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Pets and plants are the favorite companions for millennials, newlyweds, singles, Gen Z, retirees… in other words, almost everyone! And a very common concern among pet owners and plant lovers is the risk of their furry friends ingesting certain plants that can be harmful for them. Fortunately there are a variety of indoor pet-friendly plants you can rely on to lower the risk of exposing your pet to intoxication.
Knowing which plant species can be in the same space where pets live is fundamental to guarantee their health, and the longevity of the plant, of course. And, despite the high number of pet owners – 66% of American homes (86.9 million households) have a domestic animal1 – little is said about the care one should take when choosing a plant arrangement for indoors.
In this article, we show you what to consider when introducing your pet to a small plant, and what are the best pet-friendly plant species to adorn your home.
TOP 10 PET-FRIENDLY INDOOR PLANTS
Those who know The Juicy Leaf, know that we are intimate with the universe of plants, especially succulents. Explore our curated selection of the top 10 indoor plants that are safe for your beloved pets. Enhance your home with greenery while keeping your furry friends happy and healthy. Discover these pet-friendly indoor plants to create a vibrant and pet-safe environment at home:
The Polka Dot Plant is a charming and colorful addition to your indoor plant collection. With its distinctive spotted leaves, it brings a playful and lively atmosphere to any space. This low-maintenance plant thrives in bright, indirect light, making it suitable for various indoor settings.
Haworthia or Zebra is a small succulent plant that features rosette-shaped leaves. Its compact size and easy care requirements make it a popular choice among plant enthusiasts. With its pet-friendly nature, it can be safely placed in your home without worrying about any harmful effects on your pets.
The Watermelon Peperomia, scientifically known as Peperomia argyreia, features leaves with striking patterns resembling watermelon rinds. This compact and pet-friendly plant thrives in bright, indirect light and prefers moderate humidity levels. Its unique appearance and ease of care make it a popular choice for indoor spaces.
The Prayer Plant, named for its unique leaf movement resembling hands in prayer, is an eye-catching choice for pet-friendly indoor plants. It flourishes in moderate to bright indirect light and requires regular watering. Its vibrant foliage and ability to adapt well to indoor environments make it a popular choice.
The Ponytail Palm, also known as Beaucarnea recurvata, is a unique and pet-friendly indoor plant with a distinctive swollen trunk and long, arching leaves. It thrives in bright, indirect light and requires minimal watering, making it an excellent choice for those looking for an easy-to-care-for plant.
The Baby Rubber Plant, scientifically known as Peperomia obtusifolia, is a compact and pet-friendly plant with thick, glossy leaves. It tolerates various light conditions, making it versatile for different indoor spaces. Its attractive foliage and low maintenance needs make it a popular choice among pet owners.
The Money Tree, also known as Pachira aquatica, is a symbol of good luck and prosperity. With its braided trunk and lush green foliage, it adds a touch of elegance to any room. This pet-friendly plant thrives in bright, indirect light and requires regular watering to maintain its health and vibrancy.
The Wax Plant, also known as Hoya, is a beautiful trailing vine with waxy, star-shaped flowers. Its glossy foliage and sweet fragrance make it a delightful addition to any room. This pet-friendly plant thrives in bright, indirect light and requires minimal maintenance, making it perfect for busy pet owners.
CONSIDERATIONS WHEN CHOOSING PET-FRIENDLY PLANTS
It may not seem like it, but pets and plant arrangements can live together in harmony in indoor spaces, without risks to the health of either. When choosing indoor plants that are safe for your pets, there are a few key factors to consider. Ensuring the well-being of your furry friends while enjoying the benefits of indoor greenery is essential. Here are two important factors to keep in mind:
Non-toxic Plants for Pets
Pets are curious, and like to play by nibbling leaves, branches and flowers – and that’s where the danger lies. Some plants can be toxic to pets and, when ingested, can cause gastrointestinal irritation, respiratory problems, inflammation, and other ailments. By choosing non-toxic plants for pets, you reduce the risks of poisoning by ingestion.
However, it is important to remember that any plant has the potential to cause digestive discomfort if your pet consumes it in large quantities.
Besides the species that can cause poisoning if ingested, there are also those that cause allergic reactions or irritations on the skin and mucous membranes of animals. If the pet already has a history of sensitivity, the risk of developing a contact allergy is high. Plants with thorns or rough leaves should be kept away from puppies or curious pets. Choose one of the pet-friendly indoor plants, and avoid disturbances that could compromise your pet’s health and well-being.
Understand your Pet’s Habits
Understanding your pet’s habits is essential for a harmonious coexistence between pets and indoor plants. By observing their behavior, you can select non-toxic plants and arrange them out of reach, preventing accidental ingestion or damage. Providing alternative sources of stimulation and meeting their needs can divert their attention from plants. This understanding creates a pet-friendly environment where both plants and pets can thrive, ensuring their well-being and a safe coexistence in your home.
TIPS FOR INTRODUCING INDOOR PLANTS TO YOUR PETS
Pet-Proofing Your Plants
Ensure the safety of your plants and pets by pet-proofing your indoor greenery. Remove any toxic plants from your home and replace them with pet-friendly alternatives. Place plants in areas that are inaccessible to your pets or use deterrents like plant barriers or natural repellents to discourage them from getting too close.
Creating Elevated Plant Displays
Consider creating elevated plant displays to keep your plants out of your pet’s reach. Use tall plant stands, shelves, or hanging planters to elevate your plants, making them less accessible to curious pets. This not only protects your plants from accidental damage but also reduces the chances of your pets ingesting any harmful plant parts.
Monitoring Pet Interaction with Plants
Keep a close eye on your pet’s interactions with indoor plants, especially during the initial introduction phase. Observe their behavior and watch for any signs of curiosity, chewing, or digging. If you notice any problematic behavior, redirect their attention to appropriate toys or activities to discourage them from engaging with the plants.
Training Pets to Respect Plant Boundaries
Training your pets to respect plant boundaries is essential for a harmonious coexistence. Use positive reinforcement techniques to teach your pets that certain areas or plants are off-limits. Reward them for obeying commands and redirect their attention if they show interest in the plants. Consistency and patience are key to successful training.
By implementing these tips, you can create a pet-friendly environment where indoor plants and pets can coexist peacefully. Pet-proofing, creating elevated displays, monitoring interactions, and training your pets will help ensure the well-being of both your beloved plants and furry friends.
1 Data from the American Veterinary Medical Association, 2018 and 2022 Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook, made available by Forbes.