves would have to be consumed to see any side effects. Since poinsettias don’t taste very good, it’s unlikely your dog will eat enough to feel sick, but it’s still worth keeping in mind as you deck your halls.
Non-Toxic Houseplants for Dogs
You may want to consider swapping out toxic plants for non-toxic alternatives to completely keep your dog out of harm’s way. Here are some non-toxic houseplants that are pet-safe, homeowner-approved.