Is the Snake's Tongue Plant Poisonous to Dogs?

by Axl J. Amistaadt
"I'll go for some pastry, first!"

"I'll go for some pastry, first!"

Chris Amaral/Digital Vision/Getty Images

While chewing unsuitable objects such as plants is typically associated with puppies, adult dogs may ingest houseplants or outdoor ornamentals as well. Bored or restless dogs may chew on plants to relieve anxiety if they’re left alone for long periods. It’s in Fido’s best interest to pass on chewing up snake’s tongue plants, which contain substances that act as mildly toxic gastrointestinal irritants in dogs.

Toxic Components

The leaves and flowers of snake’s tongue contain saponins, which the plant produces to protect itself from predation by microbes, fungi and insects. The plant’s overall toxicity is relatively low. A dog’s gastrointestinal reaction may be mild to moderate, but the pet probably won’t cross the line into life threatening toxicosis. The saponins have a very bitter taste, which will likely convince the pet to look elsewhere for tastier snacking before he consumes enough snake’s tongue to do real damage.

Symptoms of Ingestion

Dogs that sample snake’s tongue plants may experience loss of appetite, depression, drooling, upset tummy, vomiting and diarrhea. Call your canine medical professional immediately.

Photo Credits

  • Chris Amaral/Digital Vision/Getty Images

About the Author

Pets and pet rescue are my greatest passions -- followed closely by global wildlife and our environment -- and I have done extensive research on pet and wildlife rescue, fostering, adoption, etc. on their behalf. I was a Florida State Wildlife Rehab Agent for a number of years. I currently specialize in locating online sites where part or all of the proceeds from the items that are purchased are donated to rescued animals in North American shelters, sanctuaries and preserves. I write material designed to entice and encourage shoppers to frequent these sites, many of which offer huge selections of all sorts of merchandise.{{}}