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What common house/garden plants, if any, are dangerous to dogs and why are they? Are some potentially fatal?

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There are many plants that can be harmful to your dog, as well as other pets, if ingested; with negative side effects that can even cause death.

More than 700 plants contain toxic substances that may harm dogs or cats if ingested. Signs of poisoning can be mild to severe and in some cases, pets can even die. Most houseplants have multiple names, so it's important to confirm that the plants you own or plan to purchase are not toxic to your pet.

Common house plants that are known to be poisonous include:

  • The asparagus fern (also called emerald feather, emerald fern, sprengeri fern, plumosa fern or lace fern)
  • Corn plant (also known as cornstalk plant, dracaena, dragon tree or ribbon plant)
  • Dieffenbachia (commonly known as dumb cane, tropic snow or exotica)
  • Elephant ear (also known as caladium, taro, pai, ape, cape, via, via sori or malanga)
  • Many plants of the lily family are toxic to cats, and some are toxic to dogs
  • Cyclamen (also known as sowbread) If an animal ingests a large amount of the plant’s tubers — which are found at the root, generally below the soil — heart rhythm abnormalities, seizures and even death can occur.

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  • Heartleaf philodendron (also known as horsehead philodendron, cordatum, fiddle leaf, panda plant, split-leaf philodendron, fruit salad plant, red emerald, red princess or saddle leaf)
  • Jade plant (also known as baby jade, dwarf rubber plant, jade tree, Chinese rubber plant, Japanese rubber plant or friendship tree)
  • Aloe plant (also known as medicine plant or Barbados aloe)
  • Satin pothos (also known as silk pothos)

Many of the side effects of these plants are irritation and vomiting, but can get more serious the more the dog ingests.

There is also a large list on the ASPCA website that includes all plants listed, including wild species, that are known to be poisonous to dogs, cats and horses.

Alternatively, there are many plants that are non-toxic to animals that look just as nice as any plant. The main thing is to make sure to research a plant by species before bringing it into the house, so that your dog does not get sick.

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