Plants and Pets: A Complete Guide


Pets and plants often occupy the same spaces in our homes. After all, what indoor jungle would be complete without a few animals? While pets and plants mix fairly well most of the time, it’s very important to take safety into consideration when bringing the two worlds together.

If you’re thinking about bringing plants into a home with cats, dogs, or other animals that might be tempted to go snacking, you should be asking these key questions first:

  1. What is the scientific name (NOT the common name) of the plant, and is it safe for pets? (check out our list of pet-safe plants HERE)
  2. Are my pets “chewers?”
  3. Is there an accessible emergency vet in my area?
  4. Can I keep the pets and plants separated if needed?

dogs and plants in the bathtub


Knowledge is power. Simply knowing what plants you have, as well as how your individual pet behaves, can prevent all kinds of stress, drama, and injuries. Not to mention it can save a lot of money in unexpected vet bills. Read on for our handy guide to helping your pets and plants successfully coexist.

toxic plants to pets


There are many different compounds and substances that can negatively affect cats and dogs. Not every plant is deadly (there are fewer deadly plants out there than you might assume), but some types of plants still contain organic compounds that will make your pet sick. For example, many toxic plants can cause symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, oral irritation, swelling in the mouth, and difficulty swallowing.
These symptoms may not kill your dog or cat, but they can necessitate a trip to the vet and mean a day or two of intense discomfort and stress. So even if your plants are simply irritating rather than deadly, it’s still best to prevent pets from munching in the first place.
A good example of this is snake plants (sansevierias). Because of their upright foliage, many people like to place snake plants at ground level- an instant temptation for pets. While a nibble on a snake plant leaf isn’t deadly, it can still cause intense oral and gastrointestinal irritation in both cats and dogs that will most likely require a vet visit.

Read more here