Dog with plants around

What plants are toxic to pets?

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The use of plants as decorations is popular in interior design. Plants are a great way of making any room in your house feel cozier and full of life with minimal effort. Plus, indoor plants have many health benefits, such as reducing stress and anxiety, improving sleep, and purifying the air. 

Choosing the best plants for your home is a simple task. A simple trick is to choose plants that you find visually appealing but easy to care for. However, if you have pets at home, you must make a careful decision because some plants are toxic for dogs, cats, and other furry pets. 

Plants and pets

Taking care of plants while having pets at home is a challenging task. Even hard-to-kill plants require constant maintenance, from ensuring they’re getting enough light to watering them whenever needed. And sometimes pets can make this task harder. Fortunately, here are three tips to ensure pets and plants can peacefully coexist in your home.

  • Create some space. The best way to keep your plants safe from your pets is to create a physical separation. For example, you can keep your plants in a separate room or just put them out of your pets’ reach to prevent accidents.
  • Provide an alternative. It’s natural for your pets to feel drawn to your plants. A great way to ensure they don’t destroy your plants is to give them something else to distract themselves with. Some examples include growing catnip or grass that’s safe for pets and buying toys like scratch posts or chewing bones.
  • Avoid harmful plants. Believe it or not, there are numerous toxic plants for pets. The best way to avoid accidents is to fill your house with plants that aren’t harmful, in any way, to your pets. Keep reading to learn what are the best pet-friendly plants!

Top 10 poisonous plants for pets

According to the ASPCA, consuming any kind of plant can cause mild reactions in dogs and cats, such as vomiting and upset stomach. However, numerous plants can cause more serious and even lethal reactions in our pets. Below you’ll find the top 10 toxic plants for pets and the symptoms your pets may experience if they consume them.

Lilies

Lilies

Lilies are considered highly poisonous plants for cats and dogs. This includes all varieties of lilies, such as the lily of the valley, the peace lily, and the easter lily. The ingestion of even small amounts of these plants can cause severe kidney damage.

Sago Palm 

Sago Palm 

This indoor palm tree can cause symptoms such as vomiting, seizures, liver failure, and even death. Although all parts of the sago palm are toxic to dogs and cats, the seeds contain the biggest amount of toxins. A great alternative is the parlor palm, a similar, pet-safe indoor plant.

Tulips

Tulips

Tulips are highly poisonous plants for dogs. The bulbs of these spring-blooming flowers contain toxins that can cause loss of appetite, stomach aches, convulsions, and even cardiac abnormalities. 

Azaleas

Azaleas

Like any other members of the Rhododendron family, azaleas contain grayanotoxins that can produce vomiting and general stomach upset in dogs. Severe azalea poisoning can be lethal. Some pet-friendly plants to use instead of azaleas are the Mount Laurel, the Garland Flower, and the Japanese Rose, are pet-friendly plants to use instead of azaleas.

English Ivy 

English Ivy 

The Hedera helix, or English Ivy, is toxic for dogs and cats. This plant contains toxins that can cause vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Pet-safe plants you can use instead are the climbing hydrangea, the trumpet creeper, and the passionflower vine.

Pothos

Pothos

This popular household plant belongs to the Araceae family. When ingested, it can cause irritation and swelling of the gastrointestinal tract in dogs and cats.

Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum, along with all other members of the Compositae family, contains pyrethrins. These toxins can cause stomach upset, excessive drooling, and vomiting in pets. Some great alternatives to chrysanthemums are asters, hydrangeas, and succulents.

Cyclamen

Cyclamen

This kind of plant contains a toxin called cyclamen that, when ingested, can cause gastrointestinal irritation, drooling, and vomiting in dogs and cats. Because the toxins are typically located in the plant’s roots, eating them can affect your pet’s heart rate and even be lethal. 

Philodendrons

Philodendrons

All philodendron varieties are popular household plants because of their heart-shaped leaves and long vines. However, these plants are harmful to dogs. They contain calcium oxalate crystals, which can irritate your pet’s mouth and lip and cause excessive drooling.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera

This popular succulent plant is highly toxic to dogs. Aloe vera contains a toxin called saponin, which can cause excessive vomiting, diarrhea, and low blood sugar. If these symptoms are not treated immediately, the result can even be fatal. The good news is that you can choose other similar pet-friendly succulents instead.

The best nontoxic plants for pets

Although there are many plants that are toxic for cats and dogs, there are also many pet-friendly alternatives you can use instead. Below are six nontoxic plants for pets you can use to decorate your home.

  • Boston Fern. This popular household plant grows lush fronds with little care. It grows better in a humid environment and requires indirect sunlight. It’s perfect for bathrooms, living rooms, and studios.
  • Haworthia Succulent. This succulent is an excellent alternative to aloe vera. Not only is it pet-friendly, but it’s very low-maintenance. It requires minimal watering and lots of light.
  • Parlor Palm. The parlor palm is nontoxic for cats and dogs, unlike other palms. Its tall, elegant leaves make it the perfect indoor tree to keep in your living room.
  • Gloxinia. This flower belongs to the Sinningia family. Gloxinia flowers are easy to grow and care for, and their colorful petals make them a great addition to any room.
  • Spider Plants. These kinds of plants grow long, striped leaves, making them the perfect centerpiece for any room. Not only are they pet-friendly plants, but they’re also tough to kill, so they’re perfect for beginner gardeners!
  • African Violet. If you’re looking for pet-safe plants to add color to your bedroom or living room, this kind of violet is perfect. This plant is very low-maintenance, so it’ll be easy to care for even if you don’t have a green thumb.

Decorating your home with plants is a great idea. But if you have pets, it can be a little trickier. You will have to select only pet-friendly plants, and you’ll have to figure out the best way to organize the plants according to your pet’s needs. Although caring for both plants and pets can be tricky, it’s not impossible. And trust me, it will be worth it!


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