Whether you are a dog owner who loves succulents, or you are a succulent extraordinaire who loves dogs, one day you will ask yourself if succulents are poisonous to dogs?
Some types of succulents are poisonous to dogs and if ingested, they may cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and in rare cases, death. If you know the difference between the toxic and non-toxic plants, you can easily enjoy their therapeutic benefits, while keeping your four-legged friends safe.
Keep reading to learn more about succulents, which ones are toxic to dogs, and what you should keep in mind if you have a dog and a succulent in your house.
Succulents Poisonous to Dogs
Succulents are low maintenance plants that are an attractive home décor option. They are also believed to purify the air, improve humidity, and increase oxygen levels in the house. But sometimes accidents can quickly ruin what they were meant to do.
So, first things first, let us talk about the plants that can harm your dog, what they look like and what signs of poisoning you should watch for.
|Aloe||Aloe Vera||Short-stemmed with thick, greenish, fleshy leaves||Vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, red urine|
|String of Pearls||Senecio Rowleyanus||Pea like leaves||Drooling, diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy, skin irritation, and dermatitis|
|Jade Plant||Crassula Ovata||Smooth, shiny, thick, and fleshy leaves||Incoordination, vomiting, lethargy, and even depression|
|Snake Plant||Sansevieria Trifasciata||Swordlike leaves with vibrant yellow edges||Vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea|
|Spurge||Euphorbia spp.||Leaf bracts of yellow, red, purple||Vomiting and irritation of the mouth and the stomach|
|Kalanchoes||Kalanchoe blossfeldiana||Blooming in pink, red, yellow||Abdominal pain, lethargy, salivation increase, diarrhea, vomiting, irregular heartbeats, severe weakness, labored breathing, death|
|Sago Palm||Cycas Revoluta||Palm tree like leaves||Vomiting, thirst, and liver failure|
|Pencil Cactus||Euphorbia Tirucalli||Tall with thick white sap||Vomiting|
|Panda Plant||Philodendron Bipennfolium||Fuzzy, mossy leaves||Difficult swallowing, mouth irritation, and vomiting|
|Kalanchoe Delagoensis||Mother of Millions||Creeping tendrils that brunch together on a single stem||Diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythm, vomiting, death|
|Silver Jade Plant||Crassula Arborescens||Silvery green leaves with red edges||Vomiting and nausea|
|Kalanchoe Daigremontiana||Mother of Thousands||Big green leaves ending with baby plantlets on the edges||Vomiting, collapse, diarrhea, abnormal heart rate, tremors, and seizures|
Things to Know About Succulents and Dogs
Sometimes (unfortunately), things go backwards. Your dog would eat a succulent, and you may not even know that he did, let alone its name. It could be a plant that your dog triumphantly ate on a walk, or your spouse decided to water your aloe plant and left it in your dog’s reach. Let us talk about these unexpected scenarios and how you can be prepared for them.
Why would your dog eat succulents anyway?
Dogs will be dogs. They would eat succulents for the same reason they would roll in the mud or eat:
- A box of pudding
- A $100 bill
- An umbrella
- Another dog’s poop.
However, it is not uncommon that dogs would be attracted to succulents because of their smell, taste, and texture. Often, they would have an upset stomach, and to get rid of the discomfort, your fido friends would eat plants to induce a bowel movement or throw up. Sometimes dogs are deficient in certain nutrients and look for uncommon (in people’s view) foods to supply those.
Toxic and Non-Toxic Succulents
Now that you know that some succulents are toxic, you may decide that you do not want them at home if they are jeopardizing the health and life of your dog. If you are still looking for a natural succulent in your home, but don’t want to worry that it can hurt your dog, here are some beautiful options that will still brighten your home and purify the air without the toxicity.
To replace your Aloe Vera, that is harmful to dogs, when ingested, choose another succulent with long spiky triangular leaves like Haworthia. The look is similar, but the latter would not hurt your dog.
If you want to replace String of Pearls, which is toxic to dogs, try Burro’s Tail. It has lush green leaves that are just a little bigger than the pea-looking leaves of String of Pearls.
If you like colorful succulents like Kalanchoe, substitute them for a vivid Sempervivum Red Lion.
Signs of Succulent Poisoning in Dogs
If your dog swallowed one of the succulents on the toxic list, you should watch for the following signs:
- Labored breathing
If your dog eats a succulent and gets sick, keep these tips in mind:
- Take your pet away from the plant
- Check if your pet is breathing normally
- Take a sample of the succulent
- Take notes of symptoms in your dog to report to the vet
- Do NOT try to feed your dog
- Do NOT induce vomiting without talking to your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline
- Call for Help
You are a new pet owner, or you just have never encountered a situation like this? Here are a few suggestions for who to call:
- Your Vet. Your vet is prepared to give you advice on plant poisoning. She will also know your dog’s health history and will take that into consideration to prescribe the best plan to action. If you end up at the vet’s office, keep in mind that your dog’s adventurous taste may cost you between a few hundred and a few thousand dollars.
- The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). You can contact the Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435 and describe the symptoms of your dog. ASPCA may be able to give you some tips on how to help your dog recover faster from plant poisoning.
- Animal Poison Control Center. Call the Center at 855 764-7661. You may want to write the phone number and put it on the fridge, so you have it handy in case the unexpected happens.
Can My Dog Die if She Eats a Succulent?
Most often, poisonous plants cause reactions ranging from mild nausea to tiredness. If your dog eats a large quantity of a toxic succulent, this may lead to death, but that would be extremely rare. The chances are your dog will be fine in a couple hours.
Tips for Pet Owners who are Succulent Lovers
Good news is that you do not need to give up your succulent or your dog because you have heard that these two may not be compatible. You can still have both if you stay informed.
Here are a few tips that would help you enjoy your plants, and keep your dog safe:
Know What Plant You Have
If you already have a succulent, but you do not know what it is, do some research. You can go to a nearby nursery and ask the staff or check out the garden literature in the nearest library, ask a neighbor who loves plants, or simply search the topic on the Internet. Be resourceful and proactive to gather as much information as possible. You will learn something new, that can help you take better care of both your household plants and your pets.
Know What Plant You Buy
When you are buying a succulent, ask the shop assistant if it is poisonous to dogs. Most nurseries and flower shops would have that information handy and will gladly provide it to you. They want happy and returning customers after all.
Keep Toxic Plants Away from Dogs
You want your plants in visible places, so you can enjoy them and take advantage of their health benefits. Most likely your dog will inhabit the same room where you have the plants. Try putting the succulents in higher and inaccessible for your pets places to prevent them from eating them.
Communicate with Others in the House that Succulents Poise Risks to Dogs
Talk to your family about the harm of succulents to dogs and set rules on who and how to take care of the plants to minimize your dog’s exposure to them.
Taking care of your succulent and dog is not rocket science. You do not need to choose one or the other. Be informed, use common sense, and the chance of getting your dog poisoned will be minimal. If you are not willing to take the risk of harming your dog with a poisonous plant at home, investigate buying some artificial plants that look like succulents, and that should do the trick.