Non-Toxic Plant Options for Pet Owners


Are you a plant lover and a pet owner? Then you have probably discovered it can sometimes be tricky to find plants for your home that are also safe to have around pets. Well, don’t be discouraged! There are actually quite a few houseplants that are non-toxic to dogs and cats. For this week’s blog, we have pulled together a list that can help you decorate your home with live plants… or, perhaps even serve as a list of gift ideas for those pet owners on your shopping list this holiday season!

Be sure to keep these precautions in mind:

  • Even non-toxic plants can create gastrointestinal upset if ingested by your pet. If your pet is overly attracted to houseplants, even non-toxic ones, then plants are probably best kept out of reach.
  • Check the plant label carefully and reference the scientific name. You can double check any plant with the ASPCA’s list of non-toxic plants for cats and dogs.
  • Don’t make assumptions from the name of the plant. For example, a Boston Fern is non-toxic, but that does not mean all plants with the name “fern” are non-toxic.
  • Don’t assume that if one species can have the plant, that it is safe for any species.

Now, for the list.

Examples of Non-Toxic Plants
Common NameScientific NamePhotograph Example
Some BromeliadsNeoregalia spp.
Hens and chickensEcheveria elegans
Christmas CactusSchlumbergera bridgesii
Spider PlantChlorophytum comosum
RoseRosa sp.
African VioletSaintpaulia spp.
Phalaenopsis orchidsPhalaenopsis sp.
Prayer plantCalathea insignis
Polka dot plantHypoestes phyllostachya
Friendship plantPilea involucrata
Boston FernNephrolepis exalta bostoniensis
Pony TailBeaucarnea recurvata
Burro’s tailSedum morganianum
Lipstick plantAeschynanthus humilis
Japanese AraliaFatsia japonica
Aluminum plantPilea cadieri

Need more choices? Visit the ASPCA’s website page about toxic and non-toxic plants.

Author: Dr. C. Noureddine, DVM, MS, MS