Dracaena is undeniably one of the most popular houseplants in the United States. However, as with everything else, bringing it into your house will not be without its challenges, especially if you own a pet.
Dogs aren’t the smartest in comprehending what’s good for them. They may recklessly bite your plants and eat whatever comes their way. So, are dracaena marginata poisonous to dogs? Let’s find out.
Are Dracaena Marginata Poisonous to Dogs?
In short, yes, they are. Dracaena’s toxic properties can immensely harm your dog. It is mainly due to a chemical compound called saponin that the plant is considered hazardous to your pet’s health.
What Makes These Plants Toxic?
While the primary hazardous component is still unknown, red-marginated plants shouldn’t be near your pet. Every part of it can pose a threat to their health.
Even if your dog eats a small segment of these plants, it may experience a bunch of uncomfortable effects such as diarrhea, nausea, depression, and loss of balance. Urgent veterinary care becomes imperative if you notice the stated signs.
What Are Some Other Names for Dracaena Plants?
Other common names for this toxic plant include money tree, corn plant, straight-marginated dracaena, red-edged dracaena, and Madagascar dragon tree. It’s imperative that you are aware of all these handles because you should never assume something is safe only due to a different name.
Are Dracaena Marginata Plants Only Toxic to Dogs?
Dracaenas are as toxic to felines as they are to canines. In fact, with the former, the symptoms can get even worse. Cats tend to experience the same symptoms but with a few new ones.
Among these signs could be stomachache, drooling, rapid heartbeat, and pupil-widening. Make sure to keep this plant far from your pets regardless of their species.
What to Do If Your Dog Ingests Dracaena Marginata Plants?
Do you suspect that your dog has consumed a large quantity of these plants? Well, the first step is to look out for signs of poisoning.
Once you’re sure it is indeed dracaena poisoning, take your pet away from the plant as soon as possible. The treatment for this type of poisoning is primarily symptomatic.
If it’s recent, remove any remains of the plant from their mouth. This type of poisoning may not always induce vomiting, which isn’t a good sign.
Throwing up is useful in clearing their system out and removing toxins. Hence, inducing it becomes necessary.
Start by feeding your dog a teaspoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide. More often than not, dogs begin vomiting shortly after consuming it, and their bodies quickly expel toxins and non-digestible materials.
If diarrhea and vomiting are severe, make sure to keep them hydrated. Furthermore, regardless of the first aid at home, take your pet to a veterinarian for additional evaluation.
Is Dracaena Ingestion Always Toxic?
It surprises many when they learn that the Dracaena Genus is generally considered non-toxic. Not many fatalities have been reported in the United States due to its ingestion so far. However, it’s still recommended that you keep your pets away from the plant.
Not every animal has the same rate of metabolism, and this factor alone can cause them to become sick in different capacities. Fortunately or unfortunately, there isn’t enough credible documentation to prove the toxic effects of these plants.
However, dracaena can still make your pet ill, and it isn’t because of potentially lethal or hidden toxins. Instead, it’s due to over-ingestion.
Even if your pet ingests something non-toxic in a large quantity, it will experience the same symptoms. Excessive vomiting can induce dehydration which further leads to other complications.
The fact of the matter is neither cats nor dogs are equipped to digest plants or grasses. They don’t have the enzymes to break the fibers down, and the result is usually vomiting.
It is their body’s way of expelling non-digestible material out of their mouth. Sometimes, it may even pass through their system in the form of feces. More often than not, the quality and duration of an illness depend on an animal’s genetic makeup and its reaction to alkaloids.
Five Other Common Poisonous Houseplants for Dogs
No matter how pretty these plants look cascading down your wall or springing out of a planter, they won’t seem as rather if your dog ends up consuming its leaves. Wide varieties of this plant contain illness-inducing toxins.
Some of them include polyacetylene compounds and saponins, which can result in abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and drooling. The right way to ensure your dog is safe is to replace your Ivy plants with Swedish Ivy. Not only will it proliferate, but it’s also easier to maintain.
While it is a common houseplant in the United States, some of its components mimic those in tropical plants like a philodendron. The leaves have sharp and super tiny crystals of calcium oxalate, which can trigger irritation in your dog’s mouth.
Furthermore, it can also cause burning of the tongue and severe swelling. While difficulty in breathing is a rare symptom, it’s still present. In severe cases, poisoning of this plant can even cause death. A safer alternative could be a prayer plant that doesn’t require frequent watering and sunlight.
This plant will certainly add that minimalist, elegant element to your home décor. However, it isn’t worth keeping if you’re concerned about your dog eating it.
Like other plants mentioned in the list, this one also has tiny calcium oxalate crystals. They can induce drooling, irritation, and even difficulty swallowing and breathing.
The best alternative to this is the Moth Orchid. It appears pretty much the same and adds a level of sophistication to your décor but without harming your pet. Since it’s an orchid, it may require humid and warm conditions while being exposed to indirect sunlight.
The beautiful blooms and trunk of this plant are unlike any other. However, if your dog ingests it, the consequences can be ugly.
The primary toxin inside it is called cardiac glycoside, which is known to induce the following symptoms:
- Irregular heart rhythm
- In severe cases, even death
Consider getting an African violet as an alternative. While it won’t be as long as a desert rose, you will certainly be delighted with its gorgeous blooms in several colors.
A common symptom of ingesting this plant is vomiting (in severe cases, with blood). Furthermore, it can lead to depression and long-term appetite loss. The reaction is mainly due to steroidal saponin, a compound that is equally dangerous for cats and dogs.
Consider getting a money tree plant instead. If you place it in the right corner, it will require minimal care. It is also hardy and adds the same elegance to your home décor as a corn plant but without ill effects.
Which Plants Are Safe for a Dog?
This plant is not only ideal because of its low-light needs. The convenient watering schedule and the variety of colors make it a wonderful addition to your room. That hint of purple on the leaves’ undersides will undoubtedly make you thank yourself for purchasing the plant.
Since the plant only needs a few hours of light, you can easily place it on a nightstand that’s a bit far from the window. These slow growers don’t grow taller than four feet in most cases.
Bird’s Nest Fern
Place it in absolutely any corner of your house, and you won’t have to worry about your dog chewing on it. The plant thrives on different humidity settings and low light.
This means even your bathroom is an ideal spot for them. Imagine how pretty your tooth-brushing routine will get.
While not every succulent is pet-friendly, Echeveria and Haworthia, along with some other air plants, can be added to any countertop in your home. The best part about having them is that you won’t need to care for them as much as you would for another regular houseplant. Make sure to place them in front of direct sunlight and water them lightly after a week.
Not only are these fantastic plants air purifiers, but they’re also super safe and easy to grow inside your house. Furthermore, they’re also extremely resilient. They flourish best in indirect bright light, so make sure to place them in the stated conditions.
The list of toxic and safe plants for your dog can go on and on. Hence, it’s vital to be aware of what you’re bringing inside the boundaries of your home. Your dog will have a hard time resisting a houseplant because it can’t distinguish between right and wrong things to consume. While there are many non-toxic plants on the list, the key is to ensure that your dog doesn’t eat them excessively.
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Hi! I’m Sophia, and I love plants – especially an expert in growing house plants. I stay in Chicago, United States of America, and through my blog and social media platforms, provide tips and tricks on how to grow healthy, vibrant plants indoors. Check out more here.