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Is Fig Tree Plant Safe for My Pets?

Updated: May 1, 2022

If you are a pet owner and a plant lover, you may be wondering if fig tree plants are safe for your pets. The answer is not straightforward as it depends on several factors. In this article, we will explore the safety of fig tree plants for pets and what precautions you should take to keep them safe.

Understanding Fig Tree Plants

Fig trees have been cultivated for centuries for their fruit, which is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients. Fig tree plants are popular indoor plants because of their attractive foliage and ease of care. They are native to warm regions such as Asia, Africa, and South America.

There are different species of fig trees, including the common fig (Ficus carica), rubber plant (Ficus elastica), and fiddle-leaf fig (Ficus lyrata). These plants contain a milky sap that can be irritating to the skin and toxic if ingested.

Toxicity of Fig Tree Plants

Fig tree plants contain a substance called ficin, which is a proteolytic enzyme that can break down proteins. Ficin can cause gastrointestinal upset, vomiting, and diarrhea in pets if ingested. In severe cases, it can even lead to liver and kidney damage.

Moreover, the sap of fig tree plants can cause skin irritation and dermatitis in pets if they come into contact with it. The sap contains latex, which is a common allergen in both humans and animals.

Factors Affecting Safety

The toxicity of fig tree plants depends on several factors:

  • Species: Not all species of fig trees are toxic to pets. While the common fig is safe for pets, other species such as the rubber plant and fiddle-leaf fig are toxic.
  • Part of the plant: Different parts of the plant contain varying levels of toxicity. For example, the fruit and leaves of the common fig are safe for pets to eat, but the sap and stem can cause irritation and toxicity.
  • Quantity: The amount of plant material ingested is a crucial factor in determining the severity of toxicity. A small amount may cause only mild symptoms, while a large amount can be fatal.

Precautions for Pet Owners

As a pet owner, there are several precautions you can take to keep your pets safe around fig tree plants:

  • Identify the plant: Make sure you know the species of your fig tree plant and whether it is toxic to pets. If you are unsure, consult a veterinarian or a horticulturist.
  • Place the plant out of reach: Keep the plant out of your pet’s reach, especially if you have a curious cat or a teething puppy. Consider placing it on a high shelf or hanging it from the ceiling.
  • Train your pet: Train your pet not to chew or eat plants. Provide them with safe and appropriate toys and chews to satisfy their chewing needs.
  • Monitor your pet: Keep an eye on your pet when they are around the plant. If you notice any signs of ingestion or irritation, contact your veterinarian immediately.


In conclusion, fig tree plants can be toxic to pets, depending on the species, part of the plant, and quantity ingested. As a responsible pet owner, it is essential to identify the plant, place it out of reach, train your pet, and monitor them when around the plant. By taking these precautions, you can enjoy the beauty of fig tree plants while keeping your pets safe.


What should I do if my pet ingests fig tree plant material?

If your pet ingests any part of the fig tree plant or shows signs of irritation, contact your veterinarian immediately. They may recommend inducing vomiting or providing supportive care.

Can I use fig tree leaves or stems as a bedding material for my pet?

No, fig tree leaves or stems should not be used as bedding material for pets. The sap can cause skin irritation and toxicity.

Are all species of ficus plants toxic to pets?

No, not all species of ficus plants are toxic to pets. It depends on the species, part of the plant, and quantity ingested. Consult a veterinarian or a horticulturist if you are unsure about the safety of a plant.