If you’re anything like us, you love having plants in your home – they can instantly transform the look and energy of a room. Fiddle leaf philodendron, or ficus lyrata, is among the most unique and eye-catching house plants.
In addition to their visual aesthetic benefit, they provide many other positive benefits, like increased air quality and general atmosphere-boosting capabilities!
However, if you have pets or little ones running around the house, one major question comes into play: Are fiddle Leaf Figs Toxic To Dogs? We explored this topic extensively to help settle these worries, so keep reading to discover what we discovered!
What Makes A Plant Toxic To Dogs?
Table of Contents
Understanding what makes a plant toxic to dogs is essential for pet owners who want to keep their furry friends safe and healthy.
By gaining a deeper understanding of plant toxicity, you’ll be better equipped to make informed decisions about the plants you bring into your home or garden.
Common Toxic Components In Plants
Plants produce various chemicals and compounds to survive in their environment. Some of these compounds are a natural defense mechanism against herbivores, pests, and other threats.
Unfortunately, these same compounds can also be toxic to dogs when ingested or, in some cases, when they come into contact with their skin.
These nitrogen-containing compounds often taste bitter and can affect dogs, such as causing gastrointestinal upset, muscle tremors, or even seizures.
These compounds consist of a sugar molecule bonded to another molecule, which can be mildly toxic when broken down in the dog’s body. They may cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and heart issues.
When ingested in plants like the Peace lily, oxalates can irritate dogs’ mouths, throats, and gastrointestinal tracts.
Essential Oils and Terpenes
These aromatic compounds are responsible for a plant’s unique scent and flavor. Some essential oils can be toxic to dogs, causing skin irritation, vomiting, and difficulty breathing.
Fiddle Leaf Figs And Toxicity
While these plants are a popular and aesthetically pleasing addition to our homes, it’s essential to understand fiddle leaf fig poisoning and the potential risks associated with these plants.
Toxic Components Found In Fiddle Leaf Figs
Like other members of the Ficus family, Fiddle Leaf Figs have a sap known as latex. This milky-white substance, including its leaves and stems, can be found throughout the plant.
The primary concern with this sap is that it contains compounds called calcium oxalate crystals, which make these plants toxic to dogs if ingested or come into contact with their skin.
Severity Of Toxicity In Fiddle Leaf Figs
Although Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant is considered toxic to dogs, it’s important to note that the level of toxicity is generally mild to moderate. The severity of the reaction will depend on the amount ingested, the size of the dog, and the individual dog’s sensitivity.
In most cases, dogs that chew on or ingest parts of a this plant containing calcium oxalate crystals will experience mild to moderate gastrointestinal and skin irritation. However, more severe symptoms may occur in rare cases or with large amounts ingested.
Comparing Fiddle Leaf Plant To Other Poisonous Plant Leaves
When assessing the risks of Fiddle Leaf Figs, it’s helpful to compare them to other common toxic houseplants.
For example, plants such as Sago Palms, Lilies, and Oleander pose a significantly higher risk to dogs, as they contain toxins that can cause severe or life-threatening symptoms.
In contrast, Fiddle Leaf Fig’s toxicity is generally less severe, with symptoms typically limited to gastrointestinal and skin irritation.
Nonetheless, taking precautions to prevent your dog from coming into contact with any toxic plant, including Fiddle Leaf Figs, is crucial.
Signs Of Fiddle Leaf Fig Poisoning
As pet owners, we must be vigilant and informed about the potential hazards our beloved furry friends may face, especially regarding houseplants.
With their impressive aesthetics, Fiddle Leaf Figs are a popular choice for interior decoration. Still, it is crucial to know about fiddle leaf fig poisoning and how it can affect our pets.
Ingesting Fiddle Leaf Fig leaves or stems can cause your dog to experience gastrointestinal distress. Some common fiddle leaf fig poisoning signs to watch for include the following:
Your dog may regurgitate the ingested plant material and show signs of nausea, such as drooling, lip-smacking, or swallowing excessively.
Eating Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant can lead to loose, watery stools. This may be accompanied by signs of discomfort, such as whining or straining.
Loss of Appetite
A dog who has ingested Fiddle Leaf Fig may show a reduced interest in food, even refusing to eat their favorite treats.
Skin Irritation Symptoms
The sap of Fiddle Leaf Fig contains certain compounds that can irritate when in contact with a dog’s skin. Symptoms of skin or oral irritation may include:
Your dog’s skin may appear red and inflamed, especially around the plant’s contact area.
Affected dogs may scratch or bite at the irritated area, leading to further discomfort and potential injury.
Sometimes, the skin may become swollen, especially if the dog has been repeatedly exposed to the plant’s sap.
While less common, respiratory symptoms can also occur in dogs who have ingested or been in close contact with Fiddle Leaf Figs. These may include:
Your dog may develop a persistent cough as their body tries to clear any ingested plant material from its airways.
Difficulty breathing, accompanied by wheezing, can signify a more severe reaction to the plant.
In some cases, dogs may exhibit a runny nose or discharge due to irritation from Fiddle Leaf Fig.
In rare cases, dogs may exhibit neurological symptoms after ingesting Fiddle Leaf Figs. These symptoms may be more severe and require immediate veterinary attention. They can include:
Involuntary muscle contractions or twitching can indicate your dog is experiencing neurological distress.
Affected dogs may struggle with coordination and balance, appearing unsteady.
Although uncommon, seizures can be a severe consequence of Fiddle Leaf Fig toxicity and should be treated as a medical emergency.
What To Do If Your Dog Ingests A Fiddle Leaf Fig
If your dog manages to ingest part of this plant, it is crucial to know how to respond appropriately to ensure their safety and well-being.
Immediate Steps To Take
Learn the first steps if your dog chews on Fiddle Leaf Fig, ensuring their safety and well-being.
While it’s natural to feel panicked, maintaining a sense of calm will help you assess the situation better and take appropriate action.
Remove Any Remaining Plant Material
Remove any leftover Fiddle Leaf Fig pieces from your dog’s mouth to prevent further ingestion.
Observe Your Dog
Keep an eye on your pet for any signs of distress or unusual behavior that may indicate a reaction to the plant. Note any symptoms that manifest, as this information will be useful when consulting with a veterinarian.
When To Contact A Veterinarian
Discover the importance of timely communication with a veterinarian and what information to provide in case of dog poisoning.
If you need more certainty about the severity of the situation or your dog begins to exhibit symptoms, feel free to contact your vet immediately.
Be prepared to provide the veterinarian with details about your dog’s size, weight, the approximate amount of plant ingested, and any symptoms observed.
Your veterinarian will let you know whether to bring your dog in for an examination or if it’s safe to monitor their condition at home. Always follow their recommendations.
Treatment Options And Prognosis
Understand the potential treatment options and the general prognosis for dogs that have consumed Fiddle Leaf Fig.
Sometimes, the veterinarian may instruct you to induce vomiting at home using hydrogen peroxide. However, this should only be done under the guidance of a professional.
Depending on your dog’s reaction severity, your veterinarian may recommend supportive care, such as IV fluids, to help manage symptoms and prevent dehydration.
In cases where the dog experiences severe gastrointestinal upset, the veterinarian may prescribe medication to alleviate discomfort and prevent further complications.
Most dogs recover well from Fiddle Leaf Fig ingestion with prompt and appropriate intervention. However, the prognosis can vary depending on the amount ingested and the individual dog’s sensitivity to the plant’s toxic components.
Prevention And Management Strategies
When it comes to our beloved pets, prevention is always better than cure. The best way to avoid harming your furry companion is to create a safe environment that minimizes the risks of toxic houseplants like Fiddle Leaf Fig.
Keeping Fiddle Leaf Figs Out Of Reach
One of the simplest methods to protect your dog from Fiddle Leaf Fig is to position the plant in an inaccessible area to your pet.
Consider placing your Fiddle Leaf Fig on a high shelf, hanging it from the ceiling, or using a tall plant stand. Remember that dogs can be curious and may jump or climb to reach interesting objects, so be sure to choose a location that’s truly out of reach.
Training Dogs To Avoid Certain Plants
Training your dog to stay away from specific plants is an effective way to prevent accidents. Use positive reinforcement techniques to teach your dog commands like “leave it” or “stay away.”
Begin by practicing these commands with non-toxic plants, gradually progressing to Fiddle Leaf Fig once your dog has mastered the commands. Consistent training will help your dog learn to avoid plants that can harm their health.
Using Deterrents To Prevent Chewing
Suppose your dog is particularly determined to explore your houseplants. In that case, you might consider using deterrents to discourage them from chewing on your Fiddle Leaf Fig. One option is to apply a bitter-tasting spray to the plant, making it less appealing to your dog.
You can also use physical barriers, such as pet gates or playpens, to create a designated pet-free zone for your plants.
Alternative Pet-Friendly Houseplants
If you’re concerned about the risks Fiddle Leaf Figs pose, you might consider swapping them out for pet-friendly alternatives. Many beautiful, non-toxic houseplants can add a touch of greenery to your home without putting your dog at risk.
Some popular options include the Spider Plant, Boston Fern, and Areca Palms. By choosing non-toxic plants, you can create a welcoming and safe environment for you and your pet.