Indoor plants are rapidly growing in popularity because of their relatively easy maintenance, benefits to air filtration, low cost and natural aesthetic. But, before you head out to your local greenhouse and make your selection, it’s important to keep in mind that many common houseplants can be mildly to very highly poisonous to your pups if nibbled on. Check out these four popular plants to avoid when shopping for dog-friendly additions to your indoor garden:
Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
The golden pothos, also commonly known as devil’s ivy, is one of the easiest indoor plants to take care of, making it a popular selection among new homeowners or novice gardeners. Even though its golden-green leaves may seem bright and welcoming, the golden pothos packs a poisonous punch when ingested by curious pups. It belongs to a family of calcium oxalate-containing plants that are insoluble to dogs, causing symptoms like irritation of the mouth and mucous membrane, exorbitant drooling and even dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing. Those are some ruff symptoms!
Aloe (Aloe vera)
This plant may help humans get over minor skin irritation and burns, but, unfortunately, it is moderately poisonous to dogs when eaten due to naturally occurring phytochemicals called saponins. Saponins are known to help remove toxins in humans, but with dogs, the phytochemicals negatively affect the digestive track, causing your pooch to experience diarrhea, vomiting, cramping, chills, depression and more. Stay on the safe side by leaving aloe at the plant store and using bottled gel for your human needs instead.
Gum Trees (Eucalyptus)
People love planting eucalyptus indoors because of its calming natural scent and exotic look. Unfortunately, the plant has quite the opposite affect on your four-legged fur baby. Oils produced by the plant have a very strong, unpleasant smell for dogs that can trigger a lack of energy and enthusiasm, leading to depression. If eaten, eucalyptus will likely result in vomiting, diarrhea and excessive salivation.
Elephant Ear (Caladium X hortulanum)
Despite its identifiable heart-like shape, elephant ear plants belonging to the Araceae family are far from dog-friendly. Similar to the golden pothos, Caladium X hortulanum makespups (and even humans) sick because of its high levels of insoluble calcium oxalate. If your pooch were to take a bite out of this plant, the high levels of toxicity could lead to a swollen airway, resulting in respiratory distress or even death when not properly treated. Even if your dog isn’t prone to eating plants, it is still best to steer clear of this popular houseplant because its oil can cause topical caladium poisoning if it comes in contact with your dog’s skin.
Plants can be a healthy, refreshing and natural way to decorate your home, but it is always important to research each plant before bringing it into your home to ensure it can safely coexist with your dog. If your pup does come in contact with a poisonous plant, remember to immediately wash all areas of your dog that came in contact with the plant and consult a veterinarian for additional treatment.
Now that you know which indoor plants dog owners should avoid, you can get to work decorating your home! While you’re taking care of the indoors, let our troops take care of the outdoors. If you live in Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Atlanta, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, or the Phoenix Metro area, reach out to us today to schedule your first poop scooping! You’ll be in the hands of the top-rated pet waste removal company in the southwest and Atlanta.