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House Plants: Which Ones Are Pet Safe?

February 22, 2024

We know that you would never do something to intentionally hurt your pets, but one of the biggest mistakes pet owners make is not checking to see if their houseplants are safe and non-toxic for their furry friends. Even if you have well-trained animals who have never given your plants a second look, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.  

Before we give suggestions for safe and beautiful plants you can have in your pet-friendly home, here are a few common houseplants that you may not know pose a danger to your four-legged friends. 

5 Toxic Houseplants to Keep Away From Your Pets

1. Aloe

While an aloe plant can have several healing benefits to humans, it contains saponins, which are toxic to both cats and dogs. If you keep this in your home, make sure it isn’t in a place where your animal can access it. 

2. Lilies

While perhaps one of the most gifted plants each spring, most types of lilies pose a serious danger to cats and a few types (like calla lilies) are also toxic for dogs. The pollen alone can be dangerous for your cats, so we recommend not even bringing these into your home if you have a feline friend.  

3. Heartleaf Philodendron

Though the philodendron looks like a typical, green-leafed potted plant, it contains insoluble calcium oxalates that can cause allergic reactions in both cats and dogs if the leaves are ingested. 

4. Jade

These small plants with their rubbery appearance are popular to keep in the home, but doing so could harm your pets. While the toxic principle in jade is unknown, it causes vomiting and depression in dogs and cats. 

5. Asparagus Fern

Ferns are low-maintenance plants, which seemingly make them the perfect household plant, unless you have pets. Just contact with the leaves can cause dermatitis in both cats and dogs. 

For a complete list of plants that are toxic to pets, visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control page for more information. While the pages of results may seem overwhelming at first, don’t worry—there are still plenty of houseplants that can live harmoniously with your pets. 

5 Houseplants That Are Safe for Your Pets

1. Spider Plants

These plants are popular for their cascading appearance and ability to produce “baby plants” that can be clipped and repotted on their own. Another reason for spider plants’ popularity is that they are completely non-toxic to pets. 

2. Phalaenopsis Orchids

Though their elegant and tropical appearance may cause some pet owners to worry about toxicity, orchids are perfectly safe to have in your home with your pets. Plus, as a bonus, their low-maintenance watering needs make them the perfect choice for a busy household. 

3. Areca Palms

While some palms (like the sago palm) pose a threat to pets, an areca palm is a safe and stylish solution if you want to add some warm-weather vibes to your home without risking your pet’s health. 

4. Baby Rubber Plants

If you want to achieve that same rubbery appearance of jade without causing your pets harm, a baby rubber plant is the plant for you. Like orchids, they need very little water and are relatively low maintenance. 

5. Calathea

Known for their beautiful leaves, Calatheas, also known as prayer plants, can add an element of intrigue to any room in your home. Luckily, you won’t have to worry if your pets also find your prayer plant intriguing—they’re completely non-toxic. 

Remember: When it comes to the health of your plants and your pets, it’s always better to play it on the safe side. Double-check the toxicity of a plant before bringing it into your home and choose one of our five safe options above for worry-free decorating.

Plus, even pet-safe plants shouldn’t be ingested – because you never know if your pet could still have an allergy or reaction. If you have an extremely curious dog or cat, we recommend keeping your plants far enough away from them, so they don’t go exploring on their own!  

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