Those popular little indoor succulent plants you’re seeing everywhere are adorable and appealing…but are they safe to bring home if you have a dog or cat in the house?

There are many houseplants that can be harmful to our pets, but with the growing popularity of pint-sized succulents for the home and patio, veterinarians are warning pet owners about their potential hazards.

Here’s a brief overview of what you should know.  Be sure to check out this article on the American Veterinarian website for the full story.

Aloe Vera and True Aloe:  Toxic to dogs, cats, and horses.  Symptoms include lethargy, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Euphorbias (such as Pencil Cactus):  Toxic to dogs, cats, and horses.  Contact can cause skin rash and irritation.  Ingestion can cause mouth and stomach irritation with possible vomiting.

Kalanchoes:  Toxic to dogs and cats.  Can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and (rarely) abnormal heart rhythm.

Jade (aka Rubber Plant):  Toxic to dogs, cats, and horses.  May cause vomiting, depression, and lack of coordination.

Silver Dollar (aka Chinese or Silver Jade):  Toxic to dogs, cats, and horses.  Symptoms include vomiting and upset stomach, tremors, and signs of “drunkenness.”

Be sure to seek immediate veterinary care if your pet shows signs of plant poisoning.  Check out the Pet Poison Helpline for more information on dangerous plants.

Now for the good news!  Here are some cute and *nontoxic* succulents recommended by American Veterinarian:

  • Blue Echeveria
  • Burro’s Tail (aka Horse’s Tail, Donkey’s Tail, Lamb’s Tail)
  • Ghost Plant (aka Mother of Pearl)
  • Hardy Baby Tears
  • Haworthia

  • Hens and Chickens (aka Hens and Chicks)
  • Maroon Chenille Plant
  • Mexican Firecracker
  • Mexican Rosettes
  • Mexican Snowballs
  • Painted Lady (aka Copper Rose, Maroon)
  • Plush Plant
  • Tree Cactus
  • Wax Rosette

Top image: “Lucy Cat + my fave succulent pot” (sistashizron on Flickr)


8 thoughts on “Popular Succulents May Be Toxic To Your Pets

  1. This is timely for me! Although I’m not a fan of succulents (lived in the AZ desert for a few years and did not like it at all), I was just recently contemplating getting an Aloe Vera plant to have around here for us humans. Lo and behold, it’s the first one listed on your no-no list. I did not know it was toxic to cats and dogs. With seven cats roaming around this house, I appreciate this information. If I want Aloe Vera, I’ll get it in a sealed container or not at all. Thank you!

    1. Thanks for sharing your experiences! It’s especially important to be aware of the possible dangers of succulents these days since the tiny ones are so appealing and are very popular houseplants!

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