As Fall days become increasingly shorter, the gloomier days make many of us want to fill our homes with cheerful things – namely, pets and more houseplants! Unfortunately, some popular decorative fall plants are unsafe for our furry companions.
Dog homeowners may be able to place certain unsafe plants up on shelving out of reach, but we know this is not the case for every pet owner - especially families with both dogs and cats. While canines certainly enjoy nosing around, our feline friends have a knack for climbing the shelving and possibly even knocking things off!
The Barkery and Bath pet experts want to help keep your pets safe this season. To help you decorate your home safely, we’ve created a list of several pet-safe fall plants.
Pet-Safe Fall Plants
- Asters (callistephus chinensis) are a fabulous fall flower safe for both dogs and cats.
- Rayless Goldenrod (haplopappus heterophyllus), also called jimmy weed, is a bushy shrub of bright yellow beauty. While edibly dangerous for horses, cattle and sheep, the plant is not considered toxic for cats or dogs.
- Pansies (viola tricolor var. hortensis) come in all sorts of incredible colors, offering great variety for your fall décor. Safe for dogs and cats, pansies are less hardy than shrub type plants, but can usually survive through a mild frost.
- Cast Iron Plant (aspidistra elatior) is a classic indoor houseplant favorite for a reason – this incredibly adaptable plant is both shade tolerant and evergreen, making it ideal for folks with a less-than-green thumb.
- Camellias (camellia japonica) are fairly sturdy little shrubs, enduring temperatures down to 10 degrees. Safe for both dogs and cats, these “queens of the winter flowers” are gorgeous evergreen shrubs with exquisitely beautiful blooms.
- Russian Sage (perovskia atriplicifolia) is a pretty purple plant perfect for brightening your home this season. Often planted outdoors or in large pots, its silvery gray foliage is not only admired for its look but also for its fragrance!
- Caryopteris (caryopteris clandonensis) is another beautiful purple flower to decorate your out-of-door area with. With dark, glossy leaves, the flowers themselves are an attractive deep blue or indigo, ideal for a regal autumn look.
- “Karl Foerster” Feather Reed Grass (calamagrostis acutiflora) is a dramatically beautiful grass that produces red-bronze flower spikes throughout summer. Come fall, it’s easy to see why this tall, fluffy topped grass is called “feather reed.” Although non-toxic for your pets, this grass does have some sharp canes that could scratch rowdy or playful pets.
- Fountain Grass (pennisetum setaceum) is another ornamental grass to spruce up your home’s appearance this fall. Tall and graceful, these grass blades show off fuzzy little caterpillar-like blooms sure to delight.
- Ponytail Palm (beaucarnea recurvata) is another favorite indoor houseplant, not only because it is non-toxic for pets, but also because it provides a luscious green addition to your fall decor. Warm up your indoor space with its voluminous, uniquely shaped fronds this fall!
- Christmas Palm (adonidia merrillii) is an ideal palm for potting so it’s perfectly lovely indoors. Liven up your front porch on warm days and bring inside when temperatures drop; its greenery will bring some cheer during the gloomier days. Appropriately named for the approaching holiday season, the Christmas Palm is an excellent fall choice safe for both dogs and cats.
Safety First This Fall
Unfortunately, mums - some of the most popular fall plants - are quite toxic for both cats and dogs. Mums (chrysanthemums) are beautiful flowers, but when consumed by pets, can lead to vomiting, hyper-salivation, diarrhea, incoordination, and dermatitis.
Please be aware that even “non-toxic” plants can cause mild gastrointestinal problems if consumed by pets. Some pets may not be interested in eating your houseplants, but keep an eye on the cats or dogs who do nibble away. You could choose to place houseplants up on shelves out of reach of your dog, or keep a spray bottle of water handy to train your cat to leave the greenery alone.
Even if your home is perfectly pet-safe, your pets may consume poisonous plant substances at some point. Maybe your cat indulges in a neighbor’s plant or perhaps your dog gets into a dangerous plant during a hike. Don’t forget to have your Pet First Aid Kit readily available for those “just in case” moments.
What to Do?
If your pet has been exposed to a toxic substance or potentially poisonous plant, please contact your veterinarian immediately. You can also call Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) at (888) 426-4435 right away for help 24/7 any day of the year. A consultation fee may apply.
Need help keeping your curious companion occupied during the colder months? The Barkery and Bath offers several fun treats and toys to keep your pet’s attention off the greenery!
For questions about our products, your pet’s nutrition, or anything else, please contact us online or drop by today. We love nothing more than helping you help your best friend!