Whether you’re looking for a small plant for your windowsill or some flowers for the front yard, it’s important to make sure you get nontoxic plants for dogs. This article has four lists of plants that will protect your furry friend while still bringing color and life in and around your home, including these plants:
- Spider plants to purify the air
- Basil for cooking and for repelling mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas
- Lemon balm to repel mosquitoes while attracting bees and butterflies
- Banana trees for those wanting a large tree-like indoor plant that will make a big impact
- Orchids to add a beautiful splash of color to your home
The Pup Parent’s Plant Problem
Like a lot of us lately, I work from home. Working and living in the same place can make your home feel more stressful. And I don’t know about you, but I like my home to be my personal little haven where I can relax.
Our pets can definitely help with that, but so can bringing a little of the outdoors in. Plants are a great way to do this, and they help clean our air too!
Personally, I love plants. But I have no green thumb. I like easy keepers. One of my goals is to decorate with more plants that I am qualified to manage.
But what happens when our pets discover our beautiful little plants? Fortunately, my dog Tulip leaves them alone, but I’ve had dogs in the past that were very curious when it came to greenery around the house.
As adorable as puppies are, anyone who’s ever had a new puppy in the house knows they love getting into things they’re not supposed to. Anything’s fair game, and everything they see is something new to sniff, investigate, and (usually) chew. However, even adult dogs can get in on the mischief.
If a curious pup eats a plant that’s toxic or poisonous to dogs, it could cause stomach upsets or seizures. In certain situations, it could even be fatal. This is why it’s so important for you to ensure that any plants in and around your house are safe for dogs so your furry companions can stay safe and healthy.
NOTE: If you suspect your pup has any poisonous plants, please call ASPCA Animal Poison Control at (888) 426-4435. A veterinarian will be helping you, so a consultation fee may apply.
I’ve only included plants that the ASPCA says are nontoxic to dogs in the lists on this page.
The Best Air-Purifying Plants That Aren’t Toxic for Dogs
Who doesn’t want cleaner air? Plants are a great way to clean out pollutants in our homes.
All plants help out with this, but there are some plants that are gold medalists at cleaning out any nasty chemicals from our air. Here are six pet-friendly plants that will keep your air clean and clear while also keeping your curious puppies and dogs toxin-free:
- Bamboo Palm. This plant grows tall with dense foliage, giving it the look of a small tree and making it a great choice for a floor plant.
- Boston Fern. This is a big, bushy plant made of long, soft fronds that you’ll often see sold as a hanging plant.
- Gerbera Daisy. Who doesn’t like a splash of flowery color? Unlike your traditional white and yellow daisies, these pet-friendly plants’ flowers come in almost all the colors of the rainbow.
- Prayer Plant. The dark green stripes and pink accents on the prayer plant’s big, oval leaves make it an attractive addition to your home. Its leaves curl up at night, hence the name. The prayer plant is also one of the easiest plants to care for (a win for us with zero green thumbs!).
- Rubber Plant. Make sure this is the American Rubber Plant (also known as pepper face plant, which has rounded leaves), NOT the Indian Rubber Plant (also known as the Weeping Fig, which has pointy leaves and is toxic to dogs).
- Spider Plant. This pet-friendly plant has long, thin leaves with long, thin stripes that turn it into a curly, leafy fountain. The cascading foliage of a spider plant makes it a great fit on shelves or windows, and it’s a pretty hardy houseplant!
You’ll see philodendrons recommended a lot for air-purifying, but they can irritate your dog’s mouth, throat, and stomach, depending on how much of it your dog eats. If you have this plant, it’s best to keep it high up out of reach.
Warning: Do NOT keep Oleander in the house if you have either dogs or cats. It is very toxic and can even cause organ failure!
Mosquito-Repellent Plants That Are Safe for a Dog Lover’s Home
Having plants around your house that repel mosquitoes can help protect you and your canine companions from many different diseases.
However, since our dogs will probably be outside to go on walks or just to do their business, it’s a good idea to make sure the plants near our homes are non-toxic and safe for dogs in case your pup decides to have a taste.
Here are five pet-friendly plants with mosquito-repellent properties:
- Basil. Herbs that are also great for cooking!
- Catnip. This pet-friendly plant repels mosquitoes but may also attract your neighbor’s cats!
- Lemon Balm. Side benefit: bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies love this plant!
- Marigolds. These flowers repel mosquitoes and also look lovely in a garden.
- Rosemary. Another plant that’s great in the kitchen—and also attracts butterflies! (This plant is not safe for dogs that are prone to seizures.)
Warning: Do NOT use citronella plants to repel mosquitoes if you have a dog. Citronella is deadly to dogs.
Note: Peppermint and lavender are often recommended as dog-safe pest repellents, but the ASPCA says they are toxic to pets (ASPCA information on mint and on lavender). Some people say that’s just the Pennyroyal variety and that small amounts of peppermint and spearmint are actually helpful to dogs, but please use caution if you’re thinking about adding these plants to your garden.
Plants that Repel Ticks and Fleas
Fleas and ticks can be the bane of a dog’s life—and the pet parent too! While there are many methods out there to discourage these irritating hitchhikers from hopping aboard your fluffy friend, here are some dog-safe plants that you can plant outside to discourage them from coming near your house at all:
- Basil. This plant is not only tasty; it’s also great for repelling mosquitoes!
- Catnip. If you have cats, they’ll also enjoy this plant.
- Marigolds. These flowering plants come in a huge range of colors, so you can repel insects while adding beauty to your garden.
- Rosemary. This plant is safe for healthy dogs, but it can cause problems in dogs prone to seizures.
- Sage. This is another plant that’s great to cook with.
- Thyme. You can also combine this with the rosemary in your cooking.
15 Beautiful Indoor Plants That Won’t Cause Your Dog Harm
A plant doesn’t have to have a specific purpose; it can just be a beautiful and colorful addition to your home! Here are 15 common houseplants that you’re likely to find in the lawn and garden department of your local big-box store but which are also non-toxic and safe for the pups in your family:
- African Violet. This plant’s stunning purple flowers add a splash of color. The African violet also thrives indoors nearly all year round.
- Bamboo. These plants are great for low-light areas and VERY easy to grow.
- Banana Tree. With its huge leaves and taller-than-average height, this plant is a good choice for someone who has a lot of space and wants a statement plant to fill it.
- Boston Fern. This is a big, bushy plant that loves indirect light and will grow as big as its pot allows.
- Date Palm. The dwarf variety can work well as a larger indoor plant—just make sure you are buying a date palm, as some other varieties of palm are toxic to dogs.
- Friendship Plant. This plant is known for its cute and soft wrinkly leaves.
- Haworthia Succulent. This spiky plant looks similar to an Aloe Plant but with white raised ridges around the spikes. Be careful to buy Haworthia and NOT Aloe—Aloe is toxic to dogs!
- Money Plant. Whether you believe the wealth-generating legends around this little tree or not, it’s still a lovely and easy plant to grow for your home.
- Orchid. While not the easiest plant to grow, its beautiful, delicate flowers are dog-safe.
- Polka Dot Plant. Also known as Hypoestes phyllostachya or baby tears, the polka-dot plant has charming pink and green leaves.
- Ponytail Palm. This is a fun, wild-looking plant that looks like a miniature tree with dozens of thin leaves curling like a fountain in every direction. It’s also great at handling low light.
- Parlor Palm. This elegant plant will give your home a little spot of paradise. The parlor palm thrives in indirect sunlight and can tolerate low light as well.
- Prayer Plant. This common plant has fun zebra stripes and pink accents on its oval leaves.
- Rubber Plant. Look for the round-leaved American Rubber variety, NOT the pointy-leaved Indian Rubber variety, which is toxic.
- Spider Plant. This is another fun plant with wild, curling, striped leaves. It is also known for having little “baby” spider plants that hang down and can be grown into new spider plants.
- Venus Fly Trap. This famous carnivorous plant is lethal to bugs, not to dogs.
The Tail End
We all love our dogs and want them to be safe and protected. Making sure our homes are only filled with and surrounded by plants that are safe is a great way to do that. If you’re plant shopping and see a plant that you like but isn’t on any of these lists, the ASPCA’s toxic and non-toxic plant database is a great way to find out if it’s safe for your furry friends. Stay safe and happy gardening!