Houseplants are a lovely addition to our living spaces, but few pet owners realize that some of these plants can be a real danger to their furry friends. Dogs and cats, curious by nature, are likely to chew or nibble these plants, with potentially serious consequences for their health. This article in collaboration with the Pet Insurance and our trusted paw-tner Kozoo helps to highlight some of the dangers associated with common houseplants and will provide some tips on how to create a safer environment for our beloved pets.
Toxic plants and their risks
Many houseplants can cause health problems for our pets. Here are just a few examples (non-exhaustive list): :
1. Lilies : This plant is particularly toxic to cats. All parts of the plant, including leaves and petals, can cause acute renal failure in cats ingesting even small quantities.
2. Ficus : It can cause vomiting, diarrhea and hyper salivation if chewed.
3. Yucca : Yucca bark, roots and leaves are toxic, due to the saponins they contain. Ingestion can cause vomiting, diarrhea and breathing difficulties, among other symptoms.
4. Dieffenbachia : This plant, also known as "Beauty Cane", can cause severe irritation to the mouth and throat of animals that chew on it, leading to breathing difficulties.
5. Pothos : Also known as "Devil's Ivy", pothos can cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea, as well as mouth irritation.
6. Spathiphyllum : Also known as "Moon Flower", this plant is toxic to dogs and cats due to its irritating chemical compounds. Ingestion can cause gastrointestinal problems and signs of irritation.
7. Aloe Vera : Although known for its skin-soothing properties in humans, aloe vera can cause gastrointestinal problems in pets if ingested.
8. Lily of the Valley : It contains irritating substances and ingestion can cause heart problems. The water in which the plant is found is also toxic, so remember to keep it out of reach from your pets.
Prevention and precautions
It's essential to take steps to protect your pets from the potential dangers of houseplants. Here are some practical tips:
Plant identification: Learn to recognize poisonous houseplants and avoid having them in your home if you have pets.
Distance : Put the plants out of reach of your pets by hanging them up, placing them on high shelves or using barriers to prevent access.
Training : Teach your pets basic commands like "let go" or "no", so they know not to touch plants.
Safe Alternatives : If you wish to have plants indoors, opt for non-toxic varieties, such as catnip or certain aromatic herbs.
What to do if ingested?
If you suspect your pet has ingested a poisonous plant, contact your veterinarian or an animal poison control center (Centre antipoison Auvergne-Rhônes Alpes: 04.78.87.10.40) immediately, who will advise you on what to do.
⚠️ Don't try to heal your pet yourself, as some plants can have serious effects that require professional intervention.
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The love we feel for our pets must also include the prevention of the potential dangers present in our homes. By knowing which houseplants are toxic, and taking preventive measures to ensure the safety of our companions, we can create a harmonious environment where our pets can live without risk.