House plants that add natural fragrance and color to the home may pose a health risk to the family pet. Before adding new greenery to your home, check the plant’s label for toxicity warnings. If your pet accidentally ingests leaves, stems or flowering portions of a house plant, contact a veterinarian promptly for assistance

Common House Plants

  • Although the blooms of azaleas and rhododendrons add color to your decor, keep these potted favorites outside and away from your dog’s play areas. If a pet eats just a few leaves of these plants, it may experience heart failure, paralysis, shock, diarrhea, drooling or a coma. Other flowering plants that contain cardenolides also will poison a dog. Flowering plants to avoid include fresh-cut bouquets of lily of the valley, milkweed or decorative cuttings from burning bushes. Dogs also should avoid aloe vera, mums and daffodils.

Indoor Herbs

  • Take at peek at your kitchen window sills. Those miniature pots of fresh herbs may spice up your cooking but also can make your dog sick. Growing herbs that contain N-propyl disulfide can make a dog anemic, cause cardiac arrhythmia or upset digestion, according to VetInfo. Onion-flavored plants, including chives, shallots, green onions or leeks, contain N-propyl disulfide.

Holiday House Plants

  • When guests gather in your home for the holidays, avoid enhancing the decor with live plants. If a red, blushing poinsettia or bunch of mistletoe completes your winter holiday decor, put them high out of the family dog’s reach. Mistletoe can upset digestion and cause heart trouble, among other symptoms. Poinsettias produce sap that can upset stomachs and blister mouths. The Humane Society of the United States warns against displaying both of these toxic plants inside. Evergreen tree needles can cause stomach and mouth lacerations, notes Pet Education. An artificial Christmas tree, wreaths and centerpieces reduce the risk of a holiday spoiled by an emergency vet visit. Other seasonal favorites that make dogs ill include cuttings of bittersweet, holly berries or the winter-blooming amaryllis.