Plants and Pets: A Guide for Getting Pet Friendly Plants
Houseplants are not only beautiful, but they can also help you relax and sleep better. They brighten up any room or lone windowsill and some of them even purify the air for you! How many of your other décor choices can boast that skillset? The perfect gift! You can even buy custom flower pots. If you’re a pet owner though, one of the things you have to take into account when choosing houseplants is whether or not they are pet friendly plants. Many plants are toxic to pets and can cause serious health problems if ingested.
In this guide, we’ll talk about which plants are safe for pets and why, as well as which plants you should avoid if you have a pet. Without further ado, here we go!
Green is not always good – plants to avoid and why
When choosing plants for your home, there are a few things you need to consider if you have pets. The first is that not all plants are safe for pets. In fact, many common houseplants can be toxic to pets if ingested. Some of the most common toxic plants include:
– Peace lilies
– Azaleas or Rhododendrons
These plants can cause serious health problems in pets if ingested, including kidney failure, cardiac arrest and death.
Some people do keep these plants in their homes and simply put them out of their pets’ reach, but anyone who’s owned a rambunctious kitten knows that where interesting things to chew are concerned – they will be reached and they will be chewed. It’s best to simply avoid purchasing these plants altogether.
There are a few plant families to avoid. Some plants are harmless enough but have poisonous berries or flowers, and others are entirely poisonous.
Common toxins to look out for:
– Grayanotoxin: a neurotoxin (colloquially known as ‘mad honey’) which is found in Rhododendrons
– Saponins: a complex naturally-occurring compound (also referred to as triterpene glycosides) which is found in many plants, including aloe vera and yucca
– Solanine: a glycoalkaloid which is found in potatoes, eggplant and tomatoes
Be on the lookout for terpenes, glycosides and alkaloids – these are all common plant toxins that can spell disaster for your pets.
If you’re unsure whether or not a plant is safe for your pets, you should check if its leaves, its stem, its flowers or its berries contain these toxins.
In general, it’s best to avoid plants from the Solanaceae (nightshade) family as all parts of these plants can be toxic. The same goes for the Rutaceae (citrus) family – while the fruit may be safe for pets, the leaves and stems are not.
Another thing to consider when choosing houseplants is that even non-toxic plants can cause problems for pets if they eat too much of them.
Pets can also have allergic reactions to certain plants, so it’s always a good idea to do your research before bringing any new plant into your home. And then maybe put these on that shelf no one can reach.
What if my pet does ingest something toxic?
If you suspect your pet has ingested anything suspicious or toxic, call your vet or the emergency animal poison hotline in your country immediately.
Symptoms to be on the lookout for include:
– Lack of appetite
– Tremors or shaking
– Excessive drooling
– Difficulty walking or paralysis of any kind
Yes, some of these symptoms can be caused by other things and are not always a sign that something is terribly wrong. It’s just a good idea to err on the side of caution, so give your local vet a call and just make sure. Now, moving on from the doom and gloom – it’s time for all the plants that you can have!
Pet friendly plants
Here are some pet-friendly non-toxic houseplants that you can add to your decor without fearing for your furry friend’s well-being:
– Spider Plant
– Boston Fern
– Bamboo Palm
– African Violet
– Moon Orchid
– Blue Echeveria
These plants are all non-toxic to pets and are also unlikely to cause allergic reactions. Most of them are also relatively easy to care for, so they’re a great option for beginner plant parents!
So, now you know which plants to avoid when decorating your home with pets in mind. But that doesn’t mean you have to forgo adding greenery altogether – there are plenty of safe and easy-to-care-for pet friendly plants out there that will brighten up your space. Some of our favourites include the spider plant, Boston fern, bamboo palm and blue echeveria. And don’t forget about indoor flowers! A few well-placed blooms can really brighten up a room. Just be sure to avoid any poisonous berries or flowers and do your research before bringing any new plant into your home.