Plants to Avoid as a Dog Owner

Now that winter is over and the weather is getting warmer, everyone is starting to think about what they’re going to do outside this year. For some people, that means planning vacations they’d love to take, and for others, it means that they’re focusing on how they can get active outdoors. Another thing people are thinking about is what they’re going to grow.

Gardening is a fun outdoor and indoor activity that people always get back into when the weather warms up. If you find yourself in this group of people, it’s the time of year to get to your local lawn care store and get excited about all the plants you can raise! This is such an enjoyable way to spend your time, but if you’re a dog owner, you have more to think about than what would look good on your lawn or on a shelf.

Dogs are known for eating things they’re not supposed to, whether they’re indoors or outside. This means that when you start growing new plants, they’re going to get interested in what you’re doing. To be safe, read on to know what plants to avoid as a dog owner. You could potentially save your curious pup a visit to the vet and gain more peace of mind when you slip on the gardening gloves.


Never Grow These Outside

  1. Lily of the Valley

Seeing flowers bloom is one of the best parts about spring, but not all flowers were made to be around dogs. If you’re thinking of planting some Lily of the Valley in your yard, you might want to think twice. This plant has lethal bulbs and berries, which cause death within hours of consumption. Let your dog run free in your yard without worrying about what they might accidentally try to eat.

  1. Oleander

Look elsewhere if you want a burst of color in your yard. Oleander is a poisonous plant that is usually found around areas that attract tourists because of its gorgeous color. Before you pick up some seeds, you should know that all parts of it are toxic and should be avoided by both people and animals.

  1. Poinsettia

This flower is known for being a Christmas decoration, but you can grow them in the spring too. It’s a popular plant that’s not known for being toxic, but it is. If your dog gets a bite out of one of these, the white sap will cause vomiting and pain, leading to an emergency vet visit.


Don’t Have These in the House

  1. Aloe

Aloe is a popular plant to grow because it requires minimal care and does so much. It’s great for those who need skin care for things like dry skin and sunburns, but it’s not so great for dogs. If ingested, the pulp and juice will cause vomiting, diarrhea and a lack of appetite, which may be hard to recover from if a lot of the plant has been eaten.

  1. Dieffenbachia

This plant finds its way onto almost any list of plants that are easy to grow indoors, but you should be aware that it’s terrible for dogs. It doesn’t matter if your pup eats a leaf, the roots or the whole plant. The side effects will burn their mouth, cause difficulty swallowing and result in vomiting that would need veterinary assistance to stop.

  1. Eucalyptus

For those indoor gardeners who want the look of a fern without a bushy plant, eucalyptus is a common middle ground to find. If you’re a dog owner, you should know that it’s poisonous if ingested, and can affect your dog even if you have it out of reach. The smell of the oil it produces can trigger depression in dogs, so it’s best to keep it out of the house.


What You Can Grow Guilt-Free

  1. Peppermonia

There’s still a way for plant lovers to have plants in their home that are easy to grow and safe for pets. One of these is the peppermonia, or American rubber plant. It’s safe for dogs and won’t cause any harm if eaten, but your dog probably won’t be interested. The rubber plant has a waxy, thick leaf that turns most animals away, and loves low lighting so they won’t be near windows. Bonus! It’s one of the pet-safe plants that purifies the air with low maintenance, so you can relax and enjoy your dogs and your plants.

  1. Boston Fern

The Boston fern is a great way to add color and texture to a room that your dog spends a lot of time in. They’re a great hanging plant, which will keep your dog from chewing on the leaves, but if you come home one day and see leaves between their teeth, don’t worry! It’s a safe plant for animals, no matter what part they get to chewing.

  1. Gerbera Daisy

Also known as the African daisy, this flower comes in all sizes and colors. They’re the perfect remedy for when you’re craving the colors of spring in new, blooming flowers. And the good news is that they’re perfectly safe to be around dogs, so you can plant away and fill your whole house with bright colors.


When you’re a dog owner, you take on more responsibility than you may have ever had if you’re new to dogs. There’s plenty to think about and get used to, like your pup’s vet schedule and when they need to go outside to use the bathroom. When spring comes around, a new responsibility is having to think about how the plants you want to grow will affect your dog.

There are many poisonous plants to be aware of since some of them are popular plants that aren’t well known for being toxic to pets. Do lots of research before bringing any new plants home so you can trust that if your dog were to get a hold of them, you wouldn’t have to worry about running to the emergency vet clinic.

By Emily Folk 

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