Peace lilies are a popular choice when it comes to indoor plants. They are beautiful to look at. They can add a dash of color and brighten up a dull corner of a room. And most importantly, they are easy to care for.
However, you need to be careful if you have a dog at home. These houseplants can be a potential hazard to your pet.
So are peace lilies toxic to dogs? Peace lilies can be toxic if the dog consumes a large quantity of the plant or flower. In most cases, an inflammatory reaction is common in animals.
Let us find out more about why peace lilies and dogs do not make a good combination.
- What are Peace Lilies?
- Are Peace Lilies Toxic to Dogs?
- What are the Symptoms of Peace Lily Poisoning?
- How Will the Vet Diagnose Peace Lily Poisoning?
- What Are the Treatment Options Available for Peace Lily Poisoning?
- Are All Lilies Toxic to Dogs?
- Which Houseplants Are Toxic to Dogs?
- What Plants Can You Grow Instead?
What are Peace Lilies?
Peace lilies are distinguished by their large white flowers and glossy green leaves. The contrasting combination of white and green makes for a beautiful addition to your home.
The peace lily is a flowering plant that belongs to the family Araceae. The plant is native to tropical regions of Central and South America and Southeast Asia.
The plant has earned its reputation for being a good indoor option. They thrive well in areas with low sunlight. They can also tolerate fluorescent lights. So, a peace lily plant can be a good addition to your office desk as well.
You can water the peace lily plant once a week. Spray water on the leaves to keep the plant hydrated. The plant often starts drooping to let you know it needs water.
Peace lilies also have air-purifying qualities. In addition, it can help break down toxic gases like carbon monoxide and formaldehyde. So far, the plant sounds great, so why is it toxic for pets?
Are Peace Lilies Toxic to Dogs?
The mere presence of the peace lily plant will not harm your pet. As long as you can keep the dog away from the plant, all is good.
But if your dog is curious, as most dogs usually are, and it will not leave your houseplants alone, then it is a cause for concern.
Peace lilies, right from the stem, and leaves to their bloom, contain a compound known as calcium oxalate crystals. Unfortunately, the compound can be toxic for animals and humans alike if the plant is chewed or consumed.
These crystals come out of the damaged parts of the plant. Also known as raphides, these crystals are insoluble. When they come into contact with tissue, they remain persistent. These microscopic crystals embed themselves into the tissue and cause irritation and numbness.
If your dog bites into a peace lily plant, the damaged plant cells open up and shoot needle-sharp crystals into the dog’s mouth. The immediate reaction will be inflammation and pain around the mouth. This should deter the pet from eating the plant anymore.
But, if the dog does not back off and keeps chewing on the plant, it could lead to peace lily poisoning.
Also Read: 11 Household Items That Can Poison Your Dog
What are the Symptoms of Peace Lily Poisoning?
If the dog licks or bites a peace lily plant, you might see symptoms like:
- Oral irritation
- Intense burning of the mouth
- Swelling of lips
- Swelling of tongue
- Numbness around the exposed area
- Swelling of throat
- Change in vocalizations
- Difficulty breathing
- Excessive rubbing around the mouth
- Excessive drooling
- Difficulty swallowing
If the dog has chewed and swallowed a part of the plant, you might see symptoms like:
- Loss of appetite
- Swelling of abdomen
- Inflammation of the GI tract
- In severe cases, heart problems
If the dog has ingested the plant, it will start to show these symptoms in two hours. The severity of the symptoms depends on how much plant the dog has consumed.
In the rare case, the dog consumes a large quantity of peace lily, which could lead to liver or kidney damage. This scenario is rare because the initial burning and pain push the dog away from sampling any more of the plant.
If you see a chunk of the plant missing, it is best not to wait and contact your vet immediately.
How Will the Vet Diagnose Peace Lily Poisoning?
You do not have a peace lily plant at home. Instead, your dog had a bite of the plant outdoors or at a friend’s place. So, how does the vet know it is peace lily poisoning?
When you start seeing the symptoms mentioned above and have no clue what the dog might have ingested, it would be best to visit the vet clinic for examination.
If the dog is vomiting, the vomit can be examined to see if there are any plant materials in it. The vet might also do a blood test or urine analysis to rule out other causes.
Do not leave the dog alone, without any supervision, in an unfamiliar location. When going out for walks, do not let them wander off. You never know what your curious pet can bite into or swallow.
What Are the Treatment Options Available for Peace Lily Poisoning?
If you catch the dog licking or biting into the peace lily plant, quickly get them away from the plant. Check its mouth to see if any plant materials are sticking to its tongue, gums, or teeth. Carefully remove the material, if any.
Next, give your dog’s mouth a good rinse with fresh water. The calcium oxalate crystals can really latch on to the tissue. So, it would be good to repeat the rinsing process a few times.
Offer the dog something cold like ice cubes to soothe the irritation. Ice can also help bring down the swelling inside the mouth. Likewise, milk can help soothe throat irritation.
If the dog has not swallowed any part of the plant and the symptoms are mild, these treatment options should be enough. However, continue to monitor the pet for any symptoms for the next several hours. The symptoms might take up to 12 hours to surface in some cases.
If it has been less than four hours since the dog ingested peace lily, the vet can try to induce vomiting to get the plant out of its digestive system. Please do not try to do this step on your own. The vet will examine the pet’s condition and will safely induce vomiting only if necessary.
If the dog is in pain, the vet can prescribe a pain reliever. If the dog is dehydrated from all the vomiting or diarrhea, it might need an intravenous drip. The vet may also prescribe medications to reduce swelling and inflammation of the digestive system.
If the swelling is excessive or your dog has severe difficulty in breathing, it might have to stay at the vet’s clinic until its symptoms subside.
Are All Lilies Toxic to Dogs?
Are peace lilies toxic to dogs? Yes, they can be toxic when ingested. But is this true for all varieties of lilies? No, it is not.
Lilies are elegant spring flowers with a pleasant, sweet fragrance. If you want to decorate your home with lilies, you can definitely do so, even with a dog around.
Lilies that belong to the daylily family are considered non-toxic for dogs. Some of these non-toxic varieties are:
- Easter Lily
- Peruvian Lily
- Tiger Lily
- Spider Lily
- Stargazer Lily
- Rubrum Lily
Remember, just because these plants or flowers are non-toxic, it does not mean the dog gets a free reign over them. If you have an enthusiastic dog at your hand, keep them away from houseplants. Also, leaves and flowers, though non-toxic, are not exactly good for your dog’s digestion.
Be smart with vase placement if you want to decorate your home with a bouquet of lilies. Keep them at a height that the dog cannot reach.
Which Houseplants Are Toxic to Dogs?
You would be surprised to know several common houseplants are toxic to dogs. For example, aloe is a plant that is famous for its healing benefits. People use aloe gel to soothe skin irritation, even in dogs. But ingesting this plant can lead to vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.
Dieffenbachia is another common houseplant that is bad for dogs. Like peace lilies, the plant cells include calcium oxalate crystals. Chewing on its leaves can lead to burning and swelling of the mouth.
According to ASPCA, plants that are toxic to dogs include:
- Cardboard Palm
- Gold Dust Dracaena
- Heartleaf Philodendron
- Devils Ivy
- Warneckii Dracaena
- Pencil Cactus
- Florida Beauty
- Lace Fern
What Plants Can You Grow Instead?
Having a dog does not mean you cannot have plants around. But, you do need to read up on what plants are safe and what plants need to be kept away from the pet.
Here is a list of non-toxic plants for dogs:
- American Rubber Plant
- Malaysian Dracaena
- Areca Palm
- Baby’s Tears
- Spider Plant
- Duffii Fern
- Hens and Chickens
- Lemon Balm
- Bamboo Palm
- Vining Peperomia, among others
Even though the plants are listed as non-toxic, your dog should not consume them. If the dog does chew and ingest any part of the plant, it can cause mild stomach upset.
Are peace lilies toxic to dogs? Yes, if your dog chows down any part of the peace lily plant, it can affect its health.
The peace lily plant contains calcium oxalate crystals, which can embed on a tissue and cause inflammation and pain. In the case of mild to moderate cases of peace lily poisoning, you might see symptoms like swelling of the mouth, hoarse barking, numbness, and drooling.
If your dog has consumed a large quantity of the plant, you might see symptoms like vomiting, stomach upset, difficulty breathing, and loss of appetite. Please get in touch with the vet immediately for diagnosis and treatment.
Heather Abraham is a professional blogger who owns two dogs, a cat, a parrot, and a leopard gecko. She has a connection with animals since she was a child. She shares her love for all pet breeds and provides information on pet food, toys, medications, beds, and everything else.
She is committed to learning about the internal workings of animals. Her work permits her to work closely with knowledgeable vets and obtain practical expertise in animal care. When she is not working, her love of animals continues in her writing. Her goal is to educate and uplift readers who also have a passion for animals through her writing.