9 Popular Houseplants That Are Toxic to Dogs

Small dog sitting next to toxic fiddle leaf fig plant

The Spruce / Almar Creative

Houseplants can often be dangerous or toxic to your dog. Many houseplant enthusiasts often get frustrated when they see their prized plants get destroyed by their dogs, but this could lead to them being exposed to plants that may injure or even kill them. It's important to know which plant varieties to avoid to prevent such outcomes.

If you have a dog, take extra caution with the following trendy houseplants.

  • 01 of 09

    Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata)

    closeup of a fiddle leaf fig

    The Spruce / Corinne Bryson

    We're sorry to break it to you, but one of the Internet's most infamous houseplants—the fiddle leaf fig—is toxic to dogs if ingested. Revered by interior decorators and houseplant enthusiasts alike, the fiddle leaf fig is a medium to large-sized houseplant with a thin trunk and large fiddle-shaped leaves.

    Unfortunately, consuming fiddle leaf fig foliage can cause painful symptoms for your dog including skin and gastrointestinal irritation. If your dog is prone to chewing on plants, do not bring a fiddle leaf fig into your home.

    • Toxic Properties: Ficin, furocoumarins, and ficusin
  • 02 of 09

    Philodendron (Philodendron bipinnatifidum)

    A close up shot of a heart leaf philodendron.

     rfisher27 / Getty Images

    Philodendron is a large genus of tropical plants that are beloved amongst indoor gardeners thanks to their stunning foliage and ease of care. Popular philodendron varieties include the heartleaf philodendron, philodendron 'Brasil', and philodendron 'Micans,' among others.

    While Philodendron varieties are harmless to the touch, they are toxic to both dogs and cats if ingested. Symptoms of philodendron poisoning include oral irritation, swelling, vomiting, trouble breathing, and excessive drooling.

    • Toxic Properties: Insoluble calcium oxalates
  • 03 of 09

    ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

    A ZZ Plant sits on a coffee table in front of a grey couch.

    The Spruce / Cori Sears

    ZZ plants (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) have exploded in popularity in recent years thanks in part to the fact that they can survive in almost complete darkness and therefore make excellent low light plants. ZZ plants are grown from rhizomes, which means that they appreciate infrequent watering, making them an overall low-maintenance houseplant.

    Sadly, ZZ plants are toxic to dogs and cats if ingested and can cause symptoms typical of calcium oxalate poisoning such as vomiting and diarrhea.

    • Toxic Properties: Insoluble calcium oxalates
  • 04 of 09

    Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis miller)

    An aloe plant sits on a wooden dining table.

    Carlina Teteris / Getty Images

    Aloe vera, which has many positive medicinal uses for humans, can paradoxically be quite toxic if ingested by dogs. Aloe is a species of succulent that is native to Western Asia and is cultivated around the world for its medicinal and agricultural uses. Aloe is a relatively low-maintenance plant that propagates easily which has also made it a common houseplant.

    While Aloe vera is harmless to humans, it is toxic to dogs if ingested and will cause symptoms such as lethargy, vomiting, and gastrointestinal issues.

    • Toxic Properties: Saponins, anthraquinones
    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae)

    A Bird of Paradise plant sits in front of a white brick wall.

    Lorraine Morris / Getty Images

    Bird of paradise plants (Strelitzia) are tropical houseplants native to South Africa. They became popular as houseplants due to their large foliage and stunning orange and blue flowers that resemble birds in flight. Interestingly, the most infamous part of a bird of paradise plant—the flower—is also the most toxic.

    Symptoms of bird of paradise poisoning include gastrointestinal irritation resulting in nausea and vomiting as well as drowsiness. If veterinary care is sought on time, it is possible for dogs who suffer from bird of paradise poisoning to make a full recovery.

    • Toxic Properties: gastrointestinal irritants
  • 06 of 09

    Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia)

    A close up shot of a dumb cane (dieffenbachia)

     The Spruce / Cori Sears

    Commonly known as dumb canes, Dieffenbachia are wonderfully variegated tropical plants that can vary in size from less than a foot tall to four to five feet tall depending on the variety. There are several different cultivators of Dieffenbachia, the most popular of which include the D. picta  'Camilla' and D. amoena 'Tropic Snow.'

    Dieffenbachia are toxic to both cats and dogs if ingested. Symptoms of Dieffenbachia poisoning include oral irritation and swelling, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty breathing.

    • Toxic Properties: Insoluble calcium oxalates
  • 07 of 09

    Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)

    A sago palm sits on a table indoors with cacti.

     belchonok / Getty Images

    Sago palms are native to the tropical regions of Japan and are popular as houseplants in their bonsai form. They are characterized by a crown of thick green palm leaves supported by a shaggy trunk. They are slow-growing plants, usually staying fairly small, especially when grown indoors.

    Sago palms are extremely toxic to both humans and animals, causing liver failure and even death if ingested. Early symptoms of sago palm poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures. If you have a dog at home, sago palms are an important houseplant to avoid.

    • Toxic Properties: Cycasin
  • 08 of 09

    Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

    closeup of peace lily

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

    Distinguished by their white flowers and dark, glossy leaves—these tropical plants make terrific houseplants. When properly cared for, peace lilies can bloom up to twice a year with the flowers lasting several months at a time.

    Unfortunately, the peace lily is poisonous to both dogs and cats, especially the 'Mauna Loa' variety. This large cultivar, which can grow up to two feet, causes irritation around the contacted area and will induce vomiting in animals if ingested.

    • Toxic Properties: Insoluble calcium oxalates
    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Alocasia (Alocasia macrorrhizos)

    closeup of alocasia leaves

    The Spruce / Corinne Bryson

    Alocasia is a genus of flowering perennials native to tropical and subtropical Asia and Australia. Alocasia can be temperamental houseplants that require adequate light, water, and humidity, but their stunning leaves make them popular nonetheless.

    Sadly, Alocasia contains calcium oxalate crystals which makes them toxic to dogs, cats, and humans and can cause oral irritation, burning of the lips and mouth, swelling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing and breathing if ingested.

    • Toxic Properties: Insoluble calcium oxalates

Ultimately, while these nine houseplants are considered toxic to dogs, many houseplant enthusiasts are able to have plants and pooches co-exist depending on the dog's individual temperament and tendencies. As a pet owner, it's up to you to decide which plants your dog will ignore and which ones they will take an interest in.

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Houseplants and Ornamentals. Merck Manual Veterinary Manual.

  2. Fiddle-Leaf. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Animal Poison Control.

  3. Philodendron Pertusum. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Animal Poison Control.

  4. Zamioculcas Zamiifolia. North Carolina State Extension Gardener.

  5. UCD Toxic Plant Garden. University of California Davis Veterinary Medicine.

  6. Bird of Paradise Flower. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Animal Poison Control.

  7. Bird of Paradise. Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine.

  8. Dieffenbachia. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Animal Poison Control.

  9. Sago Palm. Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine.

  10. Peace Lily. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Animal Poison Control.

  11. Alocasia. North Carolina Extension Center.