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Popular plants that are not exactly pet-friendly

By Camille Santiago Published Oct 13, 2020 9:34 am

When shopping for houseplants, some would probably admit to prioritizing "aesthetic," price, and maintenance requirements. One question left out, but just as important: Are these plants good around pets?

Though they are good for your health (and visually pleasing), there are also a number of plants that are harmful for your fur babies. Before you add to cart, it thus pays off to be aware how to keep your home pet-friendly.

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has listed down several plants that have been reported to have an effect to animals. Below are the most common indoor plants that are reportedly the most toxic to animals.

Aloe Vera

If you're a skincare-obsessed person, chances are you may have heard about the skin healing properties of aloe vera and even keep one in your home. While it has many benefits for the human hair and skin, some parts of the plant are harmful for pets. According to ASPCA, your pet ingesting the leaves (containing anthraquinone glycosides) may lead it to diarrhea and vomiting.

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Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)

Chinese Evergreen thrives without much light, making it a perfect indoor plant. But did you know it has calcium oxalate crystals that can cause difficulty in swallowing and breathing for pets?

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Cutleaf Philodendron (Monstera Deliciosa)

Who knew this Instagrammable plant can be harmful to your fur babies? According to ASCPA, most of Philodendrons like the Philodendron Pertusum, Variegated Philodendron, Heartleaf Philodendron, and Split Leaf Philodendron can cause oral irritation, intense burning and irritation of mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing on pets when ingested.

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Devil's Ivy (Golden Pothos) & English Ivy

Certain types of ivy contain triterpenoid saponins and polyacetylene compounds, which when ingested by pets, can cause excessive drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you still want this in your house, make sure to hang it up high where your pet can't reach it.

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Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia)

A lot of plantparents love Dieffenbachia for its unique spotted or striped look and because it's low maintenance. However, your pet nibbling on it may lead to intense irritation and burning on the mouth, tongue, and lips, as well as excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing because of the calcium oxalate crystals.

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Elephant Ear (Caladium)

Similar to the Dieffenbachia, Caladiums have calcium oxylates that will leave your pet suffering from oral problems, increased salivation or drooling, vomiting, and difficulty with swallowing.

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Rubber Tree Plant (Fig Tree)

Pets can get depression from plants, too. Some rubber tree plants such as Jade rubber plant and Indian rubber plant contain proteolytic enzyme (ficin), and psoralen (ficusin) which are found in the sap of the rubber tree and weeping fig tree. And when bitten, it can cause gastric distress, heartbeat irregularities, and depression among other symptoms.

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Snake Plant (Sansevieria or Mother-In-Law's Tongue)

Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea—these are just some of the effects this popular plant can do to your pet when they ingest a toxic saponins, a toxic substance.

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