Common Houseplants that are Toxic to Dogs

Common Houseplants that are Toxic to Dogs

Houseplants are a great way to brighten up and add some life to a room. However, if you have pets around the house, it’s important to do research on what plants may be toxic or harmful to them. Most plants are only harmful if consumed but may also cause skin irritation if your pet rubs up against them. While your dog may not be one to try to eat anything and everything, it is probably safer to keep toxic plants out of the house. We compiled a list of common houseplants that are unsafe for dogs to help you create the most safe living environment for your canine companion.

For a more comprehensive list that also includes plants that make safe alternatives to toxic ones, check out this article from Doggypedia written by Rob Evans. You can also check this list from the ASPCA to ensure that any houseplant you already have or are planning to bring into your home is safe. If you suspect your dog might have consumed a toxic plant, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number at 888-426-4435.

 

Aloe vera and Aloe barbadensis

Potted aloe vera plant in a pot sitting on a table by a window

While the gel that we all know and love from both of these Aloe species isn’t harmful to dogs, the other parts of the plants contain saponins and anthraquinones which are toxic. Symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea.

 

Amaryllis spp.

Also known as Belladonna lily, Saint Joseph lily, Cape Belladonna, or Naked Lady

Orange pink amaryllis flowers blooming

This lovely flowering plant contains lycorine and other compounds that are toxic to dogs. Ingestion can cause vomiting, depression, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hypersalivation, anorexia, and tremors.

 

Zantedeschia aethiopica

Commonly known as Calla Lily, Arum Lily, Pig Lily, White Arum, Trumpet Lily, Florist's Calla, or Garden Calla

White Calla Lily flower blooming

These beautiful flowing plants contain insoluble calcium oxalates which can cause oral irritation, pain and swelling of mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing if ingested by dogs.

 

Asparagus densiflorus

Commonly known as Asparagus Fern, Emerald Feather, Emerald Fern, Sprengeri Fern, Plumosa Fern, Lace Fern, Racemose Asparagus, or Shatavari

Asparagus fern, Asparagus densiflorus, fronds in the forest

Many dogs will have a allergic skin reaction to repeated dermal exposure. Berry ingestion can cause gastric upset, including vomiting, abdominal pain, or diarrhea.

 

Alocasia spp., Caladium hortulanum, and Colocasia esculenta

Commonly known as Elephant’s Ear, Caladium, Malanga, Via Sori, Pai, Taro, Cape, or Ape

Elephant's Ear Caladium plant leaves

These popular houseplants contain insoluble calcium oxalates which can cause oral irritation, pain and swelling of mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing if ingested by dogs. There are many species of Alocasia Elephant's ear (79 to be exact!) and they all look a little different.

 

Hedera helix

Commonly known as English Ivy, Common Ivy, Glacier Ivy, Needlepoint Ivy, Sweetheart Ivy, California Ivy, or Branching Ivy

Vine of English Ivy growing across a small rocky stream in the forest

The toxic compounds in this vine, Triterpenoid saponins (hederagenin), can cause vomiting, abdominal pain, hypersalivation, and diarrhea. While this whole plant is toxic, the leaves contain more toxins than the berries.

 

Begonia spp.

Commonly known as Begonia

Pink Begonia flowers blooming

There are more than 1,800 species of Begonia, and they all contain insoluble calcium oxalates which can cause oral irritation, pain and swelling of mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing if ingested by dogs.

 

Iris sp.

Commonly known as Iris, Flag, Snake Lily, and Water Flag

Purple and yellow iris flower blooming in garden

The pentacylic terpenoids (zeorin, missourin and missouriensin) in these flowering plants can cause salivation, vomiting, drooling, lethargy, and diarrhea.

 

Gardenia jasminoides

Commonly known as Gardenia or Cape Jasmine

White gardenia or cape jasmine flower blooming in nature

The geniposide and gardenoside may cause mild vomiting and/or diarrhea and potentially hives.

 

Spathiphyllum spp.

Commonly known as Peace Lily or Mauna Loa.

White peace lily flowers (Spathiphyllum) blooming in a garden

There are 40 species of Peace Lily and they all contain insoluble calcium oxalates which can cause oral irritation, pain and swelling of mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing if ingested by dogs.

 

Anthemis nobilis

Commonly known as Chamomile, Manzanilla, Garden Chamomile, Roman Chamomile, True Chamomile, Corn Feverfew, Barnyard Daisy, Ground-apple, and Turkey-weed

Chamomile flowers growing in a field

The toxic principles of this flowering plant include volatile oil, bisabolol, chamazulene, anthemic acid, and tannic acid. These can cause allergic skin reactions if there is skin contact, vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, and allergic reactions. Long term use can lead to bleeding tendencies.

 

Crassula argentea

Commonly known as Jade Plant, Baby Jade, Dwarf rubber plant, Jade tree, Chinese rubber plant, or Japanese rubber plant

Jade plant, Crassula argentea, growing in blue pot

The toxin in this plant is unknown, but it can cause vomiting, depression, and incoordination in dogs if it is eaten.

 

Lavandula angustifolia

Commonly known as Lavender, Common Lavender, and English Lavender.

Lavender plants growing in rows in a big field with a close up of blooming flowers in the foreground

The linalool and linalyl acetate in this common herb can cause nausea, vomiting, and a loss of appetite.

 

Epipremnum aureum

Commonly known and Devil’s Ivy, Pothos, Golden Pothos, Taro Vine, and Ivy Arum

Potted pothos vine growing out of a blue planter on a table in the sun

This common houseplant is a vine that contains insoluble calcium oxalates which can cause oral irritation, pain and swelling of mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing if ingested by dogs.

 

Chrysanthemum spp.

Commonly known as Chrysanthemum, Daisy, and Mum

 

Purple mum flowers and buds

These popular fall plants contain Sesquiterpene, lactones, pyrethrins, and other potential irritants that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hypersalivation, incoordination, and dermatitis.

 

 

Zamia spp. and Cycas spp.

Close up photo of a cycad plant with fruits growing from the center

Commonly known as Cycad, Sago Palm, or Fern Palm

These plants are especially dangerous to dogs. The toxins cycasin and  B-methylamino-l-alanine cause vomiting (may be bloody), dark stools, jaundice, increased thirst, bloody diarrhea, bruising, liver failure, and in extreme cases, death. Just 1-2 seeds can be fatal.

 

Hippeastrum spp.

Commonly known as Barbados Lily, Amaryllis, Fire Lily, Lily of the Palace, or Ridderstjerne

Pink and white hippeastrum flowers blooming in front of a white background

These lovely flowering plants contains lycorine and other alkaloids which don’t agree with dogs. Consuming this plant can cause vomiting, salivation, and diarrhea. Large ingestions cause convulsions, low blood pressure, tremors, and cardiac arrhythmias. The bulbs are the most poisonous part.

 

Monstera deliciosa

Commonly known as Hurricane Plant, Cutleaf Philodendron, Swiss Cheese Plant, Ceriman, or Mexican Breadfruit

Monstera deliciosa hurricane plant leaves growing in the jungle

This popular potted plant contains insoluble calcium oxalates which can cause oral irritation, pain and swelling of mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing if ingested by dogs.

 

You may have seen some of your favorite plants on this list. Fear not! There are plenty of beautiful and easy-care houseplants that are dog-friendly. We'll be posting our own list soon, but in the meantime you can find a comprehensive list here.