Lizzi & Rocco's Natural Pet Market

6 Toxic Plants and their Pet-Safe Alternatives

We’re celebrating all things flowery in our brand new subscription box, but most pet owners have had the unhappy experience of a bouquet or houseplant being knocked over, dug up, and eaten- and sometimes, that’s followed up with a rushed trip to the vet. With that in mind, we dug up six common household plants that cause sick animals- and six good alternatives! Learn how to safeguard your pets from toxic plants while still enjoying greenery in your home.

The Bad Beauty: Lilies

Yep, all of em. Avoid any flower that has the word “lily” in the name just to be safe including Easter lilies, tiger lilies, and even  false lilies like peace lilies and lilies of the valley. They’re all incredibly toxic to cats- so much as grooming the pollen out of the fur can cause vomiting, kidney failure, heart irregularities, and death. That’s some scary stuff! If you suspect your cat has had contact with a lily, get them to the emergency vet.

Our Safe Stunner: Orchids
They might have a reputation for being fussy, but that just means they’ll get along even better with your cat! Plus, there’s plenty of great guides online explaining how to keep them in good health. Just like any of these on your list, keep them out of batting and gnawing reach but if something happens, you shouldn’t have to worry much about your pets- just about your orchid. Can’t help you there!

The Bad Beauty: Cutleaf Philodendron
It’s also known as Monstera deliciosa, so really, who can blame Fluffy for trying to get a bite? Unfortunately, it causes oral irritation, burning, drooling, vomiting, and can lead to kidney stones, So you really don’t want it in your home even though it is one of the coolest plants right now.

Our Safe Stunner: Prayer Plant
Safe for cats and dogs, and gets its name from folding up its leaves like praying hands at night. We also love the coloration of the leaves- it’s a plant who definitely looked around and said “I mean yeah, green is fine but what if I added stripes? And a cool blobby bit down that middle?” The Prayer Plant really pulled together a whole look, and if your pets add a nibble, maybe they’re just helping add to the aesthetic. (Try to keep it out of reach anyway, though.)

The Bad Beauty: Chrysanthemum
I know it’s a little early in the season to bring up these fall bouquet classics, but I feel if you have knowledge, you can avoid a pre-Halloween scare- and a vet bill. Mums are chock full of irritants that cause irritation to the mouth, diarrhea, vomiting, and skin irritation. Fun fact: those natural irritants are to ward off the chrysanthemum’s natural pests, and some are used in safe form on flea & tick collars.

Our Safe Stunner: Marigold
Marigolds are super safe, easy to grow, come in a ton of colors and varieties, and did I say, easy to grow? It’s super simple to start a cheerful pot of them from seed, and even easier to find healthy plants at your local garden store. You will definitely find a marigold type that speaks to you and your unique decor, and once you do, you can just bring in the cuttings to brighten up a room. If your four-footed friend tries to chow down, your biggest risk is the water spill!

The Bad Beauty: Aloe Vera
This is a weird one- what’s inside the leaf can be so good for minor pet scrapes, and they can even drink aloe juice! Plus those big leaves look just like a chew toy- why not have a nibble? Well, aside from the pointy edges on some varieties of aloe plant, the “skin” on the leaf exposes toxins that cause diarrhea and vomiting- chewing isn’t the ideal way to harvest all the good stuff inside.

Don’t panic too much if they do ingest some of the skin! With plenty of fluids- I personally recommend bone broth and goat’s milk to make sure they drink as much fluid as possible- they should be okay soon. However, if you’re worried or they seem lethargic, it never hurts to head to the vet.

The Safe Stunner: Hawthoria
Also known as the zebra plant, the hawthoria is stripey and spiky, so think of it as aloe vera’s punk rock cousin that’s a total softy for cuddly animals. Plus, it isn’t as likely as aloe vera to grow massive, so you can pop it on a bookshelf or windowsill! (Only recommended for hawthoria. Don’t do that to your punk rock cousin.)

The Bad Beauty: Desert Rose
Despite having the same name as half of a drugstore beauty department, this pretty little posey is seriously bad news for your pooch! Munching on it can cause your dog to have diarrhea, vomiting, irregular heartbeat, and die. Nobody wants that kind of risk around, no matter how beautiful!

The Safe Stunner: Rose
The flower of loving your animals! Roses are very safe to have around your pets, as long as they don’t take up chewing on the thorny stems. In fact, if you know for sure they are pesticide free, you can sprinkle some rose petals on their dinner to make your canine or feline feel fancy! That’s how very safe roses are- they’re edible for pets and people too!

The Bad Beauty: English Ivy
It’s the classic way to tell the cinematic audience that someone is studied and generationally wealthy, but if your fuzzy friend eats that up a little too literally, your poor pets will be in severe abdominal pain, suffering from diarrhea, and vomiting.

The Safe Stunner: Swedish Ivy
Don’t you fear, Swedish ivy is here- and while it may not be as universally recognizable, it is beautiful, drapes just as glamorously from a bookshelf or porch railing, and is 100% safe for a curious dog to nibble on. And, it’s very easy to grow!

There’s obviously a ton more toxic (and safe!) plants out there- always do your own research before bringing something new and green into your house. For a more comprehensive list of toxic and pet-safe plants, visit the ASPCA’s site.

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