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Are Ficus Trees Safe for Dogs?

Close up of a ficus tree

According to ASPCA, Ficus trees are not safe for dogs and can cause different health issues. The leaves of this species contain an irritating sap that affects the dog’s skin quite badly. It can also have a bad effect on the stomach of your pooch. Ficus poisoning can happen if a canine eats any part of these trees or come in contact with them.

Ficus Tree Information

Small ficus tree with it's shadow show on the white wall behind it.

The scientific name of this tree is Ficus Benjamina and it belongs to a family known as “Moraceae”. Ficus trees have the exceptional characteristic of being rubbery with silky leaves. They come in different shapes and sizes and belong to a genus of almost 850 species. It is a common household plant because it can be maintained easily.

The Ficus tree is also known as the Indian rubber tree because it originates from India. It is also found in Malaysia, and Southeast Asia and is commonly called “Benjamin Fig”. These trees can do quite well in warm temperatures because of their native environment and can’t endure cold temperatures.

Are Ficus Trees Safe for Dogs?

Golden retriever sitting next to a ficus tree it knocked over onto the floor.

No, Ficus is not safe for dogs. Despite being a popular household tree, it is not a good option for pet owners. The leaves and fruits of this tree contain a sap that has explicit enzymes which will result in ficus poisoning. This will usually result in serious stomach problems. Similarly, physical contact with ficus leaves can cause dermal irritation to the dogs.

Why is Ficus Toxic to Dogs?

The source of ficus intoxication in dogs is the digestion of leaves, fruits, and bark of this tree. It happens due to a specific sap which can lead to different health issues, like skin rashes and diarrhea. The following are two different types of ficus sap that can cause toxicity to dogs.

Ficin – Also known as “Proteolytic Enzyme”. Sap containing this enzyme can cause dermal irritation and rushes on the skin. It can also cause diarrhea and vomiting.

Ficusin – Also known as “Phototoxic Psoralen”. This sap can cause skin irritation and gastrointestinal suffering, like oral irritation and salivation to your pup.

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