Plants To Avoid Having At Home With Pets & Their Alternatives

Plants To Avoid Having At Home With Pets & Their Alternatives

We love having plants at home, they provide our space with beautiful sights and smells, from leafy ferns to colorful roses! What you may not know, however, is that some plants are actually not safe to have around your fur-babies. Cats, dogs and even small pets are prone towards chewing on plants, and unfortunately, they can’t tell which ones they shouldn’t be munching on. Thankfully, we have prepared this guide to help pet parents determine which plants they should avoid having at home with their pets.

Safety First:

If your pet ever does ingest any plants or flowers at home, the first thing you should do is consult your vet, as a medical professional can advise your next steps and indicate if there should be any concern. 


Lilies may be beautiful and very popular flowers but are they are also highly toxic to your pets. It’s not just the petals or the pollen either, the entire flower including the leaves and stem is completely poisonous. If ingested it may cause kidney damage or failure. Best to keep these flowers out of your bouquets from now on! An alternative to lilies that you could consider is the Hibiscus flower, which is completely pet friendly!


Ivy may be appealing for those looking to make their living rooms, bedrooms or study look more “natural”, but that can come at the expense of making your pets sick. Devil’s ivy in particular is known to cause vomiting or foaming at the mouth, and in some cases, reactions can include throat swelling. This type of plant is best kept either completely out of reach or not at all.


Whilst Dracaena are very popular as large house plants, they should definitely be avoided when you have pets. Dracaena can cause vomiting, excessive drooling and lethargy when ingested. In some cases, cats have been known to become uncoordinated upon ingesting dracaena leaves. If you’re looking for a pet safe alternative to dracaena, consider bamboo instead. 

Rubber Tree Plant

These plants may look like they have fake leaves, they’re very much real and the sap is very much poisonous, not only to your pets, but to children and even adults, if somehow ingested. Consider a banana plant as a pet friendly alternative. 


Tulip bulbs contain toxic substances that have been known to cause gastrointestinal upset, lethargy, cardiac issues, convulsions, and even negatively affect the central nervous system. The same can also be true for narcissus flower bulbs. Instead of these flowers, consider replacing them with African violets, which are more pet-friendly and non-toxic. 

Bird of Paradise

These popular house and garden plants can cause vomiting and diarrhea for both cats and dogs. Instead, choose Boston ferns, which are non-toxic to pets, beautiful to look at, and can even help improve the air quality in your home.


Chrysanthemums are popular garden, pot and bouquet flowers, but even though they’re pretty to look at, they are toxic for your pets. Along with vomiting and diarrhea, these flowers can also cause skin irritations and infections. Another popular garden plant that should be avoided would be hydrangeas. A healthier, pet-friendly alternative to either of these would be marigolds, they’re just as bright and beautiful to look at! 


Whilst the oleander flowers may look harmless, they’re most certainly not. Your cats and dogs may experience vomiting, diarrhea and even heart arrhythmias. If you’re looking for a safer alternative, Arizona rosewood is much more pet-friendly, and can even bloom little white flowers! 

Monstera AKA Swiss Cheese Plant

Monstera leaves can certainly give your house a more “funky” and “tropical” look, but did you know that these plants are rather “monstrous” towards your pet’s health? Not only can they make your pets quite sick, but they can also cause burning and swelling of their mouths and throats, which can be extremely dangerous if not dealt with right away. If you’re looking for a plant that is much less harmful, we would recommend the ponytail palm!

Sansevieria AKA Mother-In-Law’s Tongue

These plants certainly look interesting to have around the house, with their pointy shapes, and unique leaf patterns, but they’re definitely not to be kept around or in reach of your pets. If ingested, these plants can cause gastrointestinal upset, and excessive drooling. We’d recommend spider plants as an alternative, if you’re looking for another plant with unique and interesting leaves!


With their striking colors, amaryllis is certainly beautiful to look at, and you couldn’t be faulted for wanting these flowers to brighten your home or garden, but on top of making your pets quite sick, they can also cause abdominal pain. This is why you should choose a more pet friendly plant, like bromeliads. These plants will provide your home or garden with just as much color and vibrancy as an amaryllis would. 

Specific Vegetables, Fruits and Herbs

While growing your own fruits, vegetables and herbs may benefit your health, some specific plants in this category won’t do the same for your pets. The following plants can cause health complications for your fur babies, or make them quite sick, and should be avoided: 

- Tomato Plants, opt for pet-friendly vegetables like carrots

- Chives, pet-friendly alternatives include herbs like parsley, basil, and mint.

- Onions/Garlic, a pet friendly alternative would be zucchini or cucumbers.

- Grapes/Raisins, you could grow pet-friendly fruits like apples or bananas instead.

- Rhubarb, specifically the leaves. Choose pet-friendly vegetables like green beans or broccoli instead.

- Avocado plants, if you’re looking for pet-friendly fruit alternatives, then consider watermelons, blueberries, or cantaloupes.

We hope this list helps with making a decision about which plants you’d like to brighten up your home with! Remember, before adding a new plant or flower into your home make sure to check first with either your vet or a medical professional about whether or not this plant will be safe for your fur-babies to be around!

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