Are Succulents Poisonous To Dogs or Cats?

Written by Jennifer Gaeng
Published: February 22, 2022
Image Credit SewCream/Shutterstock.com
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Creating a safe environment for both pets and plants can be a challenge. Fortunately, most succulents are entirely safe for animals, and most animals are also naturally wary about eating succulents. Succulents hold a variety of benefits for us. For example, they are naturally good at eliminating toxins from the air. And, the more plants you have, the higher your humidity levels will be, which will help you avoid dry skin, colds, sore throats, and more.

A few exceptions exist, though, and there are slightly poisonous succulents for dogs or cats if swallowed. Which species of succulents are poisonous to dogs and cats?

For more information on which succulents are toxic and which are not, keep reading!

Are Succulents Poisonous To Dogs or Cats?

Are Succulents Poisonous to Dogs or Cats -
Sempervivum, Burros Tail, Christmas Cactus, Zebra Haworthia, e.t.c., are succulent species that are safe for pets.

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Not all succulents species are toxic for your pets. Succulents are great for pet owners, as most types are perfectly safe for pets. Below are five popular succulents that pose no danger to dogs or cats:

Sempervivum

Sempervivum sometimes referred to as Hens and Chicks, are succulent perennials that grow in blankets of lovely dense rosettes. They can be used as ornamental grass because they are so easy to propagate. Sempervivum plants are easy-to-grow succulents because they can thrive in both cold and hot conditions, with low or intense light levels.

Burros Tail

Sedum Burrito, or Donkey’s Tail Succulent, is native to Mexico. This is a perennial succulent that can grow in any type of soil with sufficient drainage and is easy to care for. This plant has silver-green leaves that are spherical and fleshy.

Christmas Cactus

The Christmas cactus is also known as the Thanksgiving cactus or the Easter cactus, depending on which holiday it is celebrated. During the holidays, this plant produces stunning red-pink flowers. Nearly any indoor environment benefits from the inclusion of this popular houseplant with winter-flowering blossoms. An excellent choice for holiday gift-giving, Christmas cactus has the added benefit of being both easy to care for and easily multiplied.

Zebra Haworthia

A well-known Haworthia species is Haworthia fasciata, also known as “Zebra Haworthia.” The slender, dark green leaves have white ridges running the length of them, giving them the appearance of zebra stripes. Since it has a striking appearance and requires little care, the Zebra Haworthia is popular as an interior plant. A wide range of offsets can be produced and propagated with ease.

Echeveria

Native to Central America’s semi-desert regions, Echeveria is a rosette-formed succulent family. Beautiful rosettes with exquisite water-storing leaves make echeverias a favorite succulent. Echeveria succulents are available in a wide range of vibrant hues, and they frequently bear showy flowers. They’re low-maintenance, quick-growing, and drought-tolerant.

TOXIC SUCCULENTS FOR PETS

Succulent Echeveria Perle von Nürnberg
Other succulent species like the Jade plant, Aloe vera, Fiddle Leaf, e.t.c., are poisonous to dogs and cats.

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If you have dogs in your home, it’s more crucial to know which succulents to avoid. If dogs or cats eat any of the plants listed below, they may become ill, but it is unlikely that they will become extremely ill. Some of the succulent plants that are toxic to cats and dogs are:

Jade Plant (Crassula Argentea)

Succulent houseplants like jade plants, also known as Crassula ovata, are extremely popular. Jade plants can induce effects of poisoning in dogs and cats such as lethargy, incoordination, and a decreased heart rate. Your pets may find their glossy oval leaves and small tree-like appearance irresistible, too.

Aloe Vera

Multiple health benefits for people have made aloe a popular houseplant. However, it is poisonous to cats and dogs because of a compound called aloin, which draws additional water into the intestines of the animal when consumed. Vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, a loss of appetite, a change in urine color, and tremors are all possible symptoms.

Fiddle Leaf (Philodendron bipennifolium)

Known as the Panda Plant, the Fiddle Leaf Philodendron is a low-maintenance houseplant. However, insoluble calcium oxalates crystal, an irritant to the tissues, is found in all parts of this plant. Mouth discomfort, vomiting, and trouble swallowing are all symptoms of poisoning from the panda plant.

Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)

Snake Plant is a low-maintenance houseplant that can thrive in a wide range of climates. However, the saponins in the plant can cause moderate poisoning in your dogs or cats, resulting in symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Kalanchoe Species

Flowering plants in the Kalanchoe genus are tropical, succulent, and bloom even in the winter. Taking care of them is simple, and they’re drought-tolerant to boot. However, the cardiac glycosides found in Kalanchoe plants can lead to drowsiness, increased salivation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain in dogs and cats if ingested. Massive quantities of Kalanchoe can lead to irregular heartbeats, an increased heart rate, and labored breathing as well as collapse or even death.

Euphorbia Succulents

Euphorbia Succulents like Enopla, Monstrose, and Corn Cob Cactus are renowned for their lovely blossoms. Despite their beauty, these succulents are hazardous to both humans and animals, as their leaves and stems contain white latex sap that can cause skin and eye irritation when touched. When unintentionally ingested, it can cause mouth and stomach irritability, leading to vomiting.

Senecio Succulents

Despite their popularity, most succulents in the Senecio species are deadly to our four-legged friends. Ingestion of these plants can cause nausea, vomiting, and lethargy. The good news is that Senecios like String of Pearls and String of Hearts can be hung, keeping them out of reach of your pets.

How To Keep Your Pets Safe From Poisonous Succulents

Agave succulent plants

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Keep your dogs or cats away from your succulents. If you have pets, don’t buy plants that could be harmful to them. If you do decide to buy such plants, make sure you store them in a place that is difficult to get to. If you have any of these toxic plants in your garden, create a barrier to deter your pet from gaining access to them. Your veterinarian or an animal poison control center will be able to help if your pet accidentally ingests a poisonous succulent.

What To Do If Your Pet Eats A Succulent

Succulents can be dangerous to pets, so if your dog or cat consumes one, you should immediately identify the plant and contact your veterinarian. A poison control center can help if your veterinarian isn’t experienced with houseplants or succulents.

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About the Author

A substantial part of my life has been spent as a writer and artist, with great respect to observing nature with an analytical and metaphysical eye. Upon close investigation, the natural world exposes truths far beyond the obvious. For me, the source of all that we are is embodied in our planet; and the process of writing and creating art around this topic is an attempt to communicate its wonders.