Skip to main content

6 indoor plants that are safe for your dog

Is there anything more magical than a space filled with plants? Not only does it look stunning, but bringing a touch of nature indoors also can help purify your air and even boost your mood. Unfortunately, many of our favorite plants are unsafe for dogs. If ingested, some plants may cause seizures, digestive issues, or even have potentially fatal consequences. No matter how well you’ve trained your dog, decorating with toxic plants isn’t worth the risk. We’re here to help you find six indoor plants safe for dogs, so you can have the greenery you want without putting your fur baby at risk.

A close-up shot of dark purple African violet flowers.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Dog-friendly indoor plants

Decorating with plants and flowers can be more trouble than it’s worth when you have an inquisitive pup. Here are six gorgeous plants that will beautify your home without harming your dog.

1. African violet

If bringing in a touch of color is your goal, consider African violets, also called cape marigolds, which produce stunning purple blooms. Plant-specific soil is available for African violets, or you can make your own with a mixture of equal parts peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite. Take precautions when you water your African violets. Even one splash of water on the foliage can cause spotting. It’s also best to use lukewarm water you’ve left standing for at least 48 hours. African violets require bright to medium light levels from a south- or west-facing window to properly develop their gorgeous flowers.

2. Bromeliad

Characterized by thick, unique foliage that naturally grows in the shape of a rosette, bromeliads are one of the most interesting plants you can introduce in a space. They flower at the end of their life, producing a variety of blooms in several colors and shapes. When housed indoors, bromeliads need medium to bright light. They tend to grow best in shallow pots, and you can pot them in orchid mix or a combination of bark, sphagnum moss, and organic additives. If you hate dealing with fussy plants, you’ll love how little care bromeliads need. During the growing season, they require a monthly boost of half-strength fertilizer. Watering your bromeliad is equally easy. Pour in a cup of lukewarm water once every week or two, depending on how quickly your plant absorbs it.

3. Calathea orbifolia

With verdant green leaves accented by silver stripes, the Calathea orbifolia makes an exquisite accessory in any home. They require medium light, high humidity, and soil that drains well. A mixture of two parts peat and one part perlite is considered ideal for these plants. It’s vitally important to keep the soil housing your Calathea orbifolia from drying out or growing too wet. Add in fertilizer monthly at half-strength during the growing season to help your plant thrive. If you live in an arid climate, Calathea orbifolia may not be the best plant for you, as they grow best in a tropical climate.

A close-up shot of pink and green polka dot plant leaves.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

4. Date palm

Planted in your backyard, date palms can reach a massive height of 75 feet. Fortunately, pygmy date palms are the perfect size for any indoor space. They require bright light, so you may want to add a few grow lights if your space is dim. Date palms grow best when their soil is slightly drier, as they’re highly sensitive to overwatering. A peat-based, well-draining soil is a must if you want to prevent root rot. As long as you have adequate lighting, date palms are ideal for anyone who forgets to water their plant occasionally.

5. Polka dot plant

For color lovers who want a plant that grows easily, these low-maintenance head turners are available in a variety of incredible color combinations. Their trademark polka-dot patterns come in green and white, green and red, pink and green, and pink and white. They require bright, indirect light to maintain their vibrant color; if you keep your plant in dim or direct light, you’ll lose those punchy colors. A well-draining, organic potting soil is best for polka dot plants, which require monthly fertilization and regular watering when the first ½ inch of soil is dry.

6. Watermelon peperomia

If you love the look of succulents but want something a bit more hands-on, watermelon peperomia is your best bet. They look like succulents with large, pink-tinged leaves, but they need a little more water — replenish their water when the first 2 inches of soil dry out — and more humidity than most succulents. They’re almost effortless to care for, as they can go longer between watering than most houseplants. Furthermore, they grow best in low to bright indirect light, and they need monthly fertilization at half-strength during spring and summer.

A close-up of watermelon peperomia leaves.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Combining your love for plants and pets can be tricky. Please remember the dangers of keeping toxic plants anywhere in your home. Just because you think a plant is inaccessible doesn’t mean your persistent pooch won’t find a way to knock it down. When in doubt, consult the ASPCA’s guide to toxic and nontoxic plants before making any purchases at your local garden center. Choose wisely, and you’ll be able to have the plant-filled space of your dreams.

Editors' Recommendations

Mary Johnson
Contributor
Mary Johnson is a writer and photographer from New Orleans, Louisiana. Her work has been published in PawTracks and…
Why do dogs’ anal glands fill up? Here’s what to know
How often you may need to take your pup to the vet to relieve this issue
A small dog sits on the table at a vet office

In pet ownership, as in all life, you run into hurdles. Some dogs never have an issue with their anal glands, but they can come as a surprise to even veteran owners who suddenly see or smell something off. Unfortunately, you'll quickly discover how difficult (and gross) these little sacs can be. But dogs with particularly tricky bathroom issues will require a little maintenance and extra attention to the butt area.
What are anal glands?
There's no delicate way to say this: They're two smallish glands on either side of your pet's butthole. From an evolutionary perspective, the anal glands give off a unique scent, and the idea is that it acts as a canine's signature. Anal glands aren't analogous to anything we have as humans, so definitely don't worry about your own body expressing anything like this. However, many pups wind up having issues in this department and find themselves unable to empty them on their own.
Why do dogs' anal glands fill up?
Certain underlying problems, like obesity and poor diet, might make a dog more susceptible to gland issues. Smaller breeds also tend to struggle a bit more since their whole area is more compact. You may find your pooch expressing their own glands, licking the area, or scooting. That means it's time for an inspection.

How do you prevent anal gland issues?
Talk to your vet about what could be causing Fido's difficulties, as it can vary, but generally, you'll want to look at how much food and exercise they're getting. Additionally, a supplement, like a probiotic, will frequently take care of the issue. This works mostly by firming up the poop but can also introduce good bacteria to his gut.

Read more
Wondering how to keep cat warm in cold weather – here are 9 effective ways to help your pet stay toasty
Try these tricks to keep your cat from being cold
A Maine Coon cat reaches his snow-covered paw toward the camera.

There are many reasons why your feline fur baby should remain exclusively indoors, but it's all the more important to keep your cat inside during the winter months. A blanket of snow may look stunning, but it makes it difficult for outdoor kitties to find their way home. The potential for accidents also increases due to decreased visibility and the presence of black ice.

Even if your cat stays indoors all the time, you'll still need to take extra steps to keep her warm during the cool weather. Some homes are naturally drafty, and with snow and ice accumulating on utility lines, the chance of power outages increases as well. Wondering how to keep cats warm in cold weather? Here are nine useful tips to get you started. 

Read more
Good, better, best: Space heaters that are safe if you have pets
Safest options for homes with dogs or cats
A tabby cat stretched out on a faux fur rug near a space heater.

Having an additional heat source in your home can make all the difference between staying toasty warm during the winter and feeling like you live in a walk-in refrigerator, but not all space heaters are created equally. Whether you share your home with a canine companion, a cuddly kitten, or both, safety is paramount when picking the right space heater for your home. Choosing space heaters for pets requires some research, but we've got you covered.

Let's look closer at our top picks for the best pet-friendly space heaters on the market. 

Read more