Learn about pet-friendly plants and flowers to help brighten up your home, yard, and garden with these beautiful blooms.
— Medically reviewed by Dr. Erica Irish
Updated October 13, 2023 From: Betterpet.com at https://betterpet.com/plants-safe-for-dogs/
Table of Contents
- Safe plants for dogs and cats
- Precautions about pets and plants
- Unsafe plants for dogs
- If your dog ingests a potentially deadly plant
- Plant poison prevention
- Frequently asked questions
- Many common plants are toxic to pets — Most will only have mild effects if ingested, but a few, including daylilies and sago palms, can result in death.
- You can have a green thumb AND be a pet parent — The list of non-toxic plants safe for dogs and cats is long, too! Keep our lists — and the ASPCA’s database — handy when shopping at the nursery.
- Obsessive plant eating is cause for concern — Call your veterinarian if you notice your dog is eating grass more frequently than normal or has signs of stomach discomfort.
Pets love to sniff — and sometimes taste — what’s around them. The good news is that having dogs and cats doesn’t mean giving up a beautiful home and garden. If it’s time to spruce up your house or apartment, garden, balcony, or raised beds, this list of pet-safe plants, shrubs, and garden greenery will add pops of color and freshness while keeping your furry friends safe.
When shopping at the nursery or if you use a landscaper for your garden, make sure to mention the fact that you have pets. Most garden centers will make recommendations and help you find different varieties of pet-safe greenery and flowers for your home and yard.
Ultimate list of plants that are safe for dogs and cats
While the ASPCA warns that any ingested plant material may cause gastrointestinal upset for dogs or cats, it considers the below plants to be non-toxic. These are also among the most popular indoor plants, as defined by home-improvement giant Home Depot and #PlantTok and #plantfluencer life.
Looking for more pet-safe plant options? Here are some other, non-toxic houseplants you can try. When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to search the ASPCA database to find the right plant for you and your pets to enjoy safely. WATCH VIDEO
Precautions about pets and plants
While all of the parts of the plants above are regarded as non-toxic if accidentally ingested, individual pets might have specific allergies or sensitivities, so it’s important to observe any changes in your pet’s behavior or health when introducing new plants to your household. Additionally, be cautious of fertilizers and plant food, as they can absolutely be harmful to pets if ingested.
Indoor and outdoor plants that are unsafe for dogs
While there are many pet-friendly plants for green thumbs, the list of poisonous plants is long. Consequences of ingesting one range from mildly irritating symptoms to potential fatality. The list includes trendy plants like Chinese evergreen , sansevieria (also known as mother-in-law’s tongue or snake plant ), golden pothos (also known as devils ivy ), and common yard plants such as azaleas, hydrangeas, and hostas.
Here’s a list of some of the most common plants in and outside your home that pose a risk to your pup:
Most toxic plants for dogs
|Aloe vera||While a useful houseplant, it may induce vomiting, diarrhea, and tremors in dogs and cats.|
|Azaleas and rhododendrons||This family of plants is commonly used in landscaping, but the entire genus of these large flowering shrubs is considered poisonous for dogs. Toxins affect the intestines, cardiovascular, and central nervous system. Eating this shrub can result in vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, and heart problems.|
|Boxwood||Boxwood is often found in wreaths or arches, or as greenery, but ingestion can lead to dehydration, drooling, digestive problems, vomiting, and diarrhea.|
|Chrysanthemum||Though chrysanthemums, nicknamed mums, won’t kill your pet, this plant is a natural insecticide that may result in vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, rashes, and a loss of coordination.|
|Daffodil and jonquil||Daffodils contain tyrosine, a chemical that triggers vomiting. Eating a daffodil can lead to cardiac issues, convulsions, vomiting, diarrhea, heart arrhythmia, and low blood pressure.|
|Dahlia||Dahlias are toxic, though the reason why is unknown. Ingestion can lead to mild gastrointestinal problems and mild dermatitis.|
|Daisy||Daisies are part of the chrysanthemum species so they are also toxic. Ingestion can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, incoordination, and dermatitis.|
|Foxglove||All parts of the plant are extremely poisonous. Foxgloves contain naturally occurring toxic cardiac glycosides that affect the heart. Ingestion can lead to cardiac arrest and death.|
|Holly||All holly varieties including the popular Christmas holly, Japanese holly, English holly, and American holly, are toxic. Eating holly leaves can result in vomiting, diarrhea, lip smacking, drooling, and gastrointestinal injury.|
|Hosta||Popular because they thrive even with indirect light, hostas can cause stomach upset.|
|Hydrangea||Hydrangeas are poisonous to people and pets in large quantities as there are toxic substances in both the leaves and flowers. Eating this plant can lead to diarrhea, lethargy, vomiting, and more.|
|Iris||These spring blooms add a pop of yellow or blue to your garden, but they add a level of danger for your dog. Eating irises can result in mild to moderate vomiting, skin irritation, drooling, lethargy, and diarrhea.|
|Lantana||This popular, quick-growing ground cover adds a pop of bright yellow, pink, orange, purple, or red to your yard, but in rare cases can cause liver failure in cats and dogs.|
|Lilies||Many lilies, including daylilies and peace lilies, are toxic to dogs and cats. While dogs may experience gastrointestinal upset, the risk is greatest for cats — they’re at risk of acute kidney injury or even death.|
|Peony||This early spring blooming shrub has pink, red, or white flowers, but peonies contain a toxin called paenol that can lead to vomiting, excessive drooling, and diarrhea.|
|Sago palm||All parts of sago palms are poisonous. They contain cycasin, a toxin that causes severe liver damage in dogs. The Pet Poison Hotline reports that severe liver damage can be seen within two to three days of ingestion and the survival rate is 50%.|
|Tulip||The bulbs are the most toxic part of this plant, but every part of these popular spring flowers can hurt your dog. Ingestion can lead to convulsions, cardiac problems, difficulty breathing, gastrointestinal discomfort, and drooling.|
|Wisteria||While beautiful, all parts of wisteria are poisonous — but especially the seeds. The seeds contain both lectin and wisterin glycoside and while ingesting one may not be fatal, as few as five seeds can be fatal to dogs and cats, and even cause illness in children.|
|Yew||All varieties of the yew, a common evergreen, contain toxins that are poisonous to dogs. Every part of the plant is dangerous, as they have taxines, a bitter poison in the leaves and seeds. When ingested by your pooch, it can lead to vomiting, difficulty breathing, seizures, dilated pupils, coma, and even death.|
What to do if your dog has ingested a potentially deadly plant, shrub, or flower
If you think your furry friend has ingested a poisonous plant, call your veterinarian as soon as possible. Delaying a phone call in a potential emergency can cause injury or even death. If you catch your pup munching on one of our aforementioned toxic plants, keep an eye out for symptoms of poisoning.
Dog owners may also call the ASPCA Pet Poison Control Hotline 24 hours at (888) 426-4435 or the Poison Pet Helpline at 855-764-7661 if they suspect plant poisoning.
Symptoms of plant poisoning in pets
Symptoms can vary as they are specific to each type of plant eaten. These are the most common symptoms you can watch out for:
- Difficulty breathing
Plant poison prevention
The best cure for poisoning is prevention. Take note of any plants and shrubs in your yard or your house and identify any plants that may be dangerous. Then either remove these plants and shrubs or restrict your dog’s access to them. We’ve also rounded up a list of pet-safe pesticides and pest-control options for your yard and home.
Choosing pet-friendly plants can ensure the well-being of your furry friends while allowing you to enjoy the benefits and beauty of indoor and outdoor flora. Whether it’s the purifying Bamboo Palm or the colorful Snapdragons, incorporating non-toxic plants creates a harmonious environment for everyone in the household. Always research before purchasing a new plant, and monitor your pets for any adverse reactions, ensuring a safe and happy coexistence between pets and plants.
Frequently asked questions
What plants are OK to have around pets?
While many plants might not be an option, you can still have beautiful, colorful plants like snapdragons, marigolds, jasmine, and thyme in your yard and garden.
What is toxic in the garden for dogs?
When it comes to plants in your vegetable garden, there are some plants that you should keep your pup away from. Onions, tomatoes, chives, and garlic can all pose a risk to your dog. Consider fencing these sections in or ensure your dog is supervised at all times. It’s also important to keep dogs away from your compost pile. As foods are broken down, they may become toxic to dogs if ingested — particularly with dairy products and various pieces of bread and grains.
How can I identify toxic plants to keep away from my pets?
Along with this article, there are plenty of great online resources to check which plants you should keep away from your furry friends. You can also consult your local nursery or plant store to see which plants they recommend keeping away from pets. Overall, it’s best to do as much research as you can before introducing a new plant to your home or garden.
What are the early warning signs of plant poisoning in pets?
Symptoms tend to vary by plant, but often the first universal signs are vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhea, excessive salivation, lethargy, skin irritation, and loss of appetite. If your pet is experiencing any of these, contact your vet immediately.
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