Many pet people are also plant people. It makes some sense that those who enjoy caring for one lifeform might enjoy caring for another. A little caution needs to be in place, however, as there are many toxic plants for pets. Read on to learn Long Animal Hospital’s top tips for pet safety around plants.
Toxic Plants for Pets to Know
Plants are enjoyable for humans and animals alike, but a poisonous plant can be disastrous for pets. Common problem plants that all pet owners should about include:
- Lilies—all parts including the pollen are extremely toxic to cats and can cause kidney failure
- Sago palms—can cause serious toxicity including seizures and liver failure
- Aloe vera—ingestion can lead to vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Jade plant—can lead to vomiting and slow heart rate
- Caladium (Elephant Ear)—chewing these leaves can cause several oral irritation and swelling
- Dieffenbachia—a popular choice due to their ability to grow in low light, this family of houseplants can cause swelling of the tongue and difficulty breathing
- English ivy—contact with this plant can lead to irritation of the skin and mouth
- Pothos and philodendron—these closely-related plants can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and oral irritation
It is important for pet owners to be familiar with what plants are in their homes and what potential effects they could have if ingested.
Tips for Pet Safety Around Plants
Not to fear, though. If you love plants and pets, you can still have your cake and eat it, too!
One of our top suggestions is simply to choose plants to keep in your home that you know are safe for pets. Pets are curious and they will naturally want to explore items in your home (often with their mouths).
Some common (and lovely) choices for plants for pets include things like the Areca palm, money plants, spider plants, bamboo palms, the variegated wax plant, the Boston Fern, and moth orchids.
You can also choose to keep your less-pet friendly choices well out of reach. Keep in mind, though, that pets sometimes access areas unexpectedly. You will also have to be cautious about dropping foliage. Enclosures like decorative birdcages or terrarium-type setups can also keep plants safe from pets.
With some effort, you can explore positive reinforcement training to teach your pet to make other choices than exploring your plant collection, too. This is not a substitute for eliminating seriously toxic plants from your home, though.
Pet safety and plant safety go hand in hand! Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions about having plants in your home, or if you are worried about a poisonous plant exposure.