Translated by Nick R
We are aware that your safety and your pets’ are vital. That’s why we want to introduce you to 5 types of plants that can be toxic to your beloved.
However, don’t be discouraged, you can still have one of them. What matters is that you don’t allow them to reach those plants. In addition, we’ll mention in this blog, those plants that are safe for your animals.
Table of Contents
Why do dogs and cats eat our plants?
Our pets consume plants or herbs for different reasons. Their fiber helps them with digestion and provides nutrients. In addition, in the case of cats, they consume plants to induce vomiting when they feel upset stomachs or to expel hairballs.
As for dogs, they tend to eat plants more frequently. They are more curious about smells, tastes and textures. It’s commonly believed that they like to eat plants, just as we like to eat sweets. In fact, you can include in their diet pumpkin, carrots, celery, fruits, and others.
This won’t be a problem as long as there are no negative reasons for our pets to ingest our plants. Sometimes dogs or cats eat our plants for the following reasons:
- They feel bored. When you leave them alone at home for a long time they look for ways to distract themselves. This results in them chewing on whatever they find around, including your plants.
- They may feel thirsty. High temperatures in summer and the lack of water may cause your pet to ingest plants with tender stems that contain this resource.
- Change of home. They feel attracted to explore their new home and everything they didn’t notice before.
- Little space. This can affect your pet’s mood, they may become aggressive, nervous or stressed. Because of this, they develop a need to chew or break whatever they have next to them, even plants.
In addition to the above factors, another problem that can occur if your pet ingests plants is that they may be toxic. These plants are capable of causing considerable harm and, in some cases, death.
5 toxic plants for dogs and cats
Next, I’ll show you 5 plants that you can have in your garden (either for decoration or consumption) but which mustn’t be ingested by your dog or cat.
Pothos or potus (Devil’s ivy)
This is a plant characterized as being a vine. As it doesn’t withstand the cold very well, it’s usually located indoors and at heights. For that reason they can be more attractive to cats as they enjoy climbing.
It can be a very attractive decorative plant for your home, it’s also easy to care for. However, it’s harmful to your animals. In case they get to consume this plant they may present symptoms such as:
- Irritation of the palate, tongue, lips, and esophagus.
- May present excessive drooling
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Serious digestive system disorders
If your pet consumes a large amount of this plant it could present constant vomiting and you’ll have to go to the veterinarian. If it’s only a small amount, it may not be serious.
It’s important that you make sure that your pet doesn’t consume the photo for any reason. So place it in an area where it can receive good light, but is not accessible to your dog or cat.
Also called Monstera Deliciosa or skeleton plant, it’s a very eye-catching plant thanks to the shape and size of its leaves. They have holes that resemble a thorax. It needs good lighting; the best indoor location is near a window. Not exposed to direct sunlight.
It’s a semi-climbing plant so you can use some kind of support for it to entangle. This way it can maintain an erect posture and look very beautiful.
If planted outdoors, it can flower and even produce fruits. It is an edible pulp that manages to combine the flavor of pineapple, bananas, mango and other fruits.
The particular thing about this plant is that the fruit is not toxic to pets, but the rest of the plant is. That means that you must place it in a beneficial spot to the plant, but also safe for your dog or cat.
If your furry friend ingests this plant, he or she may present the following symptoms:
- Irritation and burning in mouth, tongue and lips
- Neck and esophagus Inflammation
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Excessive drooling
- Gastrointestinal alterations
Try to train your pet not to bite plants, but if you see that it begins to eat the Adam’s Rib, remove it immediately. Above all, go to the veterinarian as it represents a danger to its health.
Bird of paradise
Its name is given by its major attractions, its amusing flowers. The bright colors and the particular shape of these flowers resemble the also called bird of paradise, a bird of beautiful plumage. It’s so striking that it has even been an inspiration for painters like Mano Rey.
It’s ideal for areas where the climate is temperate and the temperature doesn’t fall from 5 °C. If it gets lower, you can place the plant in a warmer place.
However, their seeds turn out to be very toxic to pets like cats and dogs, and even animals like horses. It can be confused with the Caesalpinia gilliesii, as it’s named Bird of Paradise too, but this is even more toxic.
The symptoms that ingesting the seeds of this plant may cause are:
- Muscle tremors
- Accelerated heart rate
You must prevent your pet from ingesting the seeds of this plant. You can place it outdoors so it can take the sunlight it needs and go unnoticed for your dog or cat. In case they eat a lot of seeds, go to your veterinarian of trust.
This is a plant that provides various benefits for humans. It works as a medicinal plant to treat skin ailments, burns, and intestinal disorders. It even works for hair care, acne, and as an aftershave balm, among others.
You can plant aloe vera in pots or outdoors and give your home a decorative feeling. However, it’s not recommended for your pets because it’s toxic to them. These are the symptoms that may occur when ingesting this plant.
- Excessive drooling
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Urinary problems (with some types of aloe vera)
Do not leave this plant within reach of your pet to avoid going through an unfortunate time and remember to go to a vet if your dog or cat ingests a lot of aloe vera.
This is one of the most named plants for its various, both therapeutic and harmful, effects. It’s said it alleviates vomiting and nausea caused by chemotherapy.
In addition, marijuana is often effective in reducing the symptoms of people with chronic pain. Adults with multiple sclerosis can benefit from oral consumption of this plant, as long as it is regulated.
On the other hand, marijuana use could increase the risk of schizophrenia and other types of psychosis. Consumers of this plant may be prone to have suicidal tendencies and effects on their cognitive abilities, memory and attention.
For pets then, this is a very toxic plant. Naturally, they don’t usually ingest this plant, however, they could do it accidentally with other food, such as brownies, cakes or cookies. They may even be forced due to smoke or marijuana cigarettes.
You should know that ingesting this type of plant can cause in your dog or cat the following symptoms:
- Glazed eyes
- Mydriasis (pupil dilation)
- Severe ataxia (disturbance of nervous system functions)
- Prolonged depression
- Drowsiness or excitement
- Bradycardia (slower than normal heart rate)
Now that you know the risks of this plant, avoid accidents. Your pets will appreciate it.
Harmless plants for your pet
Just as there are toxic plants for your furry friends, there are also plants that are safe and that you can have in your home or garden. If your dog or cat is curious about these and smells, bites or eats them, you shouldn’t worry. Remember that in the case of dogs, they do that for pleasure while cats do it to relieve stomach ailments.
You just need to make sure they’re not doing it for negative reasons, like the ones I mentioned at the beginning. These are some of the edible and non-toxic plants for your pets that will also give a striking look to your home.
- Elephant’s foot or Beaucarnea recurvata
- Sword fern or Nephrolepis exaltata, from the variety of ferns this one, among others, is non-toxic.
- Bamboo or Phyllostachys aurea
- Field Horsetail or Equisetum arvense
- Orchid or Orchidaceae, by family name
- Catmint, catnip or Nepeta Cataria
- Wheatgrass, or cat grass
- Chamomile or Anthemis nobilis
- Ribbon plant, spider ivy or Chlorophytum comosum
- Rosemary or Rosmarinus Officinalis
- Lavender or Lavandula angustifolia, you can use the therapeutic lavender oil for your pets, a drop will suffice.
Remember to be very attentive to the behavior of your pets. So you can determine if they have been poisoned by ingesting any toxic plant or if they feel stressed in any way.
You don’t have to inhibit yourself from having such plants, you just need to make sure that they are not within reach of your dogs or cats. Besides placing them according to their required conditions, abundant light, semi-shade, or shade.