English Ivy and Pets – [ Toxic to Dogs & Cats? ]

Who doesn’t like flowers and plants? Well, they are a gift of nature, and everybody likes to see them. They make you feel fresh and the house looks very aesthetic. Millions of plants and flowers are present worldwide, having different types, shapes, sizes, and colors. They can be used both outdoors and indoors and look amazingly beautiful.

Running plants can easily cover the exterior structure of the buildings, such as walls, doors, ceilings, etc, and look aesthetically pleasing. English Ivy or Hedera Helix is one of them. They are mostly used outside because of their ability to grow and spread but can also be placed inside as an amazing indoor piece.

The English Ivy looks wonderful and has many benefits when it covers the exterior portion of the buildings. They are famously known for their temperature control abilities. They can keep the buildings warm in cold weather while protecting them from scorching heat in the summers. But as we all know, with good comes the bad as well. The Ivy’s can be poisonous sometimes, especially for your pets and children.

English Ivy and Pets

Based on our personal experience, we have gathered some information about how they are toxic to pets and what precautionary measures should be taken if you are both a pet and a plant lover and want to keep both of them in your house.

Why is English ivy poisonous?

English Ivy is commonly named Common Ivy and contains sapogenin and polyacetylene compounds. Both of these compounds are natural steroids and irritate the skin and mucous membrane. As they are a type of running plant, so they creep and spread fastly over one another. Their roots are sunken under the ground, so they can get fungus easily and decay. This makes them toxic for most of the pets and even some babies as well.

With the ability to grow rapidly, their seeds can spread, which might cause the death of some stray animals. The berries grown on the top of the leaves shall be removed as soon as possible. They can be more poisonous than the leaves. If eaten by mistake, the leaves can cause toxicity. So having this plant in the surrounding of your home can be dangerous for your pets if not taken care of properly.

Poisoning in Pets

The entire plant is toxic, but it is most concentrated in the leaves. Typically the nutrients travel upward from the roots to the leaves in many plants, but in ivy’s case, a harmful steroid is present in them. If you have pets in your home, i.e, cats and dogs, make sure they do not go near the plant. Keep them away from the plant pots or walls which have these laid on them.

If they accidentally swallow the leaf or the berries present on the top, they might experience allergic reactions such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, etc. In extreme cases, your dog or cat might end up in a coma or have paralysis. If something like this happens, the vet should be contacted immediately as the symptoms might vary.

Precautionary Measures

If you want to keep both the pets and the ivy, you need not worry about them. Follow these precautionary measures, and you will be good without giving up on any of them.

  •  If you have the Ivy’s outdoors, keep the pets inside.
  •  Please do not leave your pets unattended or restrict them to a certain area when you leave the house.
  •  The plant should be kept in a room that is not commonly used if placed inside the house.
  •  You can trim the plants from the bottom so that no one can reach them.
  •  If placed indoor, the pots can be labeled so nobody can touch them.
  •  You can hang them up with the ceiling so nobody is able to touch the plant pots.

By following these precautionary measures, you can easily keep both the plants and the pets together. You can even think of more ideas of preventing the interaction of your pets or children with these poisonous plants according to your convenience.


The English Ivy provides you with fresh oxygen and is often called a natural air filter. Common Ivy can make your home look even better. They can even help you to maintain the temperature while fluctuating under all weather conditions. These Ivy’s almost need very little or no maintenance. It would be best to grow them at the spot where the sunlight hits directly, and they will start growing rapidly, the branches crawling over each other. It is a natural resource that provides us with multiple benefits.

These plants have many advantages. You need not worry about having these in your home. If you are a plant lover and decide not to get the common ivy because they contain some naturally produced steroids, which might not be safe for the pets, this might not be a good decision. You can keep these plants while having the pets around. They will be of no harm if you be a little careful and follow some of the precautionary measures that have been mentioned above.