Houseplants: Toxic and Non-toxic to your Pets

Hello All. I hope that the year 2020 has been treating you well so far. Crazy that we are already in the second month of 2020! The new year always brings new resolutions and hobbies. I decided to pick up a new hobby collecting houseplants. This new hobby kind of just sprung up on me, I told my husband and best friend that I needed to find something to do in my free time that makes me happy as I’ve been struggling with some health concerns. My friend brought up that she collects plants and it really piqued my interest. I investigated it more and after some research, I knew this is a hobby I’d thoroughly enjoy. Of course, having 6 pets made having houseplants a bit of a challenge as some plants are toxic to animals. This, of course, is a huge consideration when making plant purchases. As a beginner, it was a tad overwhelming, but now that I have quite the collection (up to about 50 plants as of today) I figured maybe there are some of you out there who aren’t aware of houseplants that can pose a huge risk to your four-legged babies. I want to inform you of those plants that can pose a risk to your pets, mainly cats and dogs. But I will also provide plants that are safe for your pets, so if consumed they are nothing to worry about.

Houseplants: Toxic and Non-toxic to your Pets Houseplants: Toxic and Non-toxic to your Pets

Toxic plants

Toxic plants tend to have a life-threatening effect through consumption of said plants. These plants can cause a variety of symptoms such as, vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, difficulty swallowing, lethargy, lack of appetite, organ failure, death and more. The severity and type of symptoms depends on the toxin present in each plant. So, it’s always important to do your own research so that you are aware of the risks when purchasing or receiving houseplants. Here are the topmost toxic houseplants to cats and dogs.

  • Alocasia
  • Aloe
  • Arrowhead
  • Asparagus Fern
  • Bay Laurel
  • Begonia
  • Bird of Paradise
  • Various Cacti
  • Calla Lily
  • Crotons
  • Cyclamen
  • Dieffenbachia
  • Dracaena Fragrans
  • English Ivy
  • Flame Lily
  • Jade Plant
  • Kafir Lily
  • Kalanchoe’s
  • Oleander
  • Peace Lily
  • Philodendron’s
  • Poinsettia’s
  • Potho’s
  • Sago Palm
  • Schefflera
  • Snake Plant’s
  • ZZ Plant

If you wish to keep plants that are on the toxic list, it’s best to keep them out of reach i.e in rooms pets aren’t allowed or high-up, such as shelves.

Non-Toxic Plants

Now that we discussed and listed toxic plants to your pets, let’s look at some plants that are non-toxic to your furry family members. Now although these are non-toxic, some of these plants can still have mild symptoms on your pets. For example, the Spider plant which gives off a hallucinogenic effect to cats much like cat nip does. Also, vomiting or mild gastrointestinal upset. But they do not present any life-threatening concerns. Here are the topmost safe houseplants for your pets.

  • African Violet
  • Airplant’s
  • Areca Palm
  • Baby Tears
  • Banana (Musa)
  • Basil
  • Boston Fern
  • Calathea’s
  • Bromeliad’s
  • Hawthoria’s
  • Holiday Cacti (Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving)
  • Spider Plant
  • Venus Flytrap
  • Maidenhair Fern
  • Parlor Palm
  • Parsley
  • Peperomia
  • Polka Dot plant
  • Royal Velvet Plant

 

There are still many toxic and non-toxic plants out there, but I outlined a handful.  Please do your research when adding Plants to your home, especially those with cats and dogs, to keep them safe and out of harm’s way. Some pets may leave your plants alone, but you never know if one day they decide to munch on a leaf. Always be informed of possible effects when purchasing various plants. If your pet/s ingest a plant and you are worried they are ill or have ingested a toxic plant, please reach out to the ASPCA 24-hour poison control hotline (1-888-426-4435) or contact your local emergency vet. Please also visit ASPCA’s website for in-depth list of toxic and non-toxic houseplants.

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