Houseplants are great! Everyone should have at least one or two live plants in their home! Not only do plants add beauty and colour to your home decor, they can clean the air, and make you feel healthier and happier. And best of all, many of them are easy to grow.
That being said, pet owners need to be aware of the houseplants that are toxic to cats and dogs. Ingesting poisonous plants can make pets very sick! It’s best to keep these plants out of reach. Better yet, avoid bringing any of these plants home, where pets and young children might want to taste them. It is also a good idea to wear gloves when handling toxic plants that could irritate the skin or eyes.
Here is a list of common household plants that are toxic for pets:
Azalea is actually a species of Rhododendron (small, deciduous plants are azaleas, while large, woody shrubs are called Rhododendron). The flowers are attractive when the plant is in bloom, but all parts of the plant is poisonous to cats and dogs. Ingesting just a few leaves can cause fatal conditions such as excessive salivation, weakness, drooling and vomiting. In extreme causes, heart failure, comas and death is also possible.
Cyclamen is a lovely houseplant that produces pretty, scented flowers in pink, white or purple. They seem to be especially popular during Christmas season. However, if ingested, it can cause vomiting and skin irritation. The plant’s tubers (root-like structures) are also fatal and can cause heart rhythm abnormalities, seizures and even death.
Kalanchoe (also known as Mother of Millions) is a succulent that produces clusters of colourful, long lasting flowers in red, orange, pink and white. It is low maintenance and easy to care for, but it also fatal for pets and young children. Kalanchoe contains poisons called cardiac glycoside toxins that can affect the heart rate. Symptoms include drooling, nausea, vomiting, abnormal heart rate, seizures and tremors.
Philodendron is one of the most popular houseplants because they are so easy to grow! But it is also one of the deadliest for pets and humans. This plant contains toxic calcium oxalate crystals. If ingested, symptoms include: burning and swelling of the lips, tongue and throat, spasms, seizures, and pain. It can also cause vomiting and diarrhea. The plant seems to be more toxic to cats.
This popular houseplant, which does well under low-light conditions, is found in many homes. It is also known as “Dumb Cane” because of the symptoms it causes when this plant is ingested. As the sap contains oxalate crystals, it can cause a burning sensation in the mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling and numbing of the throat. It can be fatal in both humans and pets if ingested in large amounts.
Note: Should your pet eat any of these plants, contact your veterinarian or local poison center immediately!