Most pets love exploring their territory and playing near plants, so it's important that pet owners are aware of the potential dangers posed by houseplants. There are many houseplants that pet owners enjoy without concern, but there are also many common houseplants that are toxic to pets.
Responsible pet owners should familiarize themselves with the differences between safe and dangerous plants for the well-being of their pets. Here are a few resources to help pet owners identify which plants are safe for a pet-friendly home.
Houseplants are attractive decorative items that improve air quality. Having pets doesn't have to mean avoiding houseplants. Pet owners can keep their greenery and their pets by sticking to the many popular and pet-friendly, non-toxic houseplants. Pet owners have their choice of non-toxic houseplants like button ferns, blue echeveria and golden palms. Pet owners seeking more exotic houseplants can also confidently decorate with bamboo, Christmas cactus and certain types of orchids. Other flowering plants like African violets and potted mini-roses are lovely and non-toxic ways to add color to a home.
When choosing safe houseplants, always remember to research new houseplants before introducing them to your home in order to ensure they are non-toxic and safe for your pet to be around. While many plants are equally non-toxic to dogs and cats, some plants cause different reactions. It's also important to keep in mind that individual pet reactions may vary and even non-toxic houseplants can be dangerous when consumed in large quantities by pets. If you're uncertain about a plant even after research, take additional steps to safeguard your pet by putting the plant out of reach or treating the plant with a pet-deterrent spray. If you are in the midst of home remodeling, New York has many home improvement pros that can help you.
- Non-Toxic Plants for Pets Database: The ASPCA provides a definitive database of non-toxic plants for pets.
- Non-Toxic Plants: This comprehensive list includes non-toxic plants that cause no systemic or gastrointestinal effects in animals.
- Common Plants and Toxicity: This document from UW Health provides in-depth information on the toxicity of common plants for people and animals as well as advice on handling pets around plants.
- Safety of Common Houseplants: This list from the Tortoise Trust states the safety levels of a number of common household plants.
- Plant Guide (PDF): The Indiana Poison Center has a handout listing indoor and outdoor plants that are toxic to people and pets, categorized by toxicity and environment.
- Pet Iguanas and Non-Toxic Plants: This guide helps iguana owners ensure that their houseplants are non-toxic.
- Misconceptions About the Toxicity of Poinsettias: This article explains the common misconception that poinsettias are harmful to pets.
- Safe Plants for Pet Birds (PDF): A bird rescue provides advice on safe houseplants for birds and debunks certain myths about toxicity.
- Poison Prevention (PDF): The "Spring Poisoning Hazards for Pets" article in this newsletter covers several popular houseplants that are safe for dogs and cats.
- Directory of Non-Toxic Plants: The Oklahoma State University Library provides a reference gallery of non-toxic plants.
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Many pet owners are shocked to learn how many common and seemingly innocuous houseplants are actually very dangerous for their pets. Consuming toxic plants can cause symptoms ranging from mild gastrointestinal distress to death. The actual level of danger will vary depending on the plant's toxicity and your pet's health and habits. Jade plants are well-liked for their attractive flowers and low-maintenance care, but despite its longstanding reputation as an ideal houseplant, this succulent can cause vomiting, ataxia and even depression in pets. Similarly, the ever-popular aloe vera plant is useful to homeowners but causes vomiting, diarrhea and a host of other dangerous symptoms in pets that have consumed it.
While actual bamboo is pet-safe, lucky bamboo is actually highly toxic to cats. This popular housewarming gift can be purchased at garden shops, gift shops and even drugstores and can be found in homes around the world. Lucky bamboo isn't related to non-toxic bamboo at all. It's actually a type of lily and all varieties of lilies are highly toxic to cats in both potted and cut form. Consuming any part of the lily can cause vomiting and sometimes fatal renal failure. Pet owners must be particularly vigilant during the holiday season, as mistletoe, holly, amaryllis bulbs and even Christmas trees can cause gastrointestinal issues and other serious health problems in pets. If you do plan on keeping any of the above listed plants in your home, consider hiring a Texas home improvement specialist to come in and install higher shelving that would keep them out of the reach of your pet.
- Potentially Poisonous Plants: The Humane Society provides a list of plants that may be harmful to your pet's health and specifies which parts of the plant are toxic to them.
- Pet Poisonings: This comprehensive article from the American Animal Hospital Association discusses preventing pet poisonings and includes a detailed section on plants, vegetables and flowers that are toxic to pets.
- Pets and Poisonous Plants: This informational column from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign's College of Veterinary Medicine discusses common plants that can cause harm to pets.
- Poisonous Houseplants Affecting Dogs: This page provides a partial list of common plants that are poisonous to dogs.
- Cats and Toxic Houseplants: This article explains the natural habits of cats around houseplants and provides a partial list of that are toxic to cats.
- Toxic Plants by Category: This page provides an outline of common, ornamental household plants that are toxic to pets.
- Rabbits and Toxic Plants: This extensive list covers plants that are toxic to pet rabbits in the home.
- Poisonous Plants (PDF): The Arizona Humane Society provides in-depth information on plants poisonous to pets.
Creating a pet-friendly home is important to keep your furry friend safe. Before purchasing plants for your home, be sure to research what can be the best choice for you and your pets.