September 16th, 2019 | Updated on June 28th, 2022
Typically, a person’s pet is a loved and cherished member of the family. They are the furry children we love to have around, the ones who are always there ready with an enthusiastic greeting the minute we walked into the door; and the ones we go to for unconditional love and comfort.
We would do anything to keep them safe from harm and have measures in place to ensure their safety – fences in the backyard, the best food money can buy, vet visits and more but did you know that there is something residing in your home that can actually cause our furry friends more harm than good? Houseplants.
1. A Closer Look
While we love the lush green plants that trail down over the stand on which they are placed and enjoy nothing more than walking past our plants, catching a fresh, earthy scent on the air; they can actually be harmful to your pets. Dogs and cats are curious creatures and will investigate when something catches their eye.
They are like children in this sense and a child would also go to grab the leaves off the stems, pick the flowers or even try to ingest them. The consequences for a child after they accidentally ingested a plant could be quite different than the reactions of our pets.
There are multiple things in this world that are harmful to humans but not pets and vice versa. What is good for us (or at least items that are good to eat but not necessarily “good” such as chocolate) can have extremely negative effects on our pets. The same goes for children as certain things are not recommended to their diet before a certain age.
2. Negative Effects That Toxic Plants Can Have On Your Pets
We’ve talked about how certain plants can be toxic or harmful to your pets but we haven’t gone into detail of these symptoms. Certain reactions to harmful plants could include:
- Stomach issues – pets who ingest parts of a harmful plant (stems and/or leaves), the entire plant, or even the soil that the plant is housed in can experience stomach issues. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea could all be signs that your pet ingested something that they shouldn’t have.
- Fatigue and lethargic movements – pets who have ingested a harmful substance could show signs of lethargy or fatigue. They are not interested in playing or evening spending time with their family – they would prefer to be alone to recuperate.
- Severe reactions that would definitely require a vet visit ASAP would be if your pet starts vomiting blood, loses consciousness, and starts to foam at the mouth. Another sign would be if they lose the coordination in their limbs. This would mean a severe and possibly fatal reaction to a harmful substance and there are some plants that could cause this. This type of reaction could also be caused by ingested fertilizer or pesticides if they are used as they contain chemicals.
If you suspect your pet has ingested any part of a toxic plant or you are not sure if the plant is safe – contact your veterinarian for confirmation.
3. Harmful Plants
Now that we know what some of the harmful and devastating effects that certain plants could have your pets – it is important to know what plants have been proven to be so. The following are a selection of (but not all) harmful plants to your pets:
- Most common herbs – mint, parsley, etc.
- Most flowering plants – think tulips, daffodils, etc.
- Morning glory vines
- Aloe Vera plants
4. Top Pet Friendly Indoor Plants
Just because some indoor plants are harmful and toxic to your pets; it doesn’t mean that you have to give up having an indoor garden altogether.
It simply means that you have to change the plant types that are in accessible locations throughout your home and make some adjustments to where the harmful ones are being kept.
Some Of The Top Pet Friendly Indoor Plants Include But Are Not Limited To:
- Organic basil plants – while most herbs are toxic to pets; this one is actually safe.
- Boston Fern – this plant is safe for pets and it doubles as a beautiful hanging plant so it’s out of reach of them.
- The succulent family is entirely safe for pets and even children – Echeveria Succulents can be ingested without any harm whatsoever.
- African Violet plants are safe for your pets; some cultures even use the blooms for cooking, garnishing the plants and more.
- Christmas Cactuses – safe for both cats and dogs.
- Spider plants – safe for both cats and dogs.
As we’ve just discovered, indoor plants can actually be quite harmful to our pets; causing them unnecessary pain and illness.
We wouldn’t want to experience these intense negative reactions ourselves or witness our children going through it – so why would you want to take a chance on putting your furry family member through it?
If you have harmful plants in your home; there is no need to get rid of them completely but locations may have to change.
You’ll want to put these plants high enough that pets are unable to reach them (and keep in mind that cats are jumpers by nature) or move them to a room where your pets do not go.
Can’t find the pet friendly indoor plants you want at your local garden center or nursery? Then why not try your hand at growing your own? It doesn’t matter the season if you grow your own pet friendly indoor plants.
With the right set up and the proper grow light system (click to read more); you could be growing your own pet friendly pets in no time! You might even branch out to growing your own herbs and small vegetables for your family – time shall tell!