It’s nice to have some greenery around the house. Plants make a space feel inviting, with some even adding a gentle natural fragrance to your home. But what happens when the dog inevitably scratches or nibbles at your plant? Even the most well-behaved dog is bound to be curious when they see and smell something new.
Many plants are toxic to animals, and some of the flowers you think are beautiful could be harmful to your dog. Thankfully, there are also plenty of pet-safe plants that are beautiful, easy to maintain indoors, and virtually harmless to your pet.
Keep in mind that dogs and cats tolerate things differently. A plant that is harmless to dogs may be harmful to cats. If you’re in a multi-pet household, you’ll need to make special considerations when it comes to pet-friendly plants.
What Large Plants Are Dog Friendly?
Sometimes, a large dog-safe plant really transforms a space. Tall plants can make a room feel more spacious from room to ceiling. If you’re looking to incorporate a few larger, dog and cat-friendly houseplants into your home, add these to your shortlist of considerations.
Dwarf Magnolia Trees or Magnolia Bushes
Smaller varieties of magnolias can thrive indoors if given proper care. They’re beautiful to look at, and when they bloom, they fill the air with a light and fresh floral aroma. Magnolia trees have dark green leaves with colorful golden and red-hued patterns, and their flowers are white. Their neutral palette makes them a great fit for almost any home decor scheme.
Parlor Palm Trees
Most people don’t associate palm trees with houseplants. Parlor palms, also known as ponytail palms, are slow-growing palms that don’t do well in direct sunlight, making them the perfect choice for indoor growing. It takes parlor palm plants several years to achieve their full height potential, sometimes growing as tall as four feet.
These pet-safe houseplants do well in the corner of the room that receives a minimal amount of sunlight. You may want to rotate the plant periodically if one side receives more light than the other.
European Olive Trees
If you’re looking for a real tree you can keep indoors, these trees perfectly fit the bill. Although European olive trees require a little more upkeep than your average houseplants, they’re a beautiful way to bring nature indoors.
European olive trees require full sun. Placing them on an enclosed porch or in a room with windows on at least two sides will create an ideal environment for these trees to spend their adolescence.
European olive trees will sometimes need to be moved outside, usually after several years. Some people have successfully maintained indoor European olive trees for an extensive period of time, especially when their indoor lighting conditions were optimal.
What Small Plants Are Dog Friendly?
Small plants are easy to strategically place throughout a home. They’re also incredibly easy to maintain in apartments, condos, or other smaller spaces.
Whether you have a knack for gardening or you feel like you have cursed thumbs, there are plenty of small pet-safe houseplants that will perfectly suit a cat or dog-friendly household.
Succulents have developed a reputation for being the lowest maintenance pet-friendly houseplant. Succulents like air plants, burro’s tail, and haworthia are safe for pets.
If you have curious animals around your house, it’s never a good idea to have prickly cacti around. You’re practically asking for a trip to the emergency vet if your dog investigates the cactus a little too closely.
African violets make beautiful houseplants for people who love the smell of fresh blooms wafting through the air. These plants thrive in indirect sunlight rather than bright light, so you can place them anywhere vaguely located near a window. They love to be kept at room temperature, and they’re eager to bloom year-round. You’ll have a constant stream of new blooms indoors, no matter the weather or season.
(Sunflowers, petunias, and pansies are other pet-safe plants with beautiful blooms!)
Boston ferns are a lively bright shade of green, and you only need to feed them every other month in order to keep them that way. All you need to do is keep the soil damp, and Boston ferns will do a remarkable job of maintaining themselves.
Spider plants are a great way to add low-maintenance greenery to your home. These plants get their name from their long leafy tendrils — rest assured they won’t draw spiders into your home.
If you have a difficult time keeping plants alive, spider plants will forgive you. Spider plants hardly require sunlight. In fact, they actually can’t tolerate it very well and should not be exposed to direct sunlight. Best of all, spider plants are safe for both dogs and cats.
Windowsill Herb Gardens
People who love to cook from scratch with fresh ingredients love the idea of a windowsill herb garden that can thrive in medium to bright light. You can grow your own herbs, harvest them, and immediately use them. It doesn’t get more farm-to-table than that.
You can safely grow thyme, sage, cilantro, rosemary, basil, fennel, and dill in your kitchen.
If your dog (or cat) were to steal a nibble of these windowsill green herbs, nothing bad would happen. Worst case scenario, your dog will enjoy the flavor a little too much and return for secret nibbles, and it’s when they ingest these ingredients in large amounts that they can be harmful. You may have to train your dog to avoid the plants if they actively enjoy eating them.
Which Plants Aren’t Safe for Dogs?
Many indoor plants are potentially toxic to dogs, and can cause symptoms of toxicity like upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea. Call your vet or the pet poison helpline if you think your dog has ingested toxins from your plant. This is not an extensive list.
Any time you bring a new plant into your home, you should always check to see if it’s potentially toxic to your animals. If you’re ever unsure, don’t take risks. Don’t let your dog approach any unfamiliar plants and actively monitor service dogs in home improvement or lawn and garden stores.
The following plants are not safe for dogs:
- Ficus trees
- Dwarf citrus trees
- Aloe vera
- Bird of paradise
- Fig trees
- Many types of ivy
- Many types of lily
- Many types of daisy
- Elephant ears
- Chives, shallots, garlic, and other alum family plants
If you plan to grow any of these plants on your property, it’s best to grow them in an area your dog cannot access. Planting them outside of your backyard fence is an excellent idea, particularly if your dog isn’t allowed to roam outside of the fenced perimeter of your yard unless they’re on a leash.
A Final Word About Non-Toxic Plants
While plenty of plants are non-toxic to dogs, this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a good fit for your dog. Just like people, dogs can struggle with seasonal allergies. If you believe your dog has seasonal allergies that are being exacerbated by a plant in your house, move the plant outside or to an area of your house where your dog won’t have access to it.
Speak to your veterinarian about allergy solutions for your pet, and try your best to minimize contact between your dog and potential allergy triggers. It won’t always be possible on an outdoor walk, and your vet might advise that you keep specific allergy medication handy. Always administer it according to your vet’s instructions.
Dogs with seasonal allergies sometimes develop red or itchy patches beneath their coats. You can use VETCBD Hemp Balm to support the skin as it heals and reduce the overall discomfort your dog experiences from a histamine response.
How to Plant a Dog-Friendly Garden | American Kennel Club
Are Succulents Safe to Have Around Pets? | ASPCA