Growing plants indoors adds color and texture to any room as well as increases air quality. However, there are a number of common houseplants that are toxic if consumed by pets. Knowing which houseplants are a danger to your pets is the first step in preventing a potentially life-threatening incident. These plants should be kept away from pets and if you believe a pet has consumed one of these plants, contact your veterinarian.
Dumb cane (Dieffenbachia) is a common houseplant that features large, variegated foliage. These plants are hardy and require little light. However, according to the University of Illinois, the leaves and stem of this plant are poisonous. In addition to being toxic for dogs and cats, Dieffenbachia sap is extremely poisonous on open cuts or wounds. Upon ingestion, dumb cane will cause oral irritation; a burning sensation along the mouth, tongue and lips; and drooling, vomiting and difficulty swallowing.
Devil's ivy (Epipremnum aureum) is also known as pothos, golden pothos and taro ivy. This green foliage plant is often found in hanging baskets or indoor foliage arrangements. It requires low lighting conditions, little moisture and moderate temperatures and is easily propagated. However, this plant is extremely toxic for both cats and dogs. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Devil's ivy can cause vomiting, difficulty swallowing and mouth irritation.
Indian Rubber Plant
The Indian rubber plant (Ficus benjamina), commonly referred to as weeping fig, Benjamin's fig or ficus, is a popular indoor tree. In the wild, this tree will grow 60 feet tall and as large as 60 feet around. However, because it will tolerate low lights and a mass majority of soil conditions, this tree is often kept indoors in large pots. Ficus leaves are toxic to dogs, cats and horses. In addition to causing vomiting, oral irritation and salivation, ficus can irritate the skin on contact.
Palm lily (Cordyline australis), also called grass palm, giant dracecaena and cabbage palm, is a plant native to New Zealand and often grown as an accent plant outdoors as well as a houseplant. Houseplant varieties are often young palm lilies. Mature versions of the plant have thick stalks with grassy foliage on top, similar to a palm tree. These plants are toxic to cats and dogs and cause a variety of symptoms, including vomiting (sometimes with blood), depression, anorexia, drooling and dilated pupils.