Are Succulents Poisonous to Dogs?

by Betty Lewis
    Aloe may be healing for you but it's poison for your pooch.

    Aloe may be healing for you but it's poison for your pooch.

    Digital Vision/Photodisc/Getty Images

    Whether you're landscaping your flower beds or adding a bit of color indoors, succulents are a great choice. They tend to be easy to care for and come in a wide variety of colors, shapes and textures. Choose your succulent species with care, however, because some are poisonous to dogs.

    As far as your pup's concerned, there are good and bad succulents. The best thing to do is use the ASPCA's database to confirm your choice is safe for your pooch. If you're interested in some popular succulents that won't harm your dog in case he decides to take a nibble, consider burro's tail, Christmas cactus, hens and chicks, and the pony tail palm.

    There are degrees of toxicity, and some succulents are more toxic than others. The pencil cactus, otherwise known as crown of thorns, is mildly toxic to the dog who eats it, potentially causing vomiting and irritation. Other succulents have more severe consequences, including vomiting, diarrhea, drooling and difficulty swallowing. The panda plant, aloe vera, jade plant, kalanchoe and snake plant can make your pup sick if he decides to snack on any of them. If your dog eats a plant and you're unsure whether it's nontoxic, call your vet immediately. Take part of the plant with you to the vet to help with the diagnosis and treatment. Some plants are more toxic than others. Where your pooch is concerned, it's best to be safe rather than sorry.

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    About the Author

    Betty Lewis is a writer and editor specializing in pet care, animals, careers and emergency management. She previously ran an animal shelter, where she also served as a kennel attendant and dog trainer. Lewis holds a bachelor's degree in journalism, an M.B.A. and a master's degree in professional studies.

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