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Common House Plants That Are Toxic to Your Pets


Although indoor plants do a great job at purifying the air in your home, if you have pets, those plants could potentially do more harm than good. There are an astounding number of plants, both indoor and outdoor, that are poisonous to your pets. Although some are more harmful than others, it’s important to be aware and keep your home and garden pet-friendly. You can either keep these toxic plants out of your home, or put out of reach from your beloved furry friends.

Aloe Vera

Aloe is great for sunburn, but not so great for cats or dogs. Aloes contain anthraquinone glycosides, which are purgatives — which, when ingested, can result in vomiting and diarrhea.

Devil’s Ivy

If you want to keep this popular plant in your home, hang it up high and out of reach from your pets. Signs of ingestion of this toxic plant can be noticed immediately and include pawing at the face, foaming at the mouth, and vomiting. Moderate to severe swelling in the mouth might also occur, which will make it difficult for your pet to breathe or swallow.

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Keep Devil’s Ivy up high or in a pet-free zone such as the bathroom if you want to keep it in your home. (Photo Credit: Homes to Love)

Chinese Evergreen

Signs of ingestion of this toxic plant can be noticed immediately and include pawing at the face, foaming at the mouth, and vomiting. Moderate to severe swelling in the mouth might also occur, which will make it difficult for your pet to breathe or swallow.

Tomato Plant

If you’re growing tomatoes in your vegetable garden, keep your pets away from it! The ripened fruit is considered okay, but the green parts of the plant contain solanine, which is toxic to dogs and cats. A large amount needs to be ingested to result in severe poisoning.


Like tomatoes, cats and dogs should avoid this plant. Chives are part of the Allium family, (onion, garlic, and leeks) which are all toxic to cats and dogs. Onion and garlic poisoning results in damage to the red blood cells.


Planting pungent herbs, such as rosemary and sage, will keep pets out of the garden bed thanks to their distinct smell. Coleus canina — also known as “Scaredy Cat Plant” — is another great herb with a very pungent smell that felines can’t stand.


Pyrethrins, which are used in pesticides and dog flea and tick medications, are extracted from this plant. That’s enough to keep it away from them!


Also known as the “Dragon Tree,” this will cause drooling, vomiting, weakness, and dilated pupils when ingested by cats or dogs.

Asparagus Fern

Plants that are considered “true ferns” — Boston, maidenhair, bird’s nest, and staghorn — though not recommended for ingestion, are considered non-toxic for pets. Asparagus fern however, is toxic, so keep your pets away.

Mother-in-Law’s Tongue

You’d think pets would keep away from this scary-looking houseplant, but you just never know. Also referred to as Sansevieria, when ingested by pets, it can result in gastrointestinal signs such as drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea.

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Keep this popular houseplant up high in a decorative plant stand. (Photo Credit: James Henry)

Peace Lily

This plant brings everything but peace to your pets. It will bring on vomiting, oral pain, drooling, and a loss of appetite. Other dangerous types of lilies include Easter, day, asiatic, Japanese show, and tiger lilies.

Rubber Tree Plant

Compounds such as psoralen, or ficusin, found in the sap of the rubber tree and weeping fig tree, (Ficus benjamina) can attack the DNA in cells. All parts of the rubber tree and weeping fig tree are poisonous to pets if ingested.


Although animals are unlikely to have a nibble on this popular garden plant, it pays to keep it out of the garden if you’re worried. This shrub contains cyanogenic glycosides in its leaves and flowers. When ingested by pets, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.

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Although a pretty and popular shrub, Hydrangeas are no good for cats and dogs. (Photo Credit: Homes to Love)


Don’t be fooled by their vibrant flowers! When any part of the plant (especially the tubers or roots) are chewed or ingested by dogs and cats, it can result in clinical signs of drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea.

For a full list of plants that are poisonous to your pets or for more information refer to the Pet Poisons Helpline.

This post was written by Olivia Clarke. For more, check out our sister site Homes to Love.

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