We hear all the time about the wonderful effect that houseplants can have on our energy and mood. While this is great news, it’s also important to note that over 700 different plans have toxins that are poisonous to cats and dogs. Some plants will only cause an upset stomach, but others can be fatal if your furry friend gets ahold of them. If your pet has ingested one of the following plants, be sure to bring him to West Ballantyne Animal Hospital in West Charlotte!

Asparagus Fern

These ferns are poisonous to both cats and dogs. An agent in the plant, called sapogenin, is a steroid that can be found in several different plants. When pets eat the berries of the asparagus fern, it can cause vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. They can even have severe skin inflammation if regularly exposed to this fern.

Corn Plant

Corn plants, also known as a dragon trees or ribbon plants, are toxic to both cats and dogs because of a chemical compound called saponin. This chemical causes pets to vomit, lose their appetites, and even sink into a state of depression. Cats that have been affected will sometimes have dilated pupils.


While they are pleasant to look at, lilies are extremely poisonous to cats, and some species of lilies are also toxic to dogs. Cats will initially experience lethargy and vomiting, but after just a day or so, they can suffer from total kidney failure. Some types of lilies, including the peace lily, will cause irritation of both the lips and tongue, vomiting, and increased salivation.


These beautiful, flowering plants are more commonly known as sowbread. Sowbread increases salivation and causes both vomiting and diarrhea in cats and dogs. If an animal eats a large number of the plant’s tubers (found beneath the soil at the roots), then it can lead to heart rhythm abnormalities, seizures, and death.

Heartleaf Philodendron

This very common and easy-to-grow plant is very irritating to pets when ingested. Philodendrons contain a chemical that, in the best cases, cause irritation on the lips and tongue of your pet. In the worst cases, it can lead to increased salivation, difficulty swallowing, and vomiting.

Jade Plant

Jade plants, which are also known as baby jades, dwarf rubber plants, or friendship trees, are toxic to our furry friends at home. Eating this plant can cause vomiting, depression, incoordination, and a slowed heart rate. The good news is that the slowed heart rate is rare, so be sure to bring your pet in immediately after you see these symptoms.


Even though aloe is wonderful for sunburns and all sorts of natural remedies for humans, they are not so nice to our pets. Aloin, the toxic chemical in the plant, can cause vomiting and red-colored urine.

Come See Us

If you suspect that your pet has ingested any of these plants, or if your pet is exhibiting signs of ingesting something toxic, be sure to bring them to us right away! We are West Charlotte’s animal hospital, so we are here to serve you and bring your pet back to perfect health. Call now to learn more!