Moving up the list since 2019, caring for houseplants has become a popular hobby since the pandemic hit and many people have looked for new activities outside of their Netflix accounts. While growing a jungle of beautiful greenery at home can be relaxing, good for our mental health, and improve air quality in our homes, many of the common houseplants we grow can be dangerous if your pet is a taste explorer.
Safe Plants for the Home
While there is an overwhelming list of plants that are highly toxic and potentially lethal to our pets, here is a short list of safe plants that can sit in a sunny window while your cat curls up in the warmth, or greenery that drapes around your dogs bed:
common safe plants for homes with pets:
- Spider plant
- Boston fern
- African violet
- Prayer plant
- Bamboo palm
- Rubber plant
It is important to note that even if a plant is considered safe for pets, they are still not meant to be ingested. You can find a full, long list in alphabetical order on the ASPCA website.
If you know your pet has adventured into one of your houseplants, especially if it is a known toxic plant, the first step is to call poison control. You will want to be ready to drive to your nearest emergency veterinary hospital, but poison control will be able to identify possible levels of toxicity and the best treatment path for the particular plant and the time it was ingested. Poison control are individuals who are experts in toxicities. They work as an extension of your pets health care team and can speed up treatment when you arrive at the hospital with that information.
The next course of action is of course driving to your emergency hospital. Calling ahead to let them know what is going on and giving an estimated time of arrival can give the veterinary teams time to prepare intake for a critical or time sensitive case.
If you are unsure what plant your pet may have snuck into, bring samples or snap pictures of your plants to present to your pets healthcare team.
Symptoms of toxic plant ingestion
Every plant will have a different effect if ingested, and each pet will have a slightly different reaction based on their size and the amount ingested. Here are some of the most common symptoms of plant poisoning.
- Extreme Sedation
Research, Research, Research!
While reading this list of symptoms you may have closed the door on plant ownership yourself, but if growing greenery is a hobby you want to get into, there are ways to do it. Households with cats may have a harder time finding a plant that is safe, but also durable since our feline friends tend to explore high and low and have a tendency to – let’s just say – be curious. Even if a plant is safe for your cat, your cat might not be safe for the plant. Dog-only homes might find this hobby easier to achieve, keeping plants out of reach and up high.
The Pet Poison Helpline has also compiled a list of some of the most poisonous plants for pets here.
The most important thing is keeping your pet safe while you explore new fun hobbies. You can always reach out to your primary care veterinarian to discuss concerns or tips for having a harmonious home of plants and animals.