Pet-Friendly Plants

Have you noticed that cats and dogs eat houseplants? Some people believe that they do this to calm stomach discomfort and help with digestion, or to compensate for some nutritional deficiencies. While others think that cats and dogs sometimes eat houseplants in play because they perceive flower petals as toys.

Keeping a houseplant "alive" next to a pet, or saving a pet from the possible consequences of poisoning, can seem like an impossible mission. It is up to us as responsible owners to ensure that the plants we grow at home are safe and non-toxic for cats and dogs, saving us further worries.

These herbs are safe for both cats and dogs

African violet (Saintpaulia) one of the most popular indoor plants with beautiful flowers. It is easy to maintain, and due to its ability to bloom even in low light, it is suitable for standing in places that are difficult for your pets to reach.

Orchid many consider it complicated to grow, but this beautiful plant enchants with its flower. It likes the morning light, and it is watered by submerging the pot in a larger container until it absorbs a sufficient amount of water. Since it is safe for pets, we can calmly wait for its flowering and admire it.

Green lily or spider plant is an indoor plant suitable for pets, and ideal for beginners in floriculture. It does best when it does not have direct light and requires watering for 3 to 4 days. What makes it attractive are the mini plants that sprout from the main plant and spread around the pot. However, long, drooping stems can be tempting to cats, so keep it high. An additional benefit that we can have is that this plant has a great ability to absorb toxins from the air.

House or Boston fern not only is it non-toxic, but it also looks incredibly attractive in hanging baskets, which are difficult for pets to reach. This is one of the few indoor plants that is least likely to cause discomfort or stomach cramps if ingested by your pet.

Bamboo palm is ideal if you want a mini tree in the house. Although the leaves of this tropical beauty may tempt your pets to play, don't worry, it is completely safe for them, but also very beneficial for you. As an air filter, it eliminates some gases from the air and purifies it.

Use natural insecticides

Choosing a non-toxic plant is the first step in creating a safe environment for pets. Indoor plants almost inevitably face common pests such as aphids, spider mites and mites. When pesky insects appear, consider non-toxic alternatives to get rid of them.

Use natural insecticides, and make some of them yourself: 

  • Dandelion pesticide. Pour 300g to 400g of dandelion flowers with 10l of warm water, strain after an hour or two. This will help you get rid of plant lice.
  • Fenugreek pesticide. Pour 200 grams of dry leaves with 10 liters of water, strain after 2 days and dilute with water in a ratio of 1:10. This is the safest way to get rid of spiders and other small insects that gather around flowers. 
  • Nettle pesticide. Soak 1 kg of fresh nettles in 10 liters of water and leave to stand, strain after 24 hours. Not only will you get rid of pests, but in this way you will also fertilize and strengthen your plant.

You should never keep these 3 plants near pets

 Depending on the type and quantity of the plant that the pet ate, the range of reactions ranges from mild problems with the digestive tract to serious nervous disorders, failure of vital organs and death of the animal. To avoid all this, be well informed before bringing any plant into the house. Avoid these 3 plants in a broad arc:

  1. Dieffenbachia - Consuming this plant causes serious irritation of the mouth, esophagus and stomach due to the insoluble calcium oxalate crystals that this plant creates.

How to recognize poisoning: your pet drools excessively, avoids food and water, and is generally in a bad mood. Some animals may vomit or in more severe cases develop swelling of the upper respiratory tract leading to difficulty breathing

  1. Philadendron - swallowing even the smallest amount of this plant is a reason for an urgent call to the veterinarian. If a pet ingests a significant amount of philodendron, severe respiratory and digestive problems occur that could be fatal.

How to recognize poisoning: Increased salivation and difficulty swallowing. are the first symptoms of poisoning. In addition, the animal may be agitated, whine and cough.

  1. ficus - when ficus leaves are torn off, a milky liquid secreted by the leaves appears, which is poisonous.

How to recognize poisoning: In contact with the skin, it can cause dermatitis, and in case of ingestion, drooling, vomiting and poor general condition.

   With these tips, you can create a safe green oasis while keeping your furry friends healthy. But if your pet does nibble on a plant, even one that is unlikely to cause health problems, keep a close eye on it for negative reactions. Just because a plant isn't toxic doesn't mean it won't cause a stomach ache if your pet decides to eat it.

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