Cultivating Orchids & Crafting Terrariums

Are Orchids Poisonous to Dogs?
Toxic Household Plants and Side Effects

Dogs are famous for chewing: slippers, coffee table legs, shoes, and yes, even plants. Once in a while, Max will be found with something he shouldn’t have in his mouth. Households plants are no exception. What happens to a dog when he ingests an orchid? Are orchids poisonous to dogs? Are they toxic?

Orchids are not toxic or poisonous to dogs (or cats, either). They may cause some irritation to the stomach, but the orchid itself will do no harm. There are some potting mixes that contain chemical fertilizers, so be alert if your dog presents signs of fever, panting, hunched back, and obviously, vomiting or diarrhea. If these signs are present, urgently take your pet to the vet.
dog chewing on bone
Signs of intoxication among dogs include:
• Panting
• Vomiting
• Diarrhea
• Agitation
• Tremors
• Excessive drooling
You may be home free with orchids, but there are other harmful items that pet owners need to pay attention to. Potting soil, as mentioned above, is the biggest problem with ingesting an orchid. But the real danger lies in the other household plants that maybe very poisonous or even lethal to your dog.

You can easily search the most toxic household plants on almost every website. What most people don’t tell you, is that many plants that are easily found in garden centers and sold as easy-to-care-for-plants are, in fact, toxic. Let’s take a closer look at some of these that are probably sitting around our living rooms.

One plant that might surprise you is the Aloe Vera plant. With so many wonderful qualities for hair and face, Aloe Vera is not so “hydrational” when ingested. Signs include vomiting, diarrhea, and tremors. So keep this plant to yourself.

Jade plants (Crassula Argentea)
are another common household plant that can cause vomiting. Since they are sold to many homes as an easy-to-grow plant, requiring very little care, the jade plant has made its way inside our homes. Their name stands true: they are extremely hard to kill. Yet if eaten, the jade plant will cause vomiting
When a dog vomits, his organism is signaling that there is something horribly wrong with the food he ate. Why the concern? Dogs can eat pretty much anything. If he vomits, his body is doing its best to rid his stomach of any contents, interrupting the digestive cycle. So call your vet immediately.
two dogs
Not all, but most varieties of lilies can be harmful to dogs. When ingested, the flowers cause loss of appetite, drooling, and in worst-case scenario, vomiting. This is a problem because lilies are a common gift for birthdays, holidays, or any other special occasion. They enter our houses with ease.

The good news is that dogs usually stay clear of lilies, but not is the same about cats. So keep your eyes on the cat. There is another article here, specifically about cats and orchids.

The asparagus fern is another household plant that is so easy to inch it’s way inside our hearts and homes. With it’s fast growing properties and hands-off approach to care, the asparagus fern is a very common plant.

The danger here is dual: skin irritation can be triggered when brushing up against this plant. So keep it higher up, as a hanging pot, or in an areas that Max won’t reach it. The asparagus fern also produces small berries, that are not appetizing.

Yet, you know dogs: if doesn’t have to be appetizing to eat to be ingested. These berries can cause severe gastrointestinal irritation.

A low sitting plant that is very common is the Dieffenbachia or “Dumb Cane”. With beautifully design leaves, this plant is a natural eye-pleaser. As a hard-to-kill plant, many garden centers sell this plant without the full reality of its dangers. Eating a dumb cane leaf will cause severe swelling in the tongue, mouth, and throat. If not treated, or the allergic reaction is too strong, with may completely closing the airways, killing your dog.
are orchids toxic to dogs
After ingesting a toxic plant, your dog might immediately start to pant. You can tell they are in distress because the breathing is faster and shallower than normal. Usually their tongue is extended outward and a little longer than normal.

Panting is concerning because it means your dog is not getting enough air, or not having the proper gas exchange.
The reasons are numerous: (1) maybe the throat is swelling, and causing difficulty to breathe; or (2) the alveoli in the lungs are not performing adequate gas exchange, and carbon dioxide is building up.

No matter the physiological reasons, this is a real concern. Panting also causes a rise in the heart rate, because breathing heavily is strenuous muscle movement for long periods of time.

Observe your dog and if the signs do not go away in 10 minutes, get to a vet.

The last one on our list is the Pothos or “Devil’s Ivy” (Epipremnun aureum). The name should give us a hint that it’s not a nice little dude. The same symptoms are included as with other toxic plants: irritation which can lead to swelling, thus result in difficulty to breathe.

These are our list of common household plants and their symptoms after ingestion. Be sure to research every plant inside your home. If you are unsure about the level of toxicity in a plant, because many plants inch in our lives and the results can be disastrous. Better safe than sorry.

You can contact ASPCA, which stands for Animal Poison Control Center. They have an emergency poison hotline which operates 24 hours. Their telephone is 888-426-4435 (If outside the USA, add +1 to the beginning.) ASPCA also has a list of poisonous plants that you can refer to here.

Please leave a comment below, like this page, or share with a friend who has a dog.
 If you're wondering about the toxicity level to cats, we have a different article on that, here.

Happy Cultivating!

Amanda Matthews and Max, her dog
P.S. -->
If you are wondering if I have a dog, yes, I do. This is Max, my faithful companion and friend. The pic on the right is him at 4 months and the pic on the left is him at 1.5 years old.
Amanda Matthews and her dog, Max
Signature Amanda Matthews
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Amanda June Matthews at Orchideria
Hi, there! I'm Amanda Matthews.

I write all the tutorials on Orchideria so unfortunately, I can't blame anyone else for all the spelling mistakes.   :)

By profession, I'm a theologian, author, and seminary professor, yet I  spend my free time enjoying nature hikes, building terrariums, and cultivating orchids. I also love to mountain bike on trails, dance, and play with my dog, Max.

When I'm not working on the next chapter of my book or online course, I'm exploring a new campsite to venture out into nature. Pitching a tent for the weekend with my two children while I fire up a barbecue is the best way to live.

Click here to go to my Author Page to check out my heart-wrenching memoir.

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