Pets VS Plants: Common Toxins to Watch Out For

Pets VS Plants: Common Toxins to Watch Out For

Shopping for houseplants can be a daunting task. Add children or pets into the mix, and things get a little pricklier. 

We love all plants equally here, but sadly not all plants are safe to have around pets or small kids. Luckily, we make your options (hopefully) a little easier by doing the dirty work for you in offering our Pet Friendly Collection for worry-free shopping!

Are you curious about what is it with certain plants that don't mix well with our furry friends? Here's a few toxins to watch out for:

Calcium oxalate crystals

These needle-shaped crystals can cause irritation and inflammation in the mouth, throat, and digestive tract if ingested, and they can also cause skin irritation if they come into contact with the skin. Oxalates can also cause kidney damage.

These can be found in peace lilies, pothos, arrowhead plants, and many types of philodendrons.


Saponins are named for their soap-like properties - they can create a foam or lather when mixed with water. In plants, they can act as a natural defense mechanism against predators. When ingested in large quantities, saponins can affect the gastrointestinal and nervous systems.

These can be found in aloe vera and yucca.

Essential oils

Essential oils are highly concentrated oils that are extracted from plants, and they can be toxic to pets if ingested or inhaled in large quantities. Examples of plants that contain essential oils include eucalyptus, tea tree, and lavender.

Some essential oils can cause irritation or burning of the skin or mucous membranes, while others can cause gastrointestinal upset, neurological symptoms, or respiratory problems.

Pets can be particularly sensitive to essential oils, as they can't process them as efficiently as humans. Cats, in particular, are more sensitive to essential oils than dogs, and certain oils can be toxic to them even in small amounts.

Terpenes, in particular, are found in many essential oils. Examples of plants that contain terpenes include the citrus family, including lemons, oranges, and grapefruits. It's important to keep these plants away from pets or in well ventilated spaces.

Of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to potential toxins! If in doubt whether a plant is toxic or not, a quick peruse on the plant in question's product page should help. If you'd like to know more, our plant experts at are always available! 

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