Pet-proofing your home is an important step in keeping your pet safe and healthy. As part of that pet-proofing process, you also need to review the house plants kept in your home, and make sure they’re safe to keep around your cat or dog.
While many house plants are perfectly safe, certain flowers, leafs and other parts of the plant may be toxic to your pet. The effects of ingesting or touching these plants can range from mild discomfort to potentially life-threatening toxicity, which means it’s crucial to keep poisonous plants away from your pets at all times.
To help you pet-proof your home and stock your living space with non-poisonous plants, we’ve put together a quick guide to help you understand which plants to avoid—and which ones you can safely adopt.
Which Common House Plants are Poisonous to Dogs and Cats?
While there are plenty of house plants that are safe for dogs and cats, some common house plants are a no-go if you plan on having a pet. Common house plants that may be poisonous to your dogs and cats include:
Keep in mind that this list is far from comprehensive. If you’re uncertain about any house plant currently in your home, or a plant you’re looking to buy, consult your veterinarian first to make sure the plant is safe for your dog or cat.
Are Hibiscus Flowers Poisonous to Dogs?
Fortunately, most hibiscus flowers are safe for dogs. Eating the flower petals won’t put them at risk of anything more than a mildly upset stomach, with one important exception: the Rose of Sharon hibiscus does have some toxic qualities that can harm your dog if ingested in large amounts.
Eating the Rose of Sharon hibiscus flower may cause your dog to experience nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. While it may be safe to have this plant in your home, you don’t want to leave your dog unmonitored in the same room as this plant. If your dog eats any of the Rose of Sharon’s purple-and-red petals, monitor them and call your vet’s emergency line.
Worried about your cat? Fear not: hibiscus flowers are perfectly safe for felines.
Are Stock Flowers Poisonous to Cats?
Stock flowers are a type of flower found in outdoor gardens, indoor potted plants, and floral bouquets. Because these flowers are edible—even to humans, in many cases—you may notice your cat nibbling on them from time to time.
Fortunately, stock flowers—which include Brompton stock, hoary stock, and gilly-flower, among others—pose no serious risk to cats or dogs. While consuming a large amount of these flowers could lead to stomach issues or other discomfort, these flowers are not toxic and are safe to keep in your home or garden.
Are Palm House Plants Poisonous to Cats?
Palm house plants are extremely popular indoor plants for their hardiness and low-maintenance needs. But as with any house plant brought into a home with pets, the safety of that plant around your pets needs to be taken into consideration.
The good news for people who love cats and palm plants: none of the palm house plants in your home are poisonous to your cats. The only type of palm plant you need to worry about isn’t actually a palm plant at all: the sago palm plant is technical a cycad, which is a different class of plant altogether, even though it looks like other palm plants.
Parts of the sago palm plant are extremely toxic to cats, and potentially fatal. Not only should you keep sago palms out of your house, you shouldn’t even touch a sago palm without wearing gloves or washing your hands afterward to ensure you don’t pass on any toxins to your cat.
Outside of the sago palm, you might consider tall palm plants if you’re looking for large indoor plants that are safe for dogs.
Easy Pet-Safe House Plants
Picking pet-safe plants may require a little research, but you still have plenty of options that will brighten your home without posing any risk to your pet. Some low-maintenance and pet-safe plants include:
- Perennial flowers. While tulips and lilies are a no-go, a number of perennial flowers are safe for dogs and cats. These include roses, bee balm, petunias, and jasmine, among others.
- Spider plants. While you don’t want your cat or dog eating these tough leaves, they aren’t toxic and won’t seriously harm your pet.
- Most ferns are safe and luscious plants to keep around your pets.
- With many types of plants to choose from, the bromeliad family is a great choice for dog and cat-friendly house plants.
- Herb plants. Basil, sage, thyme and other herbs are a pet-safe indoor plant that you can also cook with—and which will add a pleasant aroma to your home.
If you’re worried about exposing your pet to potentially toxic plants, you don’t have to choose between a beautiful, lush indoor environment and the warm company of your pet. Do your homework and choose plants that can safely co-exist with your cat or dog.