Are Snake Plants Toxic To Dogs? And Ways To Keep Your Pet Dog Away!

Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Feb 20, 2023 By Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Originally Published on Oct 25, 2021
Pomeranian​ cute​ dog​ ​sitting on a wooden table.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.7 Min

Do you think your house is puppy-proof?

When you look around your house, you might believe that it is a safe space for a dog. You have installed a gate near the stairwell, puppy-proofed all the sharp corners, hidden the exposed electrical lines and kept human food away from the reach of your fur baby.

But how about that snake plant in the corner? Did you know that the harmless-looking decorative houseplant is toxic to dogs and cats?

Popularly referred to as mother-in-law's tongue, the snake plant contains a poisonous chemical called saponin. If your adventurous pup comes in contact with the plant, or worse ingests its leaves, it can cause gastrointestinal symptoms and skin irritation.

Vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, excessive drooling, irritation and swelling around the mouth, stomach pain, and depression are some common symptoms associated with saponin ingestion.

Snake plant poisoning in pets tends to be mild and not dangerous. However, your dog may need to be taken to the veterinarian for treatment if it ingests too much of the snake plant.

Find out more on how these houseplants can upset your animal and the ways you can protect your pup from it. Also, check out other cool Kidadl articles like are roses toxic to dogs? And are strawberries a fruit?

Why are snake plants toxic to dogs?

Golden bird's nest, mother-in-law’s tongue, and good luck plant are some additional names that the popular snake plant is known as. Its scientific name is Sansevieria trifasciata.

This plant is a top contender among indoor plants due to its superstitions and air purification benefits. As a result, many homes in the US will have these plants, but they are toxic for dogs.

The air purifying snake plant is not safe for your pet. They contain a toxic chemical named saponin, which is toxic to dogs. Both dogs and cats should be kept away from snake plants. If your dog consumes any part of the snake plant, it can cause gastrointestinal issues like vomiting, drooling, nausea, and diarrhea.

Generally, snake plant poisoning tends to be mild but there are severe cases where it leads to ruptured blood cells in dogs. Thus, it is important to visit the vet at the first signs of snake plant poisoning. Delay in treatment can worsen the symptoms, leading to longer recovery periods.

Keeping Your Dog Away From Snake Plants

To protect your pet dogs from snake plant poisoning, you can adopt some simple strategies. This includes keeping the mother-in-law's plant well away from your dog's reach and other pets.

If you do not want to get rid of the good luck plant, you must outsmart your pet. Protect your dog by training it on what is okay to eat or what areas are okay to explore.

This vital training can help in avoiding any possible chances of snake plant poisoning. It is best to start such training when your dog is a still puppy. Eventually, as they mature, your pet will naturally start following its boundaries.

The next tip is to keep the snake plant in out-of-reach areas like on high shelves or in rooms where dogs are not allowed. Depending on the size of your pet, you will have to get creative and redesign your home to maintain a balance between house plants and your pet.

Do ensure to close the doors of the room where you've placed the snake plant. It will ensure that your curious pet does not enter this room, even when you're not around.

Spraying natural repellents on the plant is another way of keeping your pet away from these plants. A small amount of liquid from citrus fruits or vinegar can be sprayed on the plant or near the plant.

Make sure to warn your children about this fact. Your pet will be naturally repelled from the scent of citrusy ingredients and steer clear from the mother-in-law's tongue.

However, if none of these are effective for your pet, then it is best to remove the good luck plant from your premises. Your pets will be safe from any possibility of snake plant poisoning.

White short hair Chihuahua dog sitting by the basket of Snake plant

Other House Plants That Are Toxic To Dogs

Many people like to keep decorative houseplants indoors. They not only improve the beauty of the space but also help in air purification. However, some plants contain poisonous toxins like the snake plant that can potentially harm your dog or cat.

Apart from Sansevieria trifasciata, many other houseplants are toxic to dogs. The poison in these plants can make your pet suffer from mild symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and excessive drooling.

Philodendron pertusum is one of the most common houseplants known for its broad foliage. It contains insoluble calcium oxalates that make it toxic to pets. Mouth irritation, swelling, and excessive drooling are some symptoms that your pet will experience after consuming this plant.

Aloe vera is a succulent popular for its manifold benefits and medicinal properties. While the famous aloe gel is okay for human use, the leaves contain saponins and anthraquinone. If your dog consumes an aloe leaf, it will cause serious issues like vomiting, diarrhea, and low blood sugar levels.

Another plant that contains insoluble calcium oxalates is the extremely admired fiddle leaf fig. Consuming the leaves of the fiddle leaf fig plant might cause painful gastrointestinal problems and skin issues in your dog.

The stunning peace lily whose scientific name is Spathiphyllum is mildly toxic to your pets. Admired for its blooms, this plant is another member of the Araceae family. If your dog comes in contact with this plant, it may cause skin irritation, and if ingested, your pet will show signs of an upset stomach like vomiting.

Sago palm is one plant you need to avoid at all costs. This plant contains cycasin and is toxic not only for animals but also for humans.

So, if you have children and pets, it is best not to get this plant. Sago palm toxicity can result in serious complications like liver failure, melena, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, seizures, and even death.

What happens if your dog has chewed snake plant leaves?

After eating the golden bird's nest snake plant, your dog may start showing some symptoms of gastrointestinal upset. Visit the veterinarian as soon as possible.

Since snake plant leaves are bitter due to the presence of saponins, chances are that your dog won't like it. However, no one can stop a curious dog.

Your pet might just chomp on a snake plant leaf out of sheer curiosity. If you spot your pets in the act, stop them immediately and remove any traces of the plant from their mouth. The toxic chemical in the plant when ingested can trigger mild to severe gastrointestinal discomfort.

You might see your dog drooling, vomiting, and experiencing diarrhea. But excessive ingestion can also result in ruptured red blood cells in your dogs.

Your pet cat will also experience similar symptoms if they consume the leaves of the snake plant. For the right treatment, you need to contact your pet's vet.

The vet will perform a physical examination and conduct tests to check your dog's vitals. Once the vet examines the symptoms and discovers the toxins, they will guide you through the treatment plan and prescribe necessary medications to address the symptoms.

The recovery period to treat the toxicity of the golden bird's nest, mother-in-law’s tongue largely depends on the amount of sap or leaves ingested by your pet and the after-effects. If ingestion is less, vets can pump out the poison from your dog's stomach.

However, if you are late in taking your sick pet to the vet, it might drastically lengthen the recovery period. So, it is advisable to take your animals to the vet the moment you see the first signs of snake plant poisoning.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions forare snake plants toxic to dogs? And ways to keep your pet dog away! Then why not take a look at how is balsamic vinegar made? Know food facts about vinegar production or Great Dane facts.

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Written by Rajnandini Roychoudhury

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

Rajnandini Roychoudhury picture

Rajnandini RoychoudhuryBachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

With a Master of Arts in English, Rajnandini has pursued her passion for the arts and has become an experienced content writer. She has worked with companies such as Writer's Zone and has had her writing skills recognized by publications such as The Telegraph. Rajnandini is also trilingual and enjoys various hobbies such as music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading classic British literature. 

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