Unless you live in a dystopian future where metal, plastic and human greed have wiped out all flora on earth, you probably have some kind of plant growing in or outside your house. Now, if you’re a bachelor like me, you’re probably fine with whatever plants you are growing, as long as you don’t do a dare and try to consume those plants. However, if you’re a bachelor like me who has a pet running around the house and the backyard, then you might want to pay attention to the type of plants that you have growing within your house walls. Some of the plants on this list look harmless or even used in food products, but not everything is as it seems. These plants are toxic to your pets if they consume certain parts of the plant. Let’s start.
1) Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis)
Most people probably have this plant as it has various beneficial properties when used externally. Even though dogs can safely drink aloe juice, consuming the raw plant may pose a health risk. This is because aloes contain anthraquinone glycosides which are purgatives and when ingested, they can result in vomiting and diarrhoea.
2) Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum Aureum)
Better known as Golden Pothos or more commonly known in Malaysia as the Money Plant. Who would have ever thought that money brings problems? But if you pet consumes any part of this plant, they will immediately show signs which include pawing at face, foaming, and vomiting. They will also experience moderate to severe swelling in the mouth, making it difficult to breathe or swallow.
3) Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)
Similar to the Devil’s Ivy, ingesting any part of this plant will cause pawing at face, foaming, and vomiting. They will also experience moderate to severe swelling in the mouth, making it difficult to breathe or swallow.
4) Tomato Plant (Solanum Lycopersicum)
Okay, I know what you’re saying right now, “What! Tomatoes? I feed my dogs that!” Now, the tomato itself is considered okay, but the green parts of the plant contain solanine, toxic to dogs and cats. However, a large amount needs to be ingested to result in severe poisoning. So, calm down, and give your pet a slice of tomato.
Chrysanthemums, sometimes called mums or chrysanths. I could go for some Chrysanthemum tea right about now. Consuming this plant does not bring any health risks immediately, but it does contain pyrethrins, which are used in pesticides and dog flea and tick medications. So, reason enough to keep it away from your pets!
6) Mother-In-Law’s Tongue (Dracaena Trifasciata)
If you let out a chuckle when you read the name of this plant, you are not the only one. Just like how a mother-in-law is feared, your pet should be afraid of this plant. Also known as the Snake Plant, if your pet gets too friendly with this plant, it can result in gastrointestinal signs like drooling, vomiting and diarrhoea.
7) Hydrangea (Hortensia)
Do not be deceived by the beautiful flowers! This shrub contains cyanogenic glycosides, in its leaves and flowers. When ingested by pets, it can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, and lethargy.
8) Ivy (Hedera)
Several varieties of ivy contain toxins, including triterpenoid saponins and polyacetylene compounds. If consumed by your pet, they will experience excessive drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain.
9) Jade Plant (Crassula Ovata)
Also known as The Feng Shui Money Attracting Plant is toxic to pets. There is a trend of plants associated with wealth being harmful to your pets on this list, isn’t it? Moving on, although the toxic compounds are not well understood, consuming the plant can cause vomiting and a slow heart rate in addition to a harder-to-identify symptom: depression.
10) Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia)
Not so dumb after all! The leaves contain tiny, sharp calcium oxalate crystals which can irritate a dog’s mouth and cause severe swelling and burning of the mouth and tongue. There is a very slim chance this irritation can lead to difficulty breathing and in severe cases, death. But as always, don’t take the chance.
11) Elephant Ear (Caladium)
If you can see the similarity between the leaf of this plant and an elephant’s ear, please let me know because I can’t. But I can see how this plant can be harmful to your pets. The leaf contains sharp calcium oxalate crystals that can irritate a dog’s mouth and cause severe swelling and burning of the mouth and tongue. Like Mr. Dumb Cane, there is a very slim chance this irritation can lead to difficulty breathing and in severe cases, death. And just like before, don’t take the chance.
12) Lily (Lilium)
Nice name for a baby girl, but not nice to your pet’s health. Although some lily types can pose a threat to your dog, cat owners should be avoiding these pretty petals completely. This bloom is extremely toxic to your feline and in some cases, can even cause kidney failure. Symptoms include drooling, nausea, and loss of appetite.
13) Common Asparagus Fern (Asparagus Setaceus)
If your dog or cat is exposed to it frequently, it can cause skin irritation, while consuming its berries can cause vomiting and diarrhoea.
14) ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas Zamiifolia)
No, Jason, the plant is not a sleeping plant. Years of research have concluded that this plant’s leaves and sap are mildly toxic no thanks to the compound, saponins. This plant is not only toxic to your pets, but to you as well! If consumed, it can cause nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting in humans, cats and dogs.
15) Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
It’s among the most poisonous indoor plants for humans, dogs and cats. So much for “peace”. Every part of this plant is toxic to humans, cats, and dogs. This plant’s leaves and stems can cause a sever burning irritation of the mouth, throat, and stomach in humans if ingested. It can cause a sever burning irritation of the mouth, throat, and stomach, as well as excessive drooling, vomiting and difficulty swallowing in cats and dogs if ingested.
However, what the Peace Lily takes, it gives! The Peace Lily is an excellent air purifying plant, helping remove benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, xylene and trichloroethylene from the air.
If you want to know another 34 poisonous plants, you can click here.
So, how many of these plants you have at home and did not know could pose a danger to your pets? Let us know in the comments. Now that you are aware of it, you can take some precautions to protect your pet from them or find an alternative plant. See you in the next blog entry!