Learn the Risks of Plants to Cats and Dogs

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Plants can be beautiful additions to a home and provide a natural way to filter interior air. Many homeowners prefer to enhance their spaces with greenery and various flowers. Though that’s a great way to design a home’s interior, pet owners must exercise caution with plants to safeguard their furry friends.

Adults understand that they may need to wash their hands after handling certain types of plants, and that it can be unsafe to consume them. Children are instructed by their parents to do the same. Even though many pets can be trained to steer clear of certain dangers, their natural propensity to gnaw on various items may entice them to investigate plants.

Some plants are more dangerous than others. According to the Farmers’ Almanac, more than 700 indoor/ outdoor plants contain toxic substances that are not safe for cats and dogs. The following are some plants
that are toxic to cats and dogs, courtesy of the ASPCA.

Adam and Eve (Arum, Starch Root): This plant can cause oral irritation, pain and swelling of the mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling and difficulty swallowing.

Aloe Vera: While the gel is considered edible, the rest of the plant may cause lethargy, diarrhea and vomiting.

Amaryllis: There are many different types of amaryllis, and most will cause vomiting, depression, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hypersalivation and tremors in cats and dogs.

Azalea: These plants of the rhododendron family cause vomiting, diarrhea, weakness and potential cardiac failure.

Begonia: The most toxic part of this plant is underground. Still, it may cause vomiting and salivation in dogs and cats.

California Ivy: The foliage is more toxic than the berries, and could contribute to vomiting, abdominal pain, hypersalivation and diarrhea.

Clematis: Salivation, vomiting and diarrhea are common if ingested. Daisy (And Other Chrysanthemums): Dermatitis, vomiting, diarrhea, hypersalivation and incoordina- tion may occur.

Elephant Ears: This plant may irritate and cause pain and swelling of the mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling and difficulty swallowing.

Foxglove: This may cause cardiac arrhythmia, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, cardiac failure and death.

Geranium: Ingesting geranium may lead to depression, dermatitis and vomiting.

Holly: Vomiting, diarrhea and depression may occur. However, leaves and berries are low toxicity.

Mother of Millions: This succulent could cause vomiting, diarrhea, and, rarely, abnormal heart rhythm.

Philodendron: Pain, irritation and swelling of the mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting and difficulty swallowing could occur.

Sago Palm: This plant can cause vomiting, increased thirst, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, bruising, coagulopathy, liver damage/failure and death.

Snake Plant: Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea could occur if ingested.

For a complete list of plants that can be toxic to cats, dogs and horses, visit aspca.org. Those who suspect their pets may have ingested a potentially toxic substance should call their local veterinarian as soon as possible or the ASPCA at 888-426-4435.

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