Is Mother In Laws Tongue Toxic to Your Pets?

Written by Ivy

Jan 17 2023

Is Mother In Laws Tongue Toxic to Your Pets?

A typical house and office plant known as mother-in-law's tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata) also goes by the names of the snake plant, good luck plant, and golden bird's nest. It frequently results in gastrointestinal symptoms (such as., drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.).

Common Signs to Watch For:

  • Drooling
  • Decreased appetite
  • Lethargy or depression
  • Vomiting

Are Mother-in-law's Tongue Poisonous Or Toxic?


The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) states that while Sansevieria exhibits low or no toxicity in humans, it is toxic to cats and dogs when used as houseplants.

The plant contains saponins, which act as fungicides and insecticides naturally.

Because they are poisonous to living things, these saponins can make people and animals throw up or have diarrhea after ingesting them.

In addition, dermatitis, a type of skin rash or irritation, is brought on by the plant's juices.

A severe allergic reaction that results in swelling of the tissues in the oral cavity and esophagus can occur in both humans and animals who chew or consume any part of these plants.

It may even be fatal for your pet if they consume the plant in large quantities.

What Parts of the Mother-in-Law's Tongue Plant Are Poisonous Or Toxic?

Every part of the plant contains saponin toxins.

Therefore, due to the poisonous nature of all snake plant parts, including the stiff, upright leaves, tiny white fragrant flowers, the long stem, and occasionally berries, pets and young children should avoid all of them.

What Are the Symptoms of Poisoning?

The plant is poisonous, and most animals stay away from it because of its bitter taste and burning sensation in the mouth.

Dogs and cats, on the other hand, are naturally curious and might be drawn to trying the plant.

Once the plant material and sap is ingested, small children and animals will start showing some common symptoms, such as:

  • Swelling on the lips, tongue, and mouth
  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite

Your pet may drool excessively as its salivation rises.

Due to the poison's harmful effects on the digestive system, which include foaming, blood cells burst and die as a result.

How to Protect Pet Owners from the Mother in Law's Tongue Plant?

The liquid from the snake plant's leaves can irritate skin, even though it is safe to touch it because the toxin only affects you when you eat it.

When repotting or working with the plant, gloves are recommended.

It is advised to keep the Mother-in-law's tongue, a common indoor plant, out of the reach of young children and pets, preferably on a high shelf.

In the event that your pet has bitten the plant, remove the bits of leaves from their mouth and call a veterinarian right away.

Contact the Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) if there is ever an animal poisoning emergency or if you are unsure of the symptoms.

Treatment options for a child or pet who has consumed a significant amount of poisonous plant material could include mouthwashing, inducing vomiting, or pumping the stomach to release its contents.

Other plants considered poisonous include:

  • Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia)
  • Philodendron
  • Pothos Plants
  • Poinsettias
  • Oleander Plant
  • Caladium

General Details on Mother-in-law's Tongue


Sansevieria trifasciata is one common variety. Sansevierias are recognized by a number of common names including:

  • Snake Plant
  • Bird's Nest Snake Plant
  • Saint George's sword
  • The Good-Luck Plant
  • African Spear Plant
  • Bowstring Hemp

The fact that the plant is a source of fiber used to make bowstrings is the reason it is also known as Viper's Bowstring Hemp.

Sansevieria trifasciata is the scientific name for the most well-known species.

This house plant is known for being extremely tolerant and low-maintenance. It is a native of tropical and sub-tropical regions of Africa, Madagascar, and Southern Asia.

The hardy Mother-in-law's tongue plant grows from 8" inches to 5' feet in height and withstands drought conditions and low light levels.

The succulent's long, stiff, thick leaves grow vertically and resemble an upright sword.

Although most species of Sansevieria have greenish-white flowers, some also have reddish-lilac or rose varieties.

The rhizomes and stolons enable the plantlets to continue growing even though the flowering shoots do not produce new leaves.

This plant appears to stand out among common house plants like the jade plant, peace lily, arrowhead, and weeping fig due to its dark green leaves with yellow, white, or gray stripes.

The mother-in-law's tongue plant is a decorative indoor plant that adds to the greenery of the modern interiors of modern homes and, as an added bonus, removes toxins from the air we breathe.

While snake plants are poisonous to animals, Sansevieria is safe for people.

Diagnosis of Mother-in-Law's Tongue Poisoning in Dogs

Your dog will first undergo a physical examination from your vet. She will be able to evaluate his symptoms and record any abnormalities in his vital signs as a result. The vet will look over the contents of your dog's vomit if it occurs while he is being treated at the clinic for an ailment. When a dog has diarrhea, a fecal sample may be collected, and tests may be run to rule out bacterial overgrowth or internal parasites.

A thorough examination of the internal organs' health will be provided to the veterinarian by blood work. A complete blood count (CBC) and chemistry panel will give the veterinarian the data they need to make an accurate assessment. To ascertain hydration status, a packed cell volume (PCV) test can be carried out. In order to further assess kidney function, your veterinarian may also perform a urinalysis if she deems it necessary. Take a piece of this plant with you to the vet's office if you think your dog bit your mother-in-law's tongue or if you saw your dog eating it. This will make it possible to accurately identify the plant your dog ate and the toxin it contained.


Treatment of Mother-in-Law's Tongue Poisoning in Dogs

Your dog's mother-in-law's tongue toxicity symptoms will dictate the course of treatment. If your dog isn't throwing up, the vet may induce vomiting to get rid of any leftover plant matter in the stomach. In order to absorb the remaining toxin before the body absorbs it, she might also decide to administer activated charcoal.

Fluid therapy with electrolytes will be initiated if your dog is throwing up and drooling. Any dehydration that your dog is experiencing will be treated with fluids to stop it from getting worse. Additionally, this will hasten the removal of the toxin from the body. The veterinarian will administer any additional therapeutic drugs as needed. The vet may give your dog an antiemetic if it is violently vomiting. Medication to safeguard the lining of the stomach and intestines may be administered if he is experiencing digestive distress.

Recovery of Mother-in-Law's Tongue Poisoning in Dogs

Depending on how much your dog ingested, mother-in-law's tongue toxicity can range from mild to moderate. The likelihood of a full recovery is good if only a small amount was consumed or if he vomited what he did consume. His chance of making a full recovery is less likely if he consumed a significant amount or if he didn't get veterinary care quickly enough.

Keep this plant out of your dog's reach if he enjoys eating leaves and other greenery. Even though it makes a beautiful indoor plant, it is not worth risking the health of your pet. Keep an eye on your dog when he is near the mother-in-law plant and teach him not to chew or eat any foliage. The most beneficial thing you can do for your dog is to avoid mother-in-law's tongue poisoning.


Cats should not consume mother-in-law's tongue. The organic chemicals known as saponins, which are present in every part of the plant, guard it against fungi, bacteria, and insects.