Animal lovers unite: May is National Pet Month! Other than showing these beloved companions a little extra love, this awareness month is intended to educate current and potential pet owners on the benefits and responsibilities of adoption and ownership. Plus, it’s a nod to the professionals who work to keep animals safe and healthy.
They’re your pseudo-children – but that doesn’t mean you treat them with any less love and respect. Your pets are cherished parts of the family, and it’s your job to keep them sharp, healthy and happy. That includes adorning your home with flowers and plants that don’t harm their safety. Here’s the pet friendly plants you need to know about to keep your furry family members safe:
Word of Caution
When you have pets, it’s important to think twice about the plants you keep indoors and outdoors. Certain plant species are toxic for animals, and when their curiosity inevitably gets the best of them, they can become ill after ingesting the leaves or flowers. In fact, even non-toxic plants can cause cats and dogs to suffer from stomach pains or vomiting if they consume too much. It’s a good idea to keep all plants, no matter where they rank on the poisonous scale, out of reach from pets if possible.
If your pet did consume a poisonous plant, call your veterinarian immediately. You can also take your pet to emergency services, or call the Animal Poison Control Center emergency hotline at 1-888-426-4435.
Safe Plants for Pets
You can still fill your home and garden with greenery without putting your pets at risk. If you’re looking to fill your home with fresh blooms, these flowers are all safe for cats and dogs. African violets are ideal houseplants, adding a pop of purple hues to your space. Plus, it’s a super low-maintenance plant that will thrive without direct sunlight and, of course, fit in well with the pets. Parlor palm, polka dot, calathea and spider plants are also among the houseplants that are safe to keep around pets.
Heading outside, feel free to plant crape myrtle, marigolds, hibiscus, petunias and sage. Other pet friendly plants that are safe include:
- Air Plants
- Christmas Cactus
- Lipstick Plant
- Phalaenopsis Orchid
- Tiger Lily
Poisonous Plants for Pets
Your four-legged friends don’t get along well with chrysanthemum, as it can cause discomfort and loss of coordination. Carnations and dahlia aren’t terribly toxic but can cause mild gastrointestinal problems so it’s still a good idea to keep them away from the pets. While a common choice for outdoor gardening, geranium can cause your pets to suffer from skin rashes, low blood pressure, lethargy and loss of appetite. Your beloved sunburn relief also doesn’t sit well with dogs and cats – aloe vera can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Other unsafe plants for pets include:
- African daisy
- Peace lilies
- Tomato plants
You can check out an even more extensive list of toxic and non-toxic plants from the ASPCA here. Your pets will thank you for doing the research!