House Plants and How to Purchase
Although people might love to collect plants to liven up the home space, keep in mind that some could actually do harm to your furry friends.
Many like to have house plants to bring positivity and purification to their space. Plants can help purify air so it is great to have them around – just be careful in which kinds you are purchasing. Some websites that sell plants even have a filter to indicate whether or not they are pet friendly.
When selecting plants to keep in your house, remember that if they are accessible to your pet, there is always a risk that they might decide to try a taste. That is why we have compiled a list of plants that can be toxic to cats or dogs if ingested and some suggestions on others to buy. Always do your research when bringing a new plant into your home! A simple search on plants and their properties can allow you to save your pet from potentially harmful substances.
Some plants to avoid:
Monstera Deliciosa – also called the “Swiss cheese” plant
The leaves on the Monstera plant make them a popular choice due to the way they open up and fan out. Although they are nice to the eye, these can cause major side effects if ingested by pets. The side effects include: burning of lips and mouth, excessive drooling, swelling of the mouth, and vomiting.
Lily – Daylily, True Lily, and Peace Lily
Lilies are a fairly common flower that gain traction especially in the springtime. Lilies are extremely toxic to cats. The entire plant is toxic including the flower, leaves and stem. Many people do not know when purchasing these that is can cause serious if not irreversible damage. Side effects of consuming lilies can show as swelling of the mouth, vomiting or diarrhea, but if treatment is not sought out within 18 hours of ingestion, this may cause life-threatening or permanent kidney damage.
Aloe Vera Plant
Aloe Vera plants are known to have healing properties in humans, but in pets the level of toxicity can range from mild to more extreme. Exposure to Aloe Vera, including eating the plant or products including Aloe Vera can cause symptoms of Aloe Vera poisoning. Side effects of consuming Aloe Vera plants in pets includes: lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, shaking, and more.
Snake Plants are popular indoor plants that have grown in popularity due to their deep green colors and sturdy leaves. These are mildly toxic to pets causing digestion and gastrointestinal side effects.
There are a variety of philodendrons, which are popular because they are a lower maintenance plant. They can be very beautiful, but also toxic to your pets. Side effects of pets consuming philodendrons include: difficulty swallowing, drooling, vomiting and irritation.
Bird of Paradise Flower
The Bird of Paradise flower is extremely beautiful and might be a popular choice for spring time due to its vibrant colors. The Bird of Paradise flower has different effects on cats and dogs. In cats, it is more mildly toxic causing mild symptoms including some breathing issues and digestive problems. In dogs, side effects may begin to show within a 20 minute time span and range from nausea and vomiting, to shaking and increased heart rate. If a dog consumes this in large amounts, it can be fatal.
Pet- Safe plant suggestions:
- Spider Plant – this plant is considered by most to be easy to grow and maintain, so it is a perk for you and your pet!
- Most Ferns are considered pet safe, and can vary in look and size.
- Succulents – there are a variety of succulents that can make beautiful accents around the home as they can be planted in all different sorts of containers.
- Air plants – these can be places just about anywhere as they do not need to be potted like traditional plants.
- Calathea plants are very popular pet safe plants due to their many beautiful colors and are known to bring “calmness” to a space.
Ingesting too much of any plant can cause stomach upset in your pet, so keep an eye on them and whatever plants you decide to keep around.
- Plants like cacti, which although may not be enticing to taste, can catch the fur of your pets. Make sure plants with pokes are places in a location where your furry family member won’t have a run in with them.
- Plants in pots should be placed strategically. You wouldn’t want your cat climbing up and knocking over a pot in a heavy base!
- If possible, create separation between plants and your pets. This could even be a room that might be a safe place for your plants. This is the most sure way to know that you are not putting any potential risks in your pet’s environment.
For a comprehensive list of toxic versus non toxic plants, please visit the ASPCA list of Plants and pets. If you suspect your pet has consumed a toxic substance, make an immediate call to your veterinarian or call the ASCPA Pet Poison Hotline (888) 426-4435 (certain consultation fees may apply).