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How to Choose the Best Indoor Plants When You Live With Animals

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

Our homes are sanctuaries for not only us but also our furry and feathered friends. Creating an environment where plants and pets can coexist harmoniously is a delightful endeavor. If you're an animal lover with a green thumb, read on as we explore the best indoor plants that can bring beauty and serenity to your space without posing a threat to your beloved companions.

Best Indoor Plants When You Live With Animals

Photo Credit : wix media

The Dangers of Certain Plants for Animals

Our homes and gardens are often adorned with lush greenery, but beneath the beauty of many common plants lies a potential danger to our beloved pets. While plants can bring life and color to our surroundings, it's crucial to be aware of the risks they pose to our furry friends. In this article, we'll explore the hidden hazards that some food plants can have on animals.

Toxic Houseplants

Many houseplants, which are often cultivated for their beauty, can be toxic to animals when ingested. Some of the most common toxic houseplants include:

Peace Lily

While breathtaking in appearance, lilies are extremely toxic to cats. Ingesting any part of the plant can lead to kidney failure, which can be fatal.

toxic plants for animals peace lily

Photo Credit : langdonsflowers

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

Pothos, known for its easy care, can cause oral irritation, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing if eaten by pets.

toxic plants for animals pothos

Photo Credit : Espace Maude


Also known as "dumb cane," this plant contains oxalate crystals that can cause severe mouth irritation, excessive drooling, and difficulty breathing when chewed.

toxic plants for animals dieffenchia

Photo credit : bloomscape

The Dangers of Certain Culinary Herbs

The herbs we use to flavor our meals can also be hazardous to pets. Cats, in particular, are curious nibblers, so it's essential to be cautious with the following herbs:

Catnip (Nepeta cataria)

While catnip can induce euphoria in cats, it's perfectly safe. However, some cats may be sensitive to it and exhibit adverse reactions.

toxic plants for animals catnip

Photo credit : thespruce

Mint (Mentha spp.)

Peppermint and spearmint are safe for dogs and cats in small amounts. However, concentrated mint oils can be toxic if ingested.

toxic plants for animals mint

Photo credit : gardenia

Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)

Chives, along with other members of the Allium family (like garlic and onions), can be toxic to both cats and dogs, potentially causing gastrointestinal upset and, in severe cases, organ damage.

toxic plants for animals chives

Photo credit : gardenia

Preventing Plant-Related Pet Hazards

To protect your furry companions from plant-related dangers, consider these precautions:

  1. Research: Before bringing a new plant into your home or garden, research its potential toxicity to pets.

  2. Supervision: Keep a close eye on your pets when they're in the garden or around houseplants.

  3. Pet-Friendly Plants: Opt for non-toxic plants in your home and garden, and create designated pet-safe zones.

  4. Training: Train your pets to avoid chewing on plants, and discourage this behavior with positive reinforcement.

  5. Consult a Vet: If you suspect your pet has ingested a toxic plant, seek immediate veterinary care.

While plants can enrich our lives in many ways, being aware of potential dangers to our animal companions is paramount. By understanding which plants can pose a threat and taking preventive measures, we can ensure the safety and well-being of our pets while enjoying the beauty of our green spaces.

Best indoor plants to have for an animals friendly house

1. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

An excellent choice for pet-friendly households, the spider plant is non-toxic to cats and dogs. Its arching green and white leaves lend a touch of elegance to your space, making it a visual treat for both you and your animal friends.

Best Indoor Plants When You Live With Animals spider plant

Photo Credit : t50/Shutterstock

2. Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens)

Boasting feathery fronds reminiscent of a tropical paradise, the areca palm is safe for pets and adds a touch of greenery to any room. Its air-purifying qualities contribute to a healthier indoor environment for all residents.

Best Indoor Plants When You Live With Animals areca palm

Photo Credit : gardeningknowhow

3. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)

A classic choice that brings lushness to your space, the Boston fern is safe for pets and contributes to a natural humidifying effect. Be mindful of its humidity needs to keep it thriving and your pets comfortable.

Best Indoor Plants When You Live With Animals boston fern

Photo Credit : gardenersworld

4. African Violet (Saintpaulia)

Adding a burst of color to your indoor garden, African violets are non-toxic to pets and relatively low-maintenance. Their compact size makes them ideal for windowsills or tabletops.

Best Indoor Plants When You Live With Animals african violet

Photo credit : allaboutgardening

5. Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)

Known for its air-purifying capabilities, the bamboo palm is a safe option for homes with pets. Its upright growth and graceful fronds bring a touch of the outdoors inside.

Best Indoor Plants When You Live With Animals bamboo palm

Photo credit : getty images

6. Polka Dot Plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya)

If you're looking for a splash of color, the polka dot plant is a pet-friendly option with its vibrant leaves. This compact plant adds personality to your space without posing any harm to your animal companions.

Best Indoor Plants When You Live With Animals polka dot plant

Photo credit : thespruce

7. Peperomia

With a variety of charming leaf shapes and colors, peperomia plants are safe for pets and can thrive in various indoor conditions. Their small size makes them versatile for desk spaces, shelves, or hanging planters.

Best Indoor Plants When You Live With Animals peperomia

Photo credit : gardenersworld

8. Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera)

A festive addition during the holiday season, the Christmas cactus is non-toxic to pets and offers beautiful blooms. Its low-maintenance nature makes it a delightful choice for pet-friendly households year-round.

Best Indoor Plants When You Live With Animals chrismas cactus

Photo credit : gardenersworld

9. Calathea

Known for its striking patterns and colors, the calathea family includes several non-toxic varieties. These plants can add an artistic touch to your decor while providing a safe environment for your furry companions.

Best Indoor Plants When You Live With Animals calathea

Photo credit :

10. Friendship Plant (Pilea involucrata)

This charming plant, also known as the "pancake plant," is safe for pets and features unique round leaves. Its compact growth and pet-friendly nature make it a favorite among indoor gardeners.

Best Indoor Plants When You Live With Animals friendship plant

Photo credit : thespruce

Be sure to have a pet friendly home

Creating a safe and inviting space for both your plants and pets iby choosing the best plants when you live with animals. As you curate your indoor garden, keep in mind the specific needs of your animals, the lighting conditions of your home, and the care requirements of each plant. With the right choices, you can foster a haven where the beauty of nature and the warmth of companionship come together in perfect harmony.


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