Even the most well-behaved dog can sometimes chew up or eat plants. When dogs chew on plants, one of your first concerns should be whether that plant is poisonous to your dog. Succulents are common houseplants and may be easily accessible to dogs. While some types can make your dog sick, they usually don't cause serious illness.
Which Succulents Are Nontoxic?
Succulents are all different, and so the toxicity a succulent can cause will vary. Some of the most common succulents that are nontoxic to dogs include:
- Ponytail palm
- Burro's tail
- Christmas cactus
Which Succulents Are Toxic?
If your dog gets into one of the following succulents, you may see a variety of symptoms depending on which plant he ate.
Jade Plant (Crassula argentea)
This plant is known by several names, including the rubber plant or friendship tree. According to VetStreet.com, the toxic substance in the jade plant is unknown. Symptoms of toxicity can include vomiting, lethargy, incoordination and a low heart rate.
Aloe (Aloe vera)
Aloe is a common houseplant known for its medicinal properties. However, it is toxic to dogs if ingested. Pet Poison Helpline reports symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, loss of appetite, change in urine color or tremors. The toxic substance in the aloe plant is aloin, an anthraquinone glycoside that pulls extra water into the colon.
Panda Plant (Philodendron bipennfolium)
The panda plant is also known as fiddle leaf and is commonly kept as a houseplant because it is easy to care for. The leaves of this plant contain insoluble calcium oxalates, a type of crystal that is irritating to the tissues. Signs of toxicity include mouth irritation, vomiting and difficulty swallowing.
Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
The ASPCA reports the snake plant contains saponins. Ingestion of the snake plant causes mild toxicity, with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe spp.)
The Kalanchoe genus includes several species of flowering, shrub-like ornamentals. According to DVM360, Kalanchoe plants contain cardiac glycosides which can cause lethargy, increased salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Kalanchoe can be a dangerous toxin if a large amount is ingested, causing irregular heartbeats, elevated heart rate, labored breathing, severe weakness and collapse. Sudden death has been reported in livestock in areas where Kalanchoe grows naturally.
What to Do If a Pet Eats a Succulent
Because succulents comprise such a variety of plants, the most important thing to do if your dog eats a succulent is to identify the plant and call animal poison control. There are two main poison control centers for animals and they are available 24/7. They both charge a small fee for a consultation, but their expertise is worth the expense.
You can also call your local veterinarian's office for advice. However, if your vet is not familiar with houseplants, he may need you to contact a poison control center for recommendations. If poison control recommends treatment, they will give you a case number that allows your veterinarian to consult with the toxicologist about whatever treatment is needed.
Keep Your Dog Safe and Happy
If you keep houseplants, make sure they are out of reach of your pets. You can avoid potential dangers to your dog by keeping toxic plants in an inaccessible area. If your dog does manage to eat a succulent, call one of the animal poison control numbers to see if any treatment is needed.