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Your pet and houseplants

Watching our pups and kittens mischievously explore our residential jungles offers no end of laughter and the ever-present phrase: “Did you seriously just eat that?”

When it comes to houseplants, it’s wise to know what could hurt your four-legged best friend. House- plants generally come with a label that include warnings if they’re dangerous for pets. Take a few minutes to read it or look at the ASPCA toxic plant guide so you can protect your pets.

The most common side effect of ingesting house plants is gastrointestinal upset (vomit, diarrhea, etc.) and can usually be easily treated with the help of your veterinarian. However, worst-case scenarios include heart failure, seizures, kidney failure or even death. As a veterinarian, I see what happens when dogs and cats ingest something they shouldn’t and watched as owners grieve the loss of their furry friends, questioning why they didn’t remove a certain houseplant that was toxic to animals. Some common toxic plants to watch out for:

Easter lilies (Lilium longiflorum): very toxic to cat kidneys.

Jade: vomiting and diarrhea, or drunk-like behaviors.

Yews (Taxus genus): GI upset to seizures and even cardiac failure.

Marijuana: Dogs are very sensitive to THC. It can cause seizures in some animals.

For non-toxic plants, consider Easter Daisies (townsendia sericea), baby’s breath, bamboo and grasses such as wheat, barley and rye. Catnip can be enjoyed by cats in moderation ( it causes excitement in some cats, and in others sedation and gastrointestinal upset).

And always, if your pet is showing any odd signs or symptoms, call your veterinarian.


Brought to you by:

Eastgate Veterinary Clinic

In partnership with Willamette Veterinary Hospital & Ark Animal Hospital

Josiah Moses, DVM Eastgate Veterinary Clinic


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