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What Indoor Plants are Safe for Dogs?

You have your plants, and you have your pets, and there is no reason the two shouldn't meet. A home full of plants and pets is a wonderful space, but the beauty and tranquillity that plants bring to our homes can sometimes come with hidden dangers for our pets. It's crucial to be aware of which plants are safe and which could pose a risk to our canine companions. This weeks blogs covers dogs and recommends a few of our favourite plants to start the mingling.

The Hidden Hazards ofSome Houseplants

While plants can liven up any room and improve air quality, some popular selections can be harmful to dogs. Here's a closer look at the toxicity of some common houseplants:

  • Pothos (Epipremnum aureum): A favourite for its low maintenance and striking leaves, unfortunately, contains insoluble calcium oxalates. These can cause significant oral irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing if ingested.
  • Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta): This plant, often sought after for its unique appearance, is highly toxic to pets. Ingestion can lead to severe symptoms including vomiting, diarrhoea, seizures, liver failure, and, in some cases, it can be fatal.
  • Aloe Vera: Known for its medicinal properties for humans, it poses a risk to pets due to the saponins it contains, leading to lethargy, diarrhoea, and vomiting when eaten in significant amounts.

Introducing New Plants into a Pet-Friendly Home

When enriching your indoor garden, it's wise to add pet-safe plants to your home gradually. We've talked about this in depth here, but if you can't be bothered to read all that, a few key tips: Start with non-toxic varieties to ensure your dog doesn't develop a habit of nibbling on foliage. Additionally, elevate plants on stands or shelves out of your pet's reach, making these green additions more about the scenery than a snack. Here are some general tips to foster harmony between your plants and pets:

  • Elevate Your Plants: Keeping plants on high shelves or hanging planters not only adds visual interest but also keeps them out of reach of curious pets.
  • Introduce Plants Slowly: Begin by adding one or two pet-safe plants and monitor your pet’s interaction with these new housemates. This can help ensure that your pet isn’t too intrigued by the greenery.

Five Safe Plants to Start Your Indoor Garden

For dog owners keen on cultivating a pet-safe indoor garden, here are five plants known for their compatibility with canine residents:

  • Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum): Spider Plants are incredibly resilient and adaptable, thriving in various conditions. They are known for their air-purifying qualities and are safe for pets. To care for a Spider Plant, place it in indirect sunlight and water it moderately, allowing the soil to dry between waterings.
  • Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata): Boston Ferns bring a touch of greenery to any room and are safe for dogs and cats. These plants require bright, indirect light and consistent moisture. Mist the leaves regularly to maintain humidity levels for optimal growth.
  • African Violet (Saintpaulia): African Violets are vibrant and pet-safe plants that bloom with proper care. Place them in a location with bright, indirect light and water them from the bottom to prevent water from touching the leaves. Keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy.
  • Calathea: Calathea plants are known for their unique leaf patterns and colours, safe for dogs and visually captivating. These plants thrive in indirect light and high humidity. Water Calatheas when the top inch of soil is dry and consider placing a humidifier nearby to maintain the ideal environment.
  • Parlour Palm (Chamaedorea elegans): The Parlour Palm is a small palm tree suitable for indoor spaces and safe for pets. These plants prefer indirect light and well-draining soil. Water the Parlour Palm when the top inch of soil feels dry and mist the leaves occasionally to enhance humidity levels.

Creating a safe and comfortable environment for both your pets and your plants is entirely possible with a little research and care. By choosing pet-friendly plants and taking measures to keep them out of reach, you can enjoy the benefits of indoor greenery without putting your furry friends at risk. Remember, the well-being of your pets should always come first when introducing new plants into your home.

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