Are Spider Plants Toxic to Dogs: How Poisonous Can They Be?

are spider plants toxic to dogs

Spiders plants are one of the most common house plants in the country. Their ubiquitous nature means they are often the target for curious dogs who will often be tempted to chew and eat the leaves of a spider plant.

Because this house plant is so popular, if spider plants are poisonous to dog is one of the most frequently asked questions about poisonous plants and dogs on the Internet. To help answer this question I’ve developed this short guide giving you a very quick overview of how toxic they could be, then tips on how to stop your dog eating spider plants completely. Here’s the low down…

Are spider plants toxic to dogs? Dogs can eat spider plants safely as they are not known to be poisonous and toxic. However, dogs that ingest any form of plants or leaves can be prone to vomiting and diarrhea, so you should discourage your dog from eating spider plants where possible.

So why do they do it?

Well, the reason your dog likes to chew and eat your spider plants could be due to a number of reasons; for example, some say dogs eat grass and leaves when they want to be sick to get rid of some badness in their system.

Other times dogs like eating spider plants because they are bored, perhaps like the taste, or are attracted by the smell. Spiders plants are said to give off a subtle scent that humans might not be able to detect, but dogs certainly can with their hypersensitive sense of smell.

Handy Hint: Did you know that most moss you find outside is actually safe for dogs to eat, but there are some varieties of moss that can be toxic to canines?

Can dogs eat spider plants? 

The bottom line is yes, dogs can eat spider plants, but I would not let them make a habit of doing so. If they start doing something like this it can soon become habitual and will be harder to stop in the future.

Whilst spider plants are not poisonous to dogs, that doesn’t mean you should let them eat them. In fact, it should be actively discouraged. The more house plants your dog ingests, the more likely an upset stomach there will be.

are spider plants poisonous to dogs
Spider plants are not toxic to dogs, but can make them sick if eaten frequently. Image via Unsplash.

If you do see your dog eating a spider plant and then being sick, that doesn’t mean they are having a toxic and poisonous reaction. It’s just very similar to how you see your dog vomit up grass; it’s not poisonous, but their body doesn’t want it in the system, so throws it back up.

The vomiting could be due to the chemicals in spider plants being related to opium.

Yes, you heard that right; opium. These chemicals are minute and non-toxic but could mean your dog vomits and has diarrhea – this is rare though.

And it’s this opium trace that people believe attracts cats to spider plants. According to a blog post I read on the University of Wisconsin, this can make spider plants mildly hallucinogenic.

“If I eat this, I am going to get spacy, and I like that feeling… some cats also like spider plants, which contain compounds related to opium.”

As far as my own research goes, I can find no evidence that spider plants have the same psychedelic effects on dogs – lucky for cats who like to get high I guess, not so much for dogs!

My dog ate a spider plant

If you dog eats a few spider plant leaves, there’s no real reason for concern. If they have eaten the whole plant though, I would certainly book a consult with a vet.

Within a few hours, your dog is likely to start feeling the effects of eating leaves and could start vomiting and having stomach upsets.

If you want to stop the behaviour, look at the next section as I’ve listed some tips on how you can stop dogs eating your house plants completely.

How to stop your dog eating spider plants

As well as having a potentially sick dog to content with, it’s about protecting your house plants too. After all, you bought them to improve your Feng Shui and air quality, not to be a convenient plant-based snack for your aspirational vegan dog.

And here’s how you can protect your house plants from your little muncher next time…

1. Spray the plant leaves with a bitter taste

Many owners will spray their house plants with tastes that dogs don’t like. These can include solutions with citrus and vinegar in.

You can also buy bitter tasting sprays that won’t harm your plants. Here’s a spray deterrent I found on Amazon.

2. Prune the spider plants leaves

Some dogs eat spider plants because of the way the leaves look and feel. You could try trimming the leaves back to see if they become less appealing to your chewing dog.

3. Keep your dog mentally active

Other dogs will chew out of boredom. This can mean they are being left alone too often, have separation anxiety, or might just need more stimulation.

To resolve this get them walked at least twice a day, play with them, and possibly invest in some dog toys that test them mentally. Here’s a great choice on Amazon.

4. Place your plants out of reach

This is so obvious that I don’t even know why I recommended it!

But just in case  you hadn’t considered this. place your spider plants up and high away from your dog’s reach.

What house plants are poisonous to dogs?

Now we’ve established that spider plants are not toxic to dogs and don’t come with any risk of poisoning, I want to bring your attention to the other side of the coin.

Because, yes, there are some plants that are poisonous to dogs. Here’s a sample of popular toxic plants.

  • Aconitum
  • Amaryllis bulbs
  • Asparagus fern
  • Azalea
  • Cyclamen
  • Daffodil bulbs
  • Day lilies
  • Delphiniums
  • Foxgloves
  • Hemlock
  • Hibiscus
  • Hostas
  • Hyacinth
  • Hydrangea
  • Ivy
  • Laburnum
  • Lily of the valley
  • Lupins
  • Morning glory
  • Nightshade
  • Oleander
  • Rhododendron
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Sweet pea
  • Tulip bulbs
  • Umbrella plant
  • Wisteria
  • Yew

Conclusion

Spider plants (Latin name: chlorophytum comosum) are hardy house plants that are very easy to take care of. Because they don’t need much care, they will often be found in homes with dogs, many of whom will want to take a nibble.

Whilst spider plants are safe for dogs, in large quantities they will likely give an upset stomach.

Disclaimer: I am not a vet. Always seek professional advice if your dog eats anything that is not part of their standard and safe diet. The recommendations on spider plants being safe for dogs to eat are based on my own online research.

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Marc Aaron

I write about the things I've learned about owning a dog, the adventures we have, and any advice and tips I've picked up along the way.

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