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Is Chinese Evergreen Pet Safe? (Dogs, Cats & More)

Chinese evergreen is a beautiful foliage plant that is good for beginner plant owners, but if you have pets in the house, you want to know if Chinese evergreen is toxic to pets or not.

So, in this article, we shall discuss, is chinese evergreen pets safe or not.

All parts of Chinese evergreen, including the stem, leaves, and roots, are mildly toxic for pets. The sap of Chinese evergreen contains calcium oxalate crystals that can cause oral irritation, vomiting, drooling, and diarrhea in your pets. If your pet has ingested it, rush them to a vet immediately.

Like the other plants of the Araceae family, Chinese evergreen plants release calcium oxalate crystals that can cause both external and internal issues in your pet.

But the good news is you can keep a Chinese evergreen in your house even if you own a pet. You just need to know where to place the plant so that your pet can’t reach the plant.


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Is the Chinese evergreen toxic?

Chinese evergreen is a tropical plant that can be toxic for humans and pets. According to ASPCA, Chinese evergreen is toxic to cats, dogs, and horses.

If your pet comes in touch with the Chinese evergreen, it can develop skin irritation. If it ingests any part of the plant, it can experience oral irritation and other internal problems.

The sap of the plants of the Araceae family contains calcium oxalate particles that make the plants toxic. When your pet takes a bite, the sap flows out, and the particles cause skin and oral irritation on the surface.

If your pet consumes any part of your Chinese evergreen plant, it can get into the body and cause vomiting, diarrhea, and in rare cases, nausea or difficulty breathing.

If you notice any uncommon behavior in your pet, you must take it to the vet without trying anything yourself.

Chinese evergreen toxic to pets

Chinese evergreen is toxic for pets and can cause severe issues if your pet ingests a large amount of it.

Some signs you might notice in your pets are:

  • Oral irritation
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pawing at the mouth

It can take 3-4 hours to see these reactions in your pets when they consume the plant.

Touching the plant or taking a small bite might not cause any severe issues, but consuming a larger amount can lead to more severe problems in your pets.

Is Chinese evergreen toxic to dogs?

All parts of the Chinese evergreen plant contain calcium oxalate particles that lead to all the irritation and internal problems. Usually, your dog will not consume a large amount, but you must take it to the vet if it does.

When your dog nibbles and consumes a large part of this plant, it experiences severe irritation and pain in the mouth and the gastrointestinal tract. This is why you must not do anything yourself and consult an expert.

You can see a wide range of problems in your dog after consuming the Chinese evergreen plant. Some of the problems are:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Swelling on the lips and tongue
  • Vomiting
  • Drooling
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Husky barking
  • Enlarged eyes
  • Numbness on the area exposed to the plant parts

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How to treat a dog with Chinese evergreen poisoning?

If you doubt that your dog has consumed the Chinese evergreen plant, take a look at the plant first and try to find leaves with signs of bites.

Upon confirming, you need to take your dog to the vet. You can’t treat a dog with Chinese evergreen poisoning at home yourself.

However, if your dog has consumed a small amount, you can rinse the mouth and other contact areas with clean and cool water. You can even put some ice in a bowl of water and offer it to your dog, which can ease the pain.

But the next thing you need to do is leave for the vet.

The vet will look at all the symptoms your dog shows and start the treatment according to that. If there are chances of dehydration, the vet will put your dog on fluid treatment.

The vet will also provide medications to treat gastrointestinal problems.

The vet can keep your dog under observation until it shows signs of recovery and the swelling starts reducing.

Is Chinese evergreen toxic to cats?

Yes, Chinese evergreen is toxic to cats. The same toxic Calcium oxalate crystals that affect the dogs also affect the cats and make the plant toxic.

Your cats can show different signs at different stages of Chinese evergreen poisoning. Some usual signs include:

  • Drooling
  • Oral irritation
  • Swelling of lips, tongue, and throat
  • Choking
  • Difficulty in swallowing

But if your cat consumes large amounts of the plant, you’ll notice:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Digestive issues
  • Fast gasps

There can be more severe signs if your cat consumes a lot from the Chinese evergreen plant. It can cause:

  • Convulsions
  • Coma
  • Kidney failure
  • Even death!

How to treat a cat with Chinese evergreen poisoning?

Don’t panic if your cat has ingested the Chinese evergreen and is showing signs. You must instead start the treatment.

Rinse the mouth of your cat with clean water and give it food like milk, cheese, or yogurt. The calcium in these foods can break the calcium oxalate crystals and reduce the pain.

After this, take your cat to the vet. Your cat can take some time to recover, such as 12-24 hours. However, it can take even more time if the problems are more severe.

If your cat shows signs like diarrhea or vomiting, there are chances of dehydration, and the vet will put the cat on fluid treatment.

In case of other severe issues such as breathing problems, the vet will keep your cat under observation till it starts recovering.

How to keep your pets away from the Chinese evergreen?

As I mentioned already, although Chinese evergreen is not pet-friendly, you can still keep it in the house without causing any harm to your pet.

You need to find a spot for your Chinese evergreen plant that your pets can’t access. Here are some ways of keeping your pets away from your Chinese evergreen.

1. Plant terrarium

You can get a plant terrarium and keep your Chinese evergreen plant inside it.

Closed terrariums are closed areas, mostly made of glass, and you can place your Chinese evergreen inside it. There are different types of terrariums available for different plants these days.

You can get a tropical terrarium for your Chinese evergreen as it is a tropical plant.

You can even make a terrarium yourself with glass or plastic. Terrarium provides other benefits besides keeping your plant protected from pets.

2. Pet repellents

You can use natural and safe pet repellents to keep the pets away from the Chinese evergreen.

Adding coffee grounds to the soil is an excellent way of keeping the cats and dogs away from your Chinese evergreen. Coffee grounds give out a pungent smell that cats and dogs don’t like.

You can use repellent sprays with marigolds and citronella and spray it on your Chinese evergreen. This should keep the pets away from the plant.



3. Use a separate room

Keep your Chinese evergreen in a separate room, and don’t allow your pet to enter that room.

Make sure that the room provides enough light, temperature, and humidity to your Chinese evergreen so that it can thrive.

4. Train your pets

You can train your pets and make them stay away from your Chinese evergreen. 

It can be tricky to train your cat, and training your dog will be easier than that. You can give your pet treats every time it stays away from the plant.

5. Use height

You can use hanging baskets or shelves to keep your Chinese evergreen out of the reach of your pets. However, be careful as cats can jump and reach high places.

You need to find a spot where your cat can’t reach even by jumping.

6. Use stones

Many people consider adding stones around the plant and mulch on the soil. Cats don’t like walking over stones, so this should keep them away from the plant.

This might not be very effective for dogs, but they might still not find it pleasant to walk over the stones.

Final words

Chinese evergreen is not pet-friendly, but it doesn’t mean you can’t keep it in your house if there are pets. You must find ways to keep the plant out of the reach of your pet.

If your pet consumes any part of the plant by mistake, rinse its mouth and the affected areas before taking it to the vet.

Don’t try to do anything else on your own and take your pet to the nearby vet. The vet will start the treatment based on the signs that your pet gives out.

Chinese evergreen is a stunning tropical plant that is easy to care for and grow. If your pet scratches the plant or nibbles on it, it not only harms your pet but also causes stress to the plant.

So keeping both away from each other is vital for the well-being of both the pet and the plant.

Also read: 21 Best Pet Safe Indoor Plants(+Basic Care Guide)


Reference: Also read: Houseplants and OrnamentalsPet poison online, Toxic plants, and companion animals.