As the pandemic trundles on, you might be tempted to take up home gardening in your spare time. However, not all plants are created equal, and not all pets can tolerate their presence. So before you get in your car and head to HomeDepot, make sure to check out these seven common houseplants that are dangerous for dogs.
These bright blossoms may look like candy sticking up out of the ground, but their cheerful exterior hides a deadly secret. Both the flowers and bulbs contain lycorine, an alkaloid that can cause stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and heartbeat irregularities. They also contain calcium oxalates, tiny needle-shaped crystals that cause severe pain on contact, especially around the mouth and throat’s delicate tissue. Even the dust from the bulbs is toxic and can damage the mucous membranes and upper respiratory tract if your pooch dares to take a sniff. While countless dog owners plant daffodils in their yards each year without issue, if you have a particularly curious pooch, it may be best to avoid these plants for their own safety.
While the stems and flowers of the tulip plant are relatively harmless, tulip bulbs contain allergenic lactones, which are highly toxic to your dog. As such, tulips are most dangerous when freshly planted, as some dogs may try to dig them up for a little snack. Symptoms of poisoning include: contact dermatitis around the mouth and throat, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, and difficulty breathing.
Part of the larger rhododendron species, this deciduous species is less poisonous than its larger counterparts but still packs a punch if accidentally eaten. The plants contain grayanotoxins which disrupt the body’s sodium channels, impacting muscle. It only takes a small amount of the toxin, roughly 0.2% of the animal body weight, to cause poisoning, so be sure to watch your dog whenever azaleas are around. Symptoms are treatable if caught early on, so if you suspect your dog has azalea poisoning, contact your vet for immediate treatment.
Possibly one of the most surprising articles on this list, aloe vera is largely considered harmless as humans both ingest it and use it topically. Unfortunately, what’s good for us humans isn’t always good for our pets. The plant contains anthraquinone glycosides which act as purgatives causing bloating, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Most types of climbing Ivy are mildly toxic to dogs because they contain polyacetylene compounds and triterpenoid saponins. This can often cause excessive drooling. While most of the time, Ivy poisoning will only cause stomach issues, it’s always best to check with your vet to make sure your dog remains hydrated and can purge the toxin as soon as possible.
While ripe red tomatoes are generally safe for your canine, the vine they grow on is a different story. Tomatoes come from the nightshade family, and their stems, leaves, and fruits all contain the compound solanine, which is quite poisonous. Ripe tomatoes have much less solanine, so they are safe, but green tomatoes are still pretty risky. If you plan to plant a summer vegetable garden, make sure the tomato plants aren’t easily accessible to your four-legged friend. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Sago palms are among the more popular varieties of houseplants in the united states because they require very little upkeep and are generally hard to kill. Unfortunately, they are not nearly as friendly to your furry friends. While all parts of the plant are poisonous, the seeds or ‘nuts’ of the palm are particularly dangerous as they contain a large concentration of cycasin which attacks the liver. Symptoms of sago poisoning can occur just 15 minutes after ingestion and can cause liver failure if left untreated. If you suspect your pet has ingested Sago palm seeds, contact your vet immediately, as early treatment is often crucial to your pet’s survival.
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For a list on human foods that are highly toxic to dogs, check out this next article here on Barkspot.com.