How to Pet-Proof Your Plants

With spring finally here and summer on the horizon, our indoor and outdoor gardens are growing. Protecting our plants from our pets is one thing pet parents deal with regularly, but it’s also important to protect our pets from our plants. Not all plants are made equal when it comes to how safe they are for cats and dogs, so we’ve compiled some tips on how to keep your home green and pet-safe.

As a rule of thumb, do your own research on each individual plant you’re considering for your home. Ask the folks at Lowe’s or your favorite plant nursery if they carry any pet-safe plants, and when in doubt, a quick Google search should give you some peace of mind before purchasing. Your veterinarian should also be able to give you information about how to keep your home pet-friendly.

Popular plants toxic to cats and dogs include:

  • Asparagus fern
  • Aloe
  • Daffodil
  • Azalea
  • Tulip
  • Dumb cane
  • Amaryllis
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Sago palm
  • Certain herbs, like lavender and oregano
  • Certain succulents, like jade

It may be disheartening to learn that some of your favorite plants aren’t safe for cats and dogs, but a little extra time and research is worth the health and well-being of your furbabies. We’ve found some alternatives that are just as beautiful:

  • Boston, maidenhair, staghorn, and bird’s nest ferns
  • Air plants
  • African violet
  • Hibiscus
  • Spider plant
  • Prayer plant
  • Phalaenopsis orchid
  • Lace flower vine
  • Parlor palm
  • Certain herbs, like basil, sage, and thyme
  • Certain succulents, like hens and chicks, echeveria, and rosettes

As an added bonus, many of these alternatives are relatively low-maintenance plants, some only requiring low to medium light and weekly watering.

Still, if you must plant fairy rings of daffodils, or if you can’t let go of the healing powers of raw aloe, remember to closely monitor your pets around these plants. If possible, find locations for toxic plants that are inaccessible by your pets, giving special consideration to cat abilities.

The ASPCA keeps an index of the most-commonly reported plants toxic to pets. Common signs that a cat or dog has ingested a poisonous plant include difficulty breathing, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drinking, and an irregular heart beat.

If you think your animal has ingested a poisonous plant or other toxic substance, contact your veterinarian or ASPCA’s 24-hour emergency poison hotline at (888) 426-4435.

Pet Adoption Center Hours:

Tuesday-Friday Noon – 8 PM

Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM

Sunday 10 AM – 5 PM

Written by Annie B.


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