For animal lovers, pets aren't just an interesting addition to the home, they can often become a cherished part of the family. As such, taking care of your pet can be just as important as looking after a loved one.
If you're a pet owner, it's important to know the dos and don'ts of animal care. From a gardening perspective, this includes knowing which plants are safe for pets and what ones pose a danger.
Luckily, our team and Lawn & Weed Expert are here to help. We've created a handy list to help you differentiate between the cat's meow and the dog's b...uh, the dog's bark, in our blog on plants that are safe for pets.
Safe plants for cats and dogs
Undoubtedly two of the most popular pets in the UK, cats and dogs are a common sight in homes across the UK. In fact, according to We-Love-Pets.co.uk, out of the 12 million UK households that have pets, roughly 41% of those include a feline friend or canine compadre.
That figure equates to almost 5 million homes, more than the entire population of both Wales and the Republic of Ireland respectively - that's a whole lot of Pedigree and Whiskas!
If you happen to be one of those lucky homes, keeping Fido and Felix footloose and fancy-free will be a high priority and picking the right plants for your home and garden can be surprisingly important.
Here's a shortlist of popular plants generally considered safe for most cats and dogs:
- Spider plant
- Boston Fern
- Swedish Ivy
Safe plants for rabbits and rodents
If you prefer your domestic animals to be a little furrier and compact, this section may be of interest to you. From rabbits and guinea pigs to hamsters and gerbils, these fluffy companions can make a great pet for those thinking outside the cat/dog box.
The downside of these pets (particularly for garden aficionados) is that rabbits and rodents do have a tendency to pick on plants and lunch on leaves. As such, knowing what plants in your home and garden are safe for pets is vitally important.
Popular common plants safe for most rabbits and rodents include:
- Jade plant
Safe plants for reptiles and lizards
If you own a reptile or amphibian, chances are that you also own the relevant equipment to house it (i.e. a vivarium).
As your pet will spend most of its time confined to these four walls, incorporating a plant or two can be a welcome addition, while also making for stylish and eye-catching decor.
But not all plants are an appropriate addition to your reptilian real estate and some can be outright dangerous. The following are popular plants generally deemed safe for reptiles and lizards:
- Spider Plant
Safe plants for birds
Outside of the furry, fluffy and scaly, birds are another popular choice of pet for many Brits across the nation. Much like their land-loving brethren, these feathered friends are also at risk from the dangers of the plant world.
Some popular plants that are considered safe for most types of birds include:
- Boston Fern
- Swedish Ivy
Plants that aren't safe for pets
While the above focuses on plants that ARE safe for pets, the list of poisonous plants for pets is long and wide-ranging, confusing and, at times, also frustrating. What's great for humans and perfectly healthy can catastrophic for our furry friends.
Take aloe vera, for example: great for the skin, rich in antioxidants and a go-to for detoxing, it's a much-loved plant that can do no wrong, as far as human consumption is concerned. However, for animals - particularly cats and dogs - the aloe vera plant itself can be toxic and can cause vomiting and diarrhoea.
To play it safe, your best bet is to only introduce plants into your home and garden that you know are safe for your pets. A simple internet search can help identify whether or not your plant of choice is fit for your pet-friendly home, so be sure to double-check before you bring any new shrub into your house or garden.
Are your plants safe for pets?
While the above list is very much a rough guide on what plants are safe for pets, it's important to remember that plants can come in many forms with a range of variations. This list is merely a base guide to give you an idea and is far from complete.
If there is a particular species of plant you are eyeing up for your home, it's wise to do your homework. Don't be afraid to dig a little deeper and find out whether or not your dream shrub is pet-friendly. You could be in luck and be able to kill two birds with one stone...okay, bad choice of words, but you get the idea!
If you're still unsure about the plants in your home and garden, why not drop us a line? Our team of experts can even provide you with a free survey and help treat your lawn to ensure it's risk-free and contains only pet-safe plants.
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