Having a dog at home doesn't mean that you can't indulge in some indoor greenery! By choosing dog-safe houseplants and then placing (or hanging) them strategically in your home to discourage curious dog noses or paws, you can have quite a lush indoor sanctuary for both you and your pup.
Whether you prefer succulents, abundant green foliage, large leaves, or vibrant flowers, there's a pet-friendly plant out there for you.
We've got our top 10 picks for gorgeous indoor plants that are safe for dogs to help get you started and keep you from taking an unexpected trip to the veterinary office.
It's essential to know the difference between toxic and non-toxic plants and flowers that your dog might be able to get into. If you are unsure about a specific plant or flower, ASPCA is a great source for plant toxicity. Remember, even "pet-safe" plants can still cause an upset stomach or an obstruction depending on how much is eaten.
If you are concerned that your pooch has potentially gobbled up something you are unsure about, or they are showing unusual behaviors, contact your veterinarian immediately. If your dog has never been interested in a plant in the past, don't let your guard down! Even the most stoic of dogs can pick up new behaviors for a variety of reasons.
Top Dog-Friendly Indoor Plants
Safety Note: All of the plants we have listed have been reviewed for their non-toxicity, listed with the exact picture, and linked to our specific choice. We cannot guarantee non-toxicity and recommend that you confirm the plant is safe before purchasing any deviations from these.
Haworthia — Commonly called "Zebra Cactus"
Haworthias, a very popular succulent, convenient in size, and come in many variations. They are statement plants! Some are thin and bristly, while others can be thick. Some have spots while others are marked with lines or stripes. Regardless of the species you choose, they are safer for your canine, and the sharp pointy exterior provides a natural deterrent in case they come around sniffing.
Keep in mind, that with some low-lying succulents, there's the potential that your pup can injure themselves if they were to run into one of the sharp pointed ends. They can sustain damage to their eyes, tongue, oral cavity, esophagus, stomach, and/or intestines (if swallowed). However, you can always try placing the Haworthia up higher and out of reach, such as on a high windowsill or well-lit shelf.
Echeveria Succulents — Commonly called "Hens and Chicks"
Let's just stick on succulents! Honestly, I love all succulents, and for good reason. They're colorful and are stunning with all of their various shapes. Another favorite – Hens and Chicks, will generally have a blue hue. However, there are a number of variations (like the picture above). With a flowery look, this succulent is another popular pick for pet owners looking to add some more color inside. It doesn't need a lot of water but loves sunshine. Put several of these Hens and Chicks in a planter box, and you have a great centerpiece for your table runner.
Chlorophytum Comosum — Commonly called "Spider Plant"
The name says it all when you look at this pet-safe plant, but still much more attractive than its name would lead you to believe! The beautiful long grass-like leaves look even more fantastic when hanging. And fortunately, macrame plant hangers popular in the 1970s are making a comeback along with the Spider Plant! Hang them somewhere where they get bright, indirect light.
Maranta Leuconeura — Commonly called "Prayer Plant"
Back to some more color! This wonderful native of Brazil has white veins on the top of the leaves with a purple and green bottom-side of the leaf. With the leaves being close and pointed towards the sky like a couple of hands, it lives up to the name Prayer Plant. Although the Prayer Plant doesn't need a lot of sunlight, the soil needs to stay moist, and it should be fed every two weeks.
Peperomia Obtusifolia — Commonly called "Baby Rubber Plant"
A safer alternative to the Rubber Plant (which can cause mild toxicity to humans and pets), the Peperomia Obtusifolia – Baby Rubber plant is native to Florida and the Caribbean. It enjoys indirect light and is relatively easy to maintain. This will brighten up any kitchen window counter ledge or office bookshelf. Its small size gives you unlimited options in where you decide to place your Baby Rubber plant.
Dypsis Lutescens — Commonly called "Areca Palm"
Let's step it up a notch! Smaller plants are great when you are adding greenery to shelving or tables, but let's not forget that bigger can sometimes be better. Although some species of palm (always stay away from the Sago Palm) can be very toxic to dogs, the Areca Palm is non-toxic and can be set nearly anywhere inside. Its wispy palm fronds will transform your home into a vacation villa. It's important to keep in mind that although non-toxic, you want to make sure they don't chew up whole fronds. To keep your dog from getting into the dirt or deciding to make a frond their new chew toy, place your planter on a stand to make it less accessible to your pooch.
Chamaedorea Elegans — Commonly called "Parlor Palm"
The Parlor Palm is as common as you can find, considering it's one of the most heavily sold houseplant palms in the world. And for good reason — it's relatively easy to care for, adds a tropical ambiance, and is another palm that is non-toxic to dogs. Place a number of these in any room. With the right pieces of furniture, you'll transform any living space into a British Colonial style. They're also great in numbers near a set of french doors.
Musa Acuminata — Commonly called "Dwarf Banana Plant"
One of my favorite inside plants. Regardless of where you put it – it's the first thing every guest will notice when they enter your home! If you are looking for a counterpart to the palm, the Dwarf Banana Plant is an even more dramatic and safe choice for dogs. This plant is a nice alternative to the Hurricane Plant (if you are looking for something more tropical). The giant paddle-like leaves make this native of South East Asia a bold statement in any home. The perfect spot for the Dwarf Banana Plant is near a south-facing window, and it likes to thoroughly dry out between waterings. This is a great choice if you are looking for something tropical and with larger leaves than the Areca Palm.
Pachira Aquatica — Commonly called "The Money Tree"
If you are looking for something a little more traditional, but with special powers – look no further than the Money Tree! It's a nice addition to your indoors, giving the home a tropical feel. The Money tree's name stems from the Feng Shui belief that it brings positive energy and good luck to the owner. Who couldn't use a little good fortune! And just think of the positive vibes you'll produce in your house as your dog is happy and healthy.
Phalaenopsis Orchid — Commonly called "Moth Orchid"
Taking a step back – we wanted to end our list with a touch of elegance. The Moth Orchid is one of the most common orchids and a great pop of color. This ray of sunlight is a great addition to any home looking for more than just greenery. The Moth Orchid is relatively easy to care for and grows well inside, blooming most of the year.
Signs of Plant Toxicity in Dogs
Keep in mind that even with dog-friendly plants, paying close attention to any abnormal behavior your canine may be showing is essential. Although your plants may be safe for dogs from a toxicity standpoint, your canine may consume enough of a leaf to cause an upset stomach. Depending on the leaf's shape and size, and how much they eat, as well as your dog's size, there's a risk of a possible gastrointestinal obstruction and even a foreign body in their nose.
Unusual Dog Behavior to Look Out For:
- Decreased Appetite
- Pawing at Mouth or Nose
If you notice any of these symptoms or anything else concerning, contact your veterinarian immediately. For additional information on plant and flower toxicity, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Hotline: 888-426-4435 (a fee may apply).
Now, you should be ready to not only spruce up your living space but do it without the anxiety of risking your dog's health and safety. There are a number of other non-toxic plant options that you can research on ASPCA's Toxic & Non-Toxic Plants search engine. So take your time finding the right plant for your place. And take the time to see what really works. You may find that one plant may not work as well as another when it comes to your dog, and be vigilant in where you place them. Your dog may not even bother the plants at all. At least if they do, you were smart enough to get safer greenery. And if you find living plants don't work in your particular situation, you always have the option of silk or plastic plants.
Share your favorite non-toxic houseplants or tricks to keep your dog away in the comments below!