Dangerous Indoor Plants for Pets

May 7, 2014

As the weather warms and our attention turns to outside planting, we still need to stay vigilant to the safety of our animals and our indoor plants. It is not as easy a task as you may think as plants can have multiple names and there are more than 700 plants that can be toxic to your pets if eaten. The results of ingesting can range from vomiting and mouth irritation to, in some cases, death.

Below is a list of the most common toxic indoor plants and the affect that these can have on your pets.


Dieffenbachia (commonly known as dumb cane, tropic snow or exotica) is toxic to dogs and cats.

  • If the plant is ingested, irritation of the tongue and lips can occur. This irritation can lead to increased salivation, difficulty swallowing and vomiting.

Asparagus Fern

The asparagus fern (also called emerald fern, plumosa fern or lace fern) is toxic to dogs and cats.

  • If a dog or cat eats the berries of this plant, vomiting, diarrhea and/or abdominal pain can occur. Skin inflammation can occur if an animal is repeatedly exposed.

Aloe vera

This common household plant that is great to treat burns is toxic to cats and dogs.  If you keep an aloe plant on hand make sure to keep it out of the reach of your pets.

  • Symptoms can include vomiting, depression, diarrhea, anorexia, tremors, change in urine color.


Dracaena (also known as cornstalk plant, or corn plant) is toxic to dogs and cats. 

  • If the plant is ingested, vomiting (with or without blood), appetite loss, depression and/or increased salivation can occur. Affected cats may also have dilated pupils.


Cyclamen is a pretty, flowering plant that is toxic to dogs and cats. 

  • If eaten, this plant can cause increased salivation, vomiting and diarrhea. If an animal ingests a large amount of the plant’s tubers —  found at the root,  below the soil — heart rhythm abnormalities, seizures and even death can occur.

Jade Plant

Jade plant (also known as dwarf rubber plant, Chinese/Japanese rubber plant, ) is toxic to both cats and dogs.

  • Eating this plant can cause vomiting, depression and ataxia (decreased coordination).


Not only toxic to cats and dogs, this popular plant is also dangerous for horses, and sheep–and eating of just a few leaves can have serious consequences.

  • Symptoms can include acute digestive upset, excessive drooling, loss of appetite, frequent bowel movements/diarrhea, colic, depression, weakness, loss of coordination, stupor, leg paralysis and a weak heart rate.  at this point, improvement may be seen or the animal may become comatose and die.


These bright spring flowers are toxic to cats and dogs especially the bulbs.

• Symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea. Eaten in large amounts it can cause convulsions, low blood pressure, tremors and cardiac arrhythmias.


Lovely, fragrant, and very dangerous to kitties! Members of the Lilium family are considered to be highly toxic to cats even when very small portions are ingested. This includes many types of lily (Tiger, Asian, Japanese Show, Easter, Stargazer, Casa Blanca) Oddly, lilies are not toxic to dogs.

  • The serious consequence of eating this plant is kidney failure.


This indoor and outdoor plant is toxic to both dogs and cats. (the tubers most toxic) 

  • Symptoms to look for are intense burning and irritation of the tongue and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting and difficulty swallowing.


Not the most toxic plant on the list, but it’s such a popular houseplant that is should be mentioned that cats and dogs can both have adverse reactions to chewing or ingesting it.

  • Symptoms can include  intense burning and irritation of mouth, tongue and lips,excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.


A very popular potted bulb for the holidays…and toxic to both cats and dogs. Be careful with the bulbs, they contain the most toxins.

  • Common symptoms include vomiting, depression, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hyper-salivation, anorexia, tremors.

If you see symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, difficult breathing, abnormal urine, salivation, weakness, and any other abnormal condition, take your pet to the veterinarian because he may be poisoned.

As pet owners we know that our dogs and cats eat or chew on things they shouldn't be ingesting. To keep them safe it is our responsibility to educate ourselves regarding the plants that are potentially hazardous. These tasty diversions for your animals need to be kept out of their reach, or better still, kept out of the house. There are many choices of plants that will brighten up our home without posing a hazard to our furry friends.