10 Plants That Are Poisonous to Pets (and Children)

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As a pet owner or parent, you probably already know to keep an eye out for many common household hazards. But did you know that some seemingly innocuous houseplants can also be poisonous to pets and children? Just because a plant is pretty, doesn’t mean it’s safe. Read on to learn about 10 plants that are poisonous to pets (and children), and what to do if your four-legged friend or little one ingests them.

10 Plants that are Poisonous

1. Sago Palm

Sago Palm

The sago palm is a beautiful plant that is commonly found in yards and gardens across the country. However, what many people don’t realize is that all parts of the sago palm are poisonous to both pets and children. If ingested, the plant can cause severe liver damage. Symptoms of sago palm poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and seizures. If you suspect your pet has eaten any part of a sago palm, call your veterinarian immediately. If it’s your child who ingests this plant, call a poison control center right away.

Treatment for sago palm poisoning is typically very expensive and may require long-term care. In some cases, liver damage is so severe that it can be fatal. To prevent this from happening, it’s important to keep sago palms away from pets and children and educate your friends and family about the dangers of this plant.

Plants for Pet Parents

2. Oleander

Oleander

Oleander is a beautiful but deadly plant; all parts of the plant are poisonous if ingested. Oleander poisoning symptoms in pets include vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and cardiac arrhythmias. If you think your pet has eaten oleander, call your vet. 

Pets are particularly at risk for oleander poisoning because they are often curious about new plants and may chew on them out of curiosity. Oleander contains several toxic compounds, including saponins and cardiac glycosides, that can cause serious health problems in animals. Symptoms of oleander poisoning typically appear within two to four hours after ingestion.

3. Dieffenbachia

Dieffenbachia

Dieffenbachia, or dumb cane, is a common houseplant that can pose a serious threat to pets if ingested. The plant contains toxins that can cause oral irritation and swelling, making it difficult for animals to eat or drink. Symptoms of dieffenbachia poisoning include drooling, difficulty swallowing, and vomiting. 

If your pet has come into contact with the plant, it is important to act quickly. Rinse their mouth with water to remove any remaining toxins, and then call your veterinarian. Dieffenbachia poisoning can be deadly, so prompt treatment is essential. With proper care, your pet will recover quickly and be back to its usual self in no time.

More Plants that are Poisonous to Follow

4. Lilies

Lilies

While lilies are a beautiful addition to any home, they can be dangerous for households with pets. Some varieties of lily are poisonous to cats, and all lilies can be harmful to dogs. If ingested, lilies can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs, and kidney failure in cats. If you think your pet has eaten a lily, it’s important to call your vet or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center right away. By taking some simple precautions like keeping them out of reach, you can enjoy your lilies while keeping your furry friends safe.

5. Chinese Evergreen

Chinese Evergreen 

The Chinese evergreen, also known as aglaonema, is a popular houseplant that is prized for its tough constitution and vibrant foliage. However, the plant contains insoluble calcium oxalates, which can cause intense oral irritation if ingested. Pets are especially vulnerable to the effects of these crystals, as they often chew on plants out of curiosity or boredom. 

If you think your pet has eaten Chinese evergreen leaves or flowers, rinse their mouth with water and contact your veterinarian immediately. With prompt treatment, the effects of calcium oxalate poisoning can be successfully mitigated. However, it is always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to the health of your beloved pet and keep them out of reach.

6. Fiddle Leaf Fig

Fiddle Leaf Fig

The Fiddle Leaf Fig is a beautiful indoor plant that is native to the tropics of Western Africa. It is prized for its large, glossy leaves, which can range in color from deep green to silver-gray. However, the Fiddle Leaf Fig is also poisonous to both pets and children if ingested. 

The sap of the plant contains calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause irritation and swelling of the mouth and throat. In severe cases, ingestion of the sap can lead to difficulty breathing and gastrointestinal bleeding. If you have this plant in your home, make sure to keep it out of reach of both kids and pets. If ingestion does occur, seek medical attention immediately.

7. Philodendron

Philodendron

While Philodendron plants are known for their easy care requirements and ability to thrive in low-light conditions, it’s important to note that all parts of the plant are poisonous if ingested. The leaves contain calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause irritation and swelling of the mouth and throat if ingested. 

If you have this plant in your home, make sure to keep it out of reach of both kids and pets. Symptoms of ingestion include drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing. If you suspect that someone has ingested a Philodendron plant, call poison control immediately. With proper care, these plants can be enjoyed safely. However, it’s important to be aware of the risks and take steps to prevent accidental ingestion.

8. Tulips

Tulips 

While they are beautiful to look at, tulips can be dangerous if ingested. The toxins in tulips can cause gastrointestinal irritation, and in some cases, even death. Pets and small children are especially at risk, as they may not know to not eat the flowers. 

If you have tulips in your home, it’s important to keep them out of reach of children and pets. It’s best to keep them where children and pets can’t reach them. By taking these precautions, you can enjoy your tulips without worrying about their potential dangers.

9. Nightshade

Nightshade 

Nightshades are a type of flowering plant that contains toxins that can cause gastrointestinal distress if ingested. While they’re not as commonly found indoors as some other plants on this list, it’s still important to be aware of their potential toxicity if you do have them in your home. Nightshades typically grow in tropical and subtropical climates, so if you live in an area where they’re found, it’s important to keep them out of reach of small children and pets who might try nibbling on them. 

Some common nightshade plants include belladonna, datura, and henbane, all of which can cause serious health problems if ingested. So, if you have any nightshade plants in your home, make sure to keep them out of reach of curious kids and pets!

10. Nephthytis

Nephthytis

Nephthytis, also known as arrowhead plant or African evergreen, is a popular houseplant that can be dangerous to both dogs and cats if ingested. Nephthytis contains insoluble calcium oxalates which can cause oral irritation, drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing if ingested.

If left untreated, nephthytis can cause serious health problems including kidney damage. If you suspect your pet has ingested nephthytis, contact your veterinarian immediately. Treatment may involve giving your pet IV fluids and administering oral or injectable medications to reduce oral irritation and prevent vomiting. In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary. With prompt treatment, most pets recover from nephthytis ingestion without any long-term health problems.

Plants that are Poisonous – The Wrap-up

So, now that you know about some of the most common plants that are poisonous to pets and children, what should you do if your child or pet accidentally eats one? First and foremost, stay calm. Then, always keep the number for the nearest poison control center handy in case of an emergency and call them.

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