A Pet & Plant Lovers Guide for the Home
Plants add a breath of life into any living space and the botanical craze has driven many of us to immerse our homes in greenery! With plant shops and boutiques becoming more prevalent, many of us are finding joy in curating and caring for these living creatures. In fact, in 2019 it was calculated that 66% of consumers in America own a houseplant! Some even say plants are the new pets and pets are the new kids. Plants make us feel more peaceful, boost our mood, and do wonders for the air quality in our homes.
However, if you have a pet, choose your plants wisely and place them strategically to keep both your pets and plants safe from harm! Because puppies “check out” everything with their mouths, it is dangerous to keep plants accessible to our four-legged friends. Many common house plants can be toxic. Be sure you are aware of which plants are non-toxic to pets.
Also be aware that many soils can contain toxic fertilizer, additives, and pesticides. If your pet nibbles on the dirt this can be very harmful to them, especially those with nitrogen, potassium, and iron. These basic additions can cause gastric upset, drooling, diarrhea, and vomiting. Those that have insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides can be extremely toxic and potentially lethal.
The solution? Try your best to stick to pet-safe plants. If you just can’t keep your paws off some of the more risky beauties, be sure to place the plants in areas that your puppies won’t reach. Use stands, stools, tables, shelves, or even stylish macrame plant hangers to keep your pets from destroying them and potentially hurting themselves.
What does Non-Toxic really mean?
Even though these plants are not fatal to pets, they can still cause stomach cramps, diarrhea, and intestinal issues. Even if a house plant is nontoxic, that doesn’t guarantee it won’t cause digestive disruption if eaten. The best practice is to keep them all up and away!
10 Pet Safe Houseplants
These are some of the most beloved and best pet-safe houseplants.
Spider Plants are easy to grow indoors and incredibly resilient, a favorite among veterinarians for pet-safe plants! They are considered hardy and very stylish.
The Money Tree is probably the best bet if you’re looking for a larger pet-safe houseplant. Money trees have many legends about them in Chinese culture, including the tale of a very poor farmer who was very down on his luck and spirit. One day, he found a very interesting plant with braided trunks. Upon inspecting the plant, he found it to be very hardy and resilient and took this as a lesson that he as well should learn to be resilient and strong. From the seed of this miraculous plant, he grew more of them and sold them. Thus, the legend of the Money Tree was born!
Swedish Ivy or Creeping Charlie
Creeping Charlies are pet-safe plants that are great to keep around for their beautiful green foliage. It is an ideal house plant due to its fast, trailing growth and easy to care for requirements.
The Burros Tail is an amazing and unique-looking succulent. These plants feature long, trailing tails plated with leaves that are completely safe for cats and dogs. They have minimal water needs and resilient attitudes.
If you are looking for a small tree to add to your pet-friendly plant collection, this one is low maintenance and great for beginners. Easy care and a beautiful tropical look!
Cast Iron Plant
This plant has an elegant, traditional look. It is medium-sized and safe for cats and dogs. An extremely hardy plant that withstands dramatic temperature changes.
Also known as the sword fern, these plants look amazing in a hanging basket!
These small houseplants produce clusters of white, blue, or purple flowers over fuzzy leaves that are non-toxic to animals. The vibrant, perennial flowers add a nice touch of color to any indoor space.
Also known as the Elephant’s Foot, the Ponytail Palm is one of the best air purifying house plants for pet-friendly homes.
Also known as a Splash Plant, this household stunner provides a splash of brilliant color to any room. They are non-toxic but can cause mild vomiting if ingested.
10 Pet Safe Garden Plant
Here are some of our favorite pet-safe garden plants:
Many Herbs are great to plant for yourself and will not harm your pets if nibbled on or digested. There are some that can be toxic like Chamomile, Chives & Garlic.
Lavender is famous for its fantastic scent that promotes relaxation and stress relief. This herb plant is hardy too!
Another herb that can grow into a wonderful bush. When your pets brush past, the aroma is amazing and will leave your pets smelling good too!
This is a completely harmless herb plant that has anti-inflammatory properties.
Although not edible, the Buddleja bushes are nontoxic, and your pets will enjoy following the bright colors of the butterflies fluttering around.
The Camelia is a beautiful flowering shrub that comes back with little effort once well established.
Marigolds are a form of natural pest control in the garden. This dog-safe plant deters beetles and other harmful bugs from eating your veggie plants.
Daisies are drought tolerant once established and fall under the dog safe category.
Sunflowers are not only safe for pets, but they are also extremely hardy and can withstand summers in Arizona. They grow up to several feet tall!
These vibrant flowering plants consist mostly of shrubs or small trees. The flowers are supposed to have a sweet taste so don’t be surprised if your dog takes a nibble!
Gardening outside can also be so much fun with your dog or puppy, especially if they like to dig! You can have them help dig your holes when you’re planting, or you can set up a special area specifically designed for them to dig in. You may want to fence off a portion of your garden specifically for your dog to enjoy as a special place just for them. Bury toys and fun things that will keep them occupied whilst you do your gardening chores.
Our garden and yards are an oasis for us and our beloved furry four-legged family members. When designing the botanical landscape, you should also choose non-toxic, pet-friendly plants or keep those dangerous plants fenced off if that is not possible. Sometimes, we have existing plants that are hard to get rid of, such as Oleanders. In this case, be sure to supervise your puppy around these plants and do your best to discourage them from even sniffing the plant.
Correcting Pets Around Plants
If you correct them around plants enough, they can begin to understand they need to leave them alone! When it comes to corrections, it is important to be quick and direct. Deliver a strong “NO” or “ANGH” sound as soon as they begin engaging with a plant, whether it’s a sniff or a bite. There are pet correctors out there that deliver a startling sound that can be quite effective in deterring plant curious pets. You may also consider an apple bitter spray or other taste deterrents.
If you have pets, think about plants that have thorns and spikes and avoid these completely in areas they enjoy to play. You don’t want a thorny cactus in the path of a puppy! There are several other factors to consider when it comes to the safety of your pets in the yard. Read our blog about setting up a dog-friendly backyard.
Toxic Garden Plants
Many common plants when eaten in large quantities can be lethal to dogs including:
- Sago Palm
Enjoy and keep your pets safe around plants!