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Warning to pet owners: beware of popular houseplants that can be toxic to your cats and dogs




Sales of houseplants have increased during the last 18 months due to lockdown, but some of the most popular variety are toxic to pets.

With more time spent at home, people have been looking to brighten their surroundings and houseplants provide an effective and comparatively cheap way of adding some colour to the room.

They also have some benefits, providing detoxifying properties and provide a boost to mental health and wellbeing.

Peace Lily
Peace Lily

The Peace Lily is both attractive to look at and helps to detoxify the home, with its air-purifying qualities. However, it is toxic to dogs if ingested. The white flowering plant can cause vomiting and irritation to the lips and tongue if swallowed.

The same is also true of Devil’s Ivy with its attractive variegated leaves. If dogs ingest those leaves, or the stem, it can cause over-salivation and swallowing difficulties, as well as vomiting.

Snake plants – also known as Mother-in-law’s Tongue – are slightly less toxic, but can still cause vomiting and diarrhoea.

Toxic houseplant Philodendron
Toxic houseplant Philodendron

Meanwhile the Philodendron can cause spasms, seizures, pain or swelling to your pets and it seems cats are more susceptible to its toxic effects.

Related to the Philodendron, the Arrowhead can cause irritated skin, stomach upset and vomiting.

If you think your pet has had a nibble at one of your plants and seems to be in pain, contact your vet immediately and take along a sample from the plant, so they can work out which toxins your pet may have ingested.

The Dogs Trust supplies a list of plants that could be harmful to your pets, although they point out it is not a complete list and say: “Your pet may also have a sensitivity or allergy to a plant that is not on the list, so always be vigilant and seek help if you are worried.”

To find out more visit www.dogstrust.org.uk/help-advice/factsheets-downloads/factsheetpoisonoussubstances09.pdf

Some plants which can have a harmful effect on your pets:

Devils Ivy
Devils Ivy
Snake plant
Snake plant
Toxic houseplants Arrowhead (48921163)
Toxic houseplants Arrowhead (48921163)
Toxic houseplants Caladium (48921170)
Toxic houseplants Caladium (48921170)
Dieffenbachia (Dumb Cane)
Dieffenbachia (Dumb Cane)


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