Houseplants can help you turn a synthetic-feeling space into one that blends beautifully with your natural surroundings. But while plants are a wonderful design option, some can also pose a threat to your pets. Here’s a quick look at some dangerous — and some not-so-dangerous — houseplants.


Aloe Vera

Ingesting aloe vera can make your cat or dog very sick. Vomiting, depression, diarrhea and tremors are all common symptoms of animals who have consumed aloe vera.

If you’re going to keep an aloe vera plant in your home, make sure to hang it out of reach of pets. A lack of interest in food and a change in the color of your pet’s urine are signs of aloe vera poisoning.



Azaleas are beautiful plants that fit in with many different styles of décor. But they can also pose a serious threat to your pet’s health. Azaleas are poisonous to cats, dogs and horses. Depression, weakness, colic and a slow heart rate are common symptoms of azalea consumption among animals. If too much is eaten, animals can even slip into a coma and die.

Place azaleas in hanging planters outdoors and be sure to keep them off the floor inside your home. It’s a good idea to fence off your gardens if you include azaleas in your home’s landscaping designs.


Baby’s Breath

Baby’s breath is a common flower in planned arrangements and small home gardens. But baby’s breath can be toxic to your pets. Signs of ingestion are vomiting, nausea and diarrhea. It’s best to leave baby’s breath to the florist instead of growing it at home.


African Violet

Sometimes known as the cape marigold, the African violet is a bold, bright plant that can boost your home’s visual appeal. Best of all, African violets are non-toxic to cats and dogs, making them an ideal choice for animal lovers.

While you probably don’t want your pets eating your African violets, you can rest assured that nothing more than an upset stomach will occur if they nibble on a flower or two.


Bamboo is a house plant that’s easy to maintain and gives your home a modern look. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about serious health problems if your dog takes a bite. Bamboo is non-toxic to both cats and dogs.



Many homeowners like to grow basil in their kitchens, dining rooms or porches. Unlike other household plants, basil is non-toxic and doesn’t pose a threat to your pet’s health. Still, it’s a good idea to keep it on tables, windowsills or in other out-of-reach places.




Finding the right plants for your pet-friendly home isn’t hard. But as a pet owner, it’s your job to do the research before you bring anything new into your home. Ask the pros at your local nursery which plants are pet-safe and which aren’t.


Written contribution by Andrea Davis, Home Advisor.