10 Non-Toxic and Dog-Safe Houseplants

Keep pets healthy with the right selection of indoor plants
By Daniela Lopez, May 2017, Updated April 2020
pet safe indoor plants

When adopting a new dog there are a lot of things to worry about like making sure they get the right nutrition and training, but what about dog-proofing your home? Well, you might be shocked to find out that some common houseplants are toxic to both dogs and cats. Your new pal might go munching on any plants you have around, so what’s a good dog person to do? Play it safe! It is better to make sure your home is filled with dog safe non-toxic house plants. Below is a list of 10 house plants that are non-toxic to dogs and cats.

1. Spider Plant

Chlorophytum comosum, commonly referred to as Spider Plants, are safe for dogs and probably one of the most widely recognized houseplants. These plants are popular for beginners because they are one of the easiest plants to care for. They are tolerant of neglect and can thrive in almost any home. If you are a novice looking for a pet-friendly starter plant, you’ve found it.

Air plants (Tillandsia) are non-toxic to dogs

2. Tillandsia.

Commonly known as Air plants, they are the perfect companion a home with pets. Air plants are non-toxic to dogs, low maintenance, very decorative and petite. Since they do not require soil to grow, they can fit just about anywhere! Tillandsia commonly as stunning living-art pieces displayed on shelfs set on driftwood, small urns, or in hanging glass bulbs–anywhere a little doggo cannot get to them. But, remember low-maintenance does not mean no-maintenance!

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3. Boston Ferns

Nephrolepis Exaltata, commonly known as the Boston Fern, is an incredibly beautiful looking fern with a feather-like quality. You might be wondering if ferns are safe for dogs? True ferns, like the Boston Fern, are typically non-toxic to dogs and they make wonderful houseplants. These graceful easy-care ferns make wonderful hanging plants or the perfect accent to the top of a bookshelf. They do best with indirect sunlight and moist soil.

4. Staghorn Fern

These unusual plants have two-types of leaves one heart-shaped and one that looks remarkably like the horns of a deer, hence the name. Staghorn ferns (Platycerium spp) which are non-toxic to both cat and dog pets, are easy to grow if you provide them the right living conditions. Typically, these unique plants will be found mounted on a wall or draping from a hanging basket.

maidenhair fern non-toxic to cats and dogs

5. Maidenhair Fern

Similar to the Boston Fern, Maidenhair Ferns (Adiantum sp,) are soft, gorgeous looking ferns with a fan shape and feather-like quality to the leaves. Some might consider the Maidenhair ferns to be finicky, but they can be easy to care for one you learn the trick. Water, water, water! These plants love water so much that you practically cannot over-water them–add in a bit of bright light and you are set. These plants flourish in the right conditions and would make a wonderful addition to any dog loving home as Maidenhair Ferns, like many other true ferns, are non-toxic to dogs and cats.

6. Prayer Plant

The Maranta Plant (Maranta leuconeura), also known as the Prayer Plant, is non-toxic to both dogs and cats. This charming plant has unique ability, its oval-shaped leaves raise to an upright position during the night and the leaves fold together as if in prayer. These plants are easy to care for, do well in hanging baskets and make for a wonderful pet safe house plant.

7. Cat Grass

Wheat Grass, also known as pet grass or cat grass. This dog-friendly non-toxic plant is actually quite nutrient dense containing chlorophyll, fiber, Vitamin E, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and potassium plus some protein and carotenoids. Wheat grass may also help pets with upset stomachs. It’s easy to grow and care for but does require clipping similar to a lawn.

8. Rosemary

Salvia rosmarinus, commonly known as Rosemary, is an evergreen herb that is non-toxic to pets. Native to the Mediterranean it makes a wonderful ornamental addition to a home. Rosemary requires a lot of sun (6-8 hours of full sun) and is sensitive to over-watering so it is not the easiest plant to care for indoor unless under the best conditions.

ponytail palm non-toxic for both dogs and cats

9. Ponytail Palm

Beaucarnea recurvata, known as the Elephant’s Foot or Ponytail Palm, are non-toxic to pets and easy to grow, provided you don’t overwater them. Kept indoors, they rarely get larger than four feet tall and can be started small and transplanted as they grow. Despite the name, the Ponytail Palm isn’t a true palm, it is actually a part of the agave family. The ponytail palm makes a wonderful dog safe indoor plant.

10. Blue Bird

The Blue Bird Echeveria succulent is a gorgeous addition to any dog-loving home. This rosette style succulent is not too fond of cold but perfect for the indoors. Place it in a sunny location like a windowsill and lightly water to maintain this beautiful lotus like color.

As dog people we should always consider our dogs when picking plants for both inside our homes and out. According the ASPCA, their poison control hotline receives around 150,000 calls annually from pet owners needing assistance with possible poison-related emergencies. Next time, avoid the call by making sure the plants in and around your home are safe for dogs (and cats.) ASPCA also has a handy list of plants that are toxic and non-toxic to pets including dogs and cats.

Ponytail Palm photo courtesy of Ulfl at German Wikipedia