Spider Plants & Dogs

Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum) can be grown outdoors year round in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11, though they are common houseplants. With their lush, green foliage striped with white, they can be attractive to both human and canine members of the household -- the latter to the detriment of the plant.

Spider Plant Toxicity to Dogs

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, spider plants are non-toxic to dogs. So if Fido eats your spider plant, he is generally safe from harm. However, ingestion of any plant material has the potential to cause an upset stomach -- if your pooch eats a lot of spider plant leaves, he may regurgitate them. This is normal and not a cause for concern.

Effects of Dog Urine on Spider Plants

Probably the biggest danger to your spider plant from your dog is an unscheduled watering. If you have a potted spider plant, you may find your male dog lifting a leg to urinate on it. Dog urine is mostly water, with other concentrated minerals and chemicals -- most of which have little effect on plants. The real danger to spider plants is the nitrogen contained in urine. In the right concentration, nitrogen can help plants develop bright, lush foliage. But the concentrated amount found in dog urine can cause leaf burns -- or worse, kill your spider plants.

Protecting Your Spider Plant From Dog Urine

Protecting your spider plant from your dog's urinary indiscretions can be as simple as moving the plant to a higher spot, such as a shelf or a hook, where your dog cannot reach it to pee on it. If that isn't possible, you may have to undertake the task of teaching your dog to avoid the plant. By keeping an eye on your dog when he's around your spider plant, you are placing yourself in a position to deliver a stern "No!" to your dog when he lifts his leg to pee on the plant. Firmness and consistency are key to driving home the message that your plant isn't to be toyed with.

Other Ways to Protect Your Plant

Your dog's urine isn't the only way he can damage the plant. Some dogs find potting soil the perfect medium for digging. Again, a firm and consistent training regimen will correct that behavior. But if that isn't working, you'll need to find a way to keep your spider plant separate from your furry best friend. If the weather is warm, you can place the plant outside, but if it's the dead of winter and you can't bear the thought of losing your plant to the elements, place the spider plant in a bird cage or under another protective cover that allows air and sunlight to the plant while keeping your dog out. You may find placing the spider plant in a room where your dog is not allowed is the only way to go.