Did you know that some indoor and outdoor plants are toxic for pets? Here are 10 of the most toxic plants that you'll want to keep out of reach of your furry friends.
There are more than 700 plants containing highly toxic substances that, if consumed, can cause your pet to become seriously ill. In some cases, ingestion can be fatal. While not every pet will consume some or any of your decorative greenery, it's important to be aware of the potential dangers.
Below we've listed 10 of the most toxic plants to pets.
10 toxic plants for pets
Dieffenbachia (Dumb Cane or Leopard Lily)
This plant belongs to the family of Araceae and is also known as the Dumb Cane or Leopard Lily. Although microscopic, the plant contains sharp crystals that cause mouth sores, excessive salivation, trouble swallowing, and vomiting.
Epipremnum aureum (Devil's Ivy)
Part of the same family as Dieffenbachia, Devil's Ivy also goes by the names golden pothos, climbing arum, hunter's robe, money plant, silver vine, taro vine, and Solomon Islands ivy. It is a pretty plant with heart-shaped leaves. As with the Dieffenbachia (and also elephant ears plant below), consumption in our four-legged friends can cause a highly irritated mouth, excessive salivation, difficulty swallowing, and vomiting in cats and dogs.
Alocasia macrorrhiza (elephant ears)
Another member of the Araceae plant family, the Alocasia macrorrhiza, commonly known as 'elephant ears', contains a similar compound to the Dieffenbachia, and may cause the same effects.
Most plants of the lily family, Liliaceae, are toxic to cats and dogs, especially Easter lilies and Oriental lilies. These can lead to vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, and kidney failure. The animal may die if not treated quickly.
Ingesting part of a Dracaena fragran will make your pet sick, although typically symptoms are mild to moderate (unless a large amount is consumed). Vomiting, loss of appetite, excessive salivation, weakness, and diarrhoea are common symptoms to look out for.
Related to the vegetable Asparagus, the ornamental asparagus (or asparagus fern) is not edible. In fact, the asparagus fern, including its berries, are harmful to pets. Ingesting the plant or its berries can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain. Dermatitis is also a risk if a dog or cat is repeatedly exposed to this plant.
While a useful topical treatment for humans, Aloe vera isn't quite the same for pets ingesting the plant. Due to the way glycosides are metabolised in the intestinal systems of our fur friends, ingestion can lead to vomiting, diarrhoea, dehydration, changes in urine colour (pink or red), and tremors, although this is typically rare.
Another member of the Araceae plant family, this plant has a toxin concentrated in its leaves. Similar to other plants of this family, ingestion can cause irritation of the mouth and lips, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.
Despite its beauty, the cyclamen can be particularly dangerous, if not fatal, in large enough doses. If your cat or dog swallows a small amount, you will notice increased salivation, vomiting, and diarrhoea. Larger quantities are likely to bring about an irregular heartbeat and potential seizures. Chances of survival from the latter are greatly diminished.
Crassula ovata (Jade plant)
Typically called a Jade plant, Crassula ovatas can also be referred to as friendship trees, lucky plants, money plants or money trees. Less lucky and more toxic to pets, ingested, this plant can cause vomiting, incoordination, depression, loss of appetite, and a possibly reduced heartbeat. Exposure to the plant can also cause dermatitis.
Have you thought about what plants you have around your pets?