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Nurturing Greenery with Caution:

A Guide to Pet-Safe Houseplants

Pet toxicities pose a significant concern for pet owners, especially when it comes to the plants we surround ourselves with. Understanding what pet toxicities mean, their effects on our pets, and how to identify safe and toxic plants is crucial for creating a secure environment for our furry companions.

Not all pets are attracted to houseplants, but some of them just can’t keep away.  Pet toxicities refer to the harmful effects that certain substances, including plants, can have on pets when ingested, inhaled, or touched. Fortunately, many reactions are mild.  Symptoms range from mild discomfort to severe illness, and immediate veterinary attention is vital if exposure is suspected. 

Options to keep your home more pet safe is to hang your plants in hangers, or place them on plant stands.  That way hopefully your plants will be out of your pets ways and temptations! 


How to know if a plant is toxic to pets?

Several resources can help identify safe and toxic plants. The ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center provides a comprehensive database, offering information on toxicity levels, clinical signs, and necessary actions in case of exposure.  View their listing here.  Other websites, databases, and apps are also available to guide pet owners in making informed choices.

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number: (888) 426-4435

Examples of Pet-Friendly and Toxic Plants:

Examples of pet-friendly plants include Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum), Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata), and Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens). These plants add greenery to your space without posing significant risks to your pets.

On the other hand, some plants are highly toxic to pets. Examples include Oleander (Nerium oleander), which can cause severe gastrointestinal issues and cardiac abnormalities, and Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta), known for its neurotoxic effects that can be fatal to pets. Even common household plants like Philodendron and Dieffenbachia contain oxalate crystals that can cause oral irritation, intense burning, and swelling.

To create a pet-friendly space, consider alternatives to toxic plants. Opt for pet-safe choices like the African Violet (Saintpaulia), Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii), or the Friendship Plant (Pilea involucrata). These plants not only enhance your home with natural beauty but also provide a safe and enjoyable environment for your pets.


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