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Great Common Plants Safe For Dogs And Some That Aren’t

Gardening is peaceful, and in my opinion, highly rewarding.  I rather enjoy spending some time in my garden, whether it’s weeding, planting, or harvesting.  Gardening helps me to relax by allowing me to let go of my day to day stresses.

Being a dog owner, I want to make sure that I only use plants that are safe for dogs.  If I do wind up growing something that is not safe for dogs, I want to know some basics about it to keep my dog safe. So, I made a list of 5 plants safe for dogs. And another list of 5 common plants not safe for dogs.

Common Plants Found In Stores

Let’s take a look at a few of the more common plants found at big stores.  We’ll also dive into some great plants that are safe for dogs that you can plant in your garden or keep inside your home.  I like to keep tropical plants in my house to help improve indoor air quality. And the aesthetic appeal of some cool looking plants is always a bonus, in my opinion.

But, before we dive into the safe plants, let’s take a brief look at some common toxic plants.  I was actually quite surprised once I dove into the research. There are actually a large number of toxic plants that are readily available in stores.  And there are zero warnings that these plants may cause harm to your furry loved ones. So, I took the liberty of detailing a few that you want to keep clear of your dog.

5 Toxic Plants Common At Stores

(in Ontario)

I went to many big box stores that are common here in Southern Ontario and took a good look at what kind of plants were readily accessible.  There are actually quite a few plants that are toxic to dogs. I have compiled a bit of a list and added in my article about which plants dogs hate.  There’s a link in the recommended reading at the end of this article. Here are 5 of the more common toxic plants found readily available in stores:

Begonias – NOT SAFE

Begonias are not safe for dogs.

These beautiful flowers are quite lovely, and toxic to dogs.  I actually found these in corner stores aka convenience stores, groceries, hardware and even at a department store.  They are very easy to find here in Ontario and are often used in hanging baskets. That being said, I actually have 2 hanging baskets in my back yard containing Begonias even though these are one of the plants toxic to dogs.

The flowers have a tendency to drop petals now and again so don’t keep these in an area where a dog can ingest them.  My dog Kiki is a little vacuum cleaner, sucking up anything and everything to taste it, so if you have a silly dog like mine, you’ll have to be extra vigilant. So, unfortunately, they are not on our plants safe for dogs list.

Chinese Evergreen – NOT SAFE

Chinese Evergreen are not safe for dogs.
By Kurt Stüber [1] – part of, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Another common plant found in stores here is the Chinese Evergreen.  Its scientific Latin name is Aglaonema commutatum. This plant is beautiful, relatively hardy and has cute little red berries.  This plant is also toxic so keep poochy away from this one.

Dracaena – NOT SAFE

Dracaena are not safe for dogs.

The tropical plant Dracaena is one of my favorite plants.  These plants ooze tropical, don’t they? They are tough plants, easy to care for, and they look great.  But, they are toxic to dogs. I’ve kept Dracaena for years and never had any issues with my dog eating the plants.  They don’t tend to drop leaves very often, as long as you are watering them right, so aren’t as big of a threat as something like Begonias that drop flower petals. 

I do recommend these plants as good starter tropicals to keep, just keep them out of reach of your pooch. Therefore, these do not make the plants safe for dogs list as they are on the plants toxic to dogs list.

Pothos – NOT SAFE

Pothos - An excellent tropical not safe for dogs.
Pothos – An excellent tropical not safe for dogs.

Devil’s Ivy pr Pothos, as it is sometimes called, is my go-to for a standard tropical house plant.  These plants are ridiculously hardy. They can grow in a warm or cool house and even seem to do okay with minimal light.  I’ve got one in my basement that gets zero natural light and is growing slowly, but growing none the less. I used to keep Chameleons, and this plant was one of the necessities to keep with one of the species I kept. 

The Chameleon would eat the pothos leaves to obtain water. The plant isn’t toxic to all species, obviously, but it is to dogs so keep them away. I keep mine up on a shelf, out of the dogs reach. And I’ve never had any issues, but again caution is recommended. It’s too bad these plants aren’t on the plants safe for dogs list because I love pothos.

Snake Plant  – NOT SAFE

The Snake Plant is toxic to dogs.
Snake Plant

The Snake Plant is another common go-to tropical.  These plants are also quite hardy. I like the tropical look and the fact that they seldom drop leaves.  They are a tough plant, which is good because it can be a repelling factor when it comes to dogs. This is good because these plants are toxic to dogs. 

So, again I must state that you should use caution when keeping these near any dogs that might attempt chewing on the plant. Puppies, in particular, tend to chew on stuff more than adult dogs, but don’t put it past them to try a nibble.  Use caution. Again, another that doesn’t make the plants safe for dogs list.

5 Plants Safe For Dogs Found At Stores

(in Ontario)

Enough about what isn’t good, I could go on all day about plants that are toxic to dogs.  So, let’s jump into some plants that are safe, shall we?

As I journeyed through hardware stores, department stores, convenience stores and more, I did find some relatively common plants that are safe for dogs.  Here’s a list of five which I’ve compiled.

African Violet – Non-Toxic  

African Violets are non-toxic to dogs.
Flowering African Violet

The African Violet is one of my favorite indoor tropical plants of all time.  I love the soft, fuzzy leaves and the beautiful delicate flowers. These plants are best kept indoors if you live in a cooler climate and they don’t tolerate big changes in temperature.  They like a decent amount of light and require regular watering, but overall are pretty easy to keep.

The fact that they are non-toxic to dogs is a huge bonus because they have the prettiest flowers. Therefore, African Violets are on the top of our plants safe for dogs list. Here’s a reputable source of the plants from Amazon:

African Violets
Assorted African Violets

Two African Violet Plants – Assorted Colors IN BLOOM – 4″ Pots

Another on our plants safe for dogs list, the African Violet.
According To Amazon Seller J.M. Bamboo: “The variety and color sent will vary with the season. One Novelty African Violet, growers choice
African Violet Variety In Bloom / Bud at the time of shipping! All photos are examples of varieties we grow and are possible colors you will receive
Planted, growing and shipped in a 4″ plastic pot. Grown, packaged and shipped from J.M. Bamboo
Provide bright, indirect light, Keep evenly moist, not wet or dry
The world’s best blooming house plant”

Bamboo – Non-Toxic.   

Bamboo is non-toxic to dogs.
Bamboo stalks.

You know, bamboo may be non-toxic but, I wouldn’t use it as a bone or let my dog chew on it.  It does, however, make our plants safe for dogs list. The fibrous nature of bamboo means that dogs could get slivers, cuts (it can be razor-sharp), or heaven forbid the dog swallows some and gets an intestinal blockage.  Better to err on the side of caution and not let your dog chomp on bamboo, but it is non-toxic so having some growing isn’t a horrid idea.

Bamboo has a plethora of significantly useful qualities.  It grows fast, so is a good candidate for use as a natural resource.  Bamboo is surprisingly strong. It is often used in construction in Asia, from using to make scaffolding to use as a structural building material.  Bamboo has been a necessity in Asian culture for many generations. And the plant looks kind of cool too in my opinion.  

Bamboo stalks

Live Lucky Bamboo 4-Inch Bundle of 20 Stalks – Live Indoor Plants for Home…

According to NW Wholesaler, Amazon seller: ” PERFECT GIFT – Lucky Bamboo is an element of Feng shui – Giving lucky bamboo as a gift is thought to bring good luck to the recipient – Give different stalks for different forms of luck (see description below) – Whether it’s a gift house warming, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Birthday, or for a family, friend or loved one, give the gift of good fortune in a cute indoor plant display with lucky bamboo
TOP QUALITY – Our lucky bamboo shoots are taken care of in our own facility and guaranteed to each have at least one leaf – they are young stalks and arrive a light green color, once rooted in water the leaves will grow and within a couple weeks they will have a nice deep dark green color – Have any issues with the bamboo? Let us know, our experts will assist and do what is needed to make sure your plant is happy and healthy”

And More About The Bamboo From NW Wholesaler:

“ENDLESS OPTIONS – With this 4 inch straight pack of 20, you can place them all in a planter, split them up and give them out as party favors, or place them in planters and make creative designs and shapes, let your imagination run wild and show your creativity with these cute house plants (Pots pictured not included)
UNIQUE DISPLAY – In addition to good luck, these bamboo stalks are great decor – Give your home or office some life with these lucky bamboo stalks – Put them in your favorite planter and place them on your desk, counter, windowsill, kitchen table, or anywhere you want to display them and emit the fortunes of luck that lucky bamboo offers
EASY TO GROW, HARD TO KILL – Lucky bamboo plants are great for everyone, from an experienced green thumb to somebody with no plant experience – Simply pot the bamboo in a planter or vase, put some filler, rock or gravel in the planter to keep the bamboo in place, and put enough water in the pot to have the roots fully submerged in water – check the water level every so often to make sure the roots don’t dry and your bamboo will thrive for years!”

Boston Fern – Non-Toxic

Boston Fern is a tropical that is non-toxic to dogs.
Boston Fern

This tropical fern-like higher humidity and filtered light.  Keep it by a window in the bathroom and it’s happy as a pig in mud.  This plant is great for the home, looks great and is non-toxic to both dogs and cats.  This makes it an excellent choice but takes a bit more effort to keep if you live in a dry environment as it will need to be misted regularly if not in a humid environment.

I’m glad the Boston Fern is not one of the plants toxic to dogs. It definitely makes the plants safe for dogs list.

Boston Fern House Plant
Boston Fern

Costa Farms Boston Fern, Nephrolepis exaltata, Live Plant, 2-Feet Tall and Wide…

According to Costa Farms on Amazon: ” EASY CARE! Water Boston Fern to keep the soil consistently moist. If the soil dries out, the fronds may turn brown and crispy. Never allow the soil to become saturated. Boston Ferns enjoy high humidity, so give it a good misting.
LOVES INDOOR LIGHT: Boston Fern loves bright to medium light; do not place in direct sun.
BONUS! A HANGING POT: Boston Fern is grown with care by the horticultural experts at Costa Farms and shipped in a 10-inch black hanging pot, ready to adorn your home. Just hang it up and admire it or remove the hanger and place it on a plant stand.
REAP HEALTH BENEFITS: Studies show that Boston Fern helps cleanse indoor air, removing toxins such as toluene and xylene. Plus, leafy green plants improve your mood and reduce stress.
ENJOY LIVING HOME DECOR: Boston Fern is a voluptuous, easy-care fern that grows well indoors as well as on porches and patios. Its arching branches covered with soft, emerald-green fronds ship at min. of 20-in. tall. Keep for yourself or give it as a gift! “

Christmas Cactus – Non-Toxic

A flowering Christmas Cactus is non-toxic to dogs.
Flowering Christmas Cactus

The Christmas Cactus is a great way to add some color to your home.  In the Northern Hemisphere, this plant tends to bloom around the Christmas holidays, hence it’s named.  It is a hardy and easy to propagate the plant. Being a cactus, it doesn’t require much watering.

The plant also survives just fine in medium light, so keeping it indoors near a window will do nicely.  The fact that it’s non-toxic to dogs is an added bonus. Especially if you have a dog like mine (I call her my furry vacuum cleaner).

A row of Christmas Cactus
Christmas Cactus

Christmas Cactus Plant – Zygocactus – 4″ Pot Unique from Jmbamboo (3)

Plants ship in a 3.5 to 4-inch plastic pot
You will not receive duplicate colors
The varieties vary with the season
It will bloom between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Prefers morning sun, or very bright indirect light

Orchids – Non-Toxic

Orchids are generally non-toxic to dogs.
Beautiful White Orchid

I love orchids.  They are beautiful and to me, symbolize peace and tranquility.  These plants can be a bit tough to keep, but once you get the hang of orchid care, they are quite rewarding to grow and keep.  Orchids are also non-toxic to dogs, so I recommend giving them a go. It’s sometimes hard to find a nice flower that isn’t one of the plants toxic to dogs. I love Orchids because they add an elegant and beautiful look to any home or yard, as long as the conditions are right to keep them.

A variety of Dendrobium orchid flowers

4 Live Orchid Plants to Choose (Dendrobiums)

According to Angel’s Special, Amazon seller: ” You will get 4 Dendrobium Orchids (please see sample picture for a size reference, however, some can be slightly smaller or larger)
They will be shipped bare-root (when you receive them, the roots will be dry, this is normal. Orchids are supposed to be completely dry before re-watering. Please soak them for a few minutes in lukewarm water and plant them in a good orchid medium.)
Currently, these orchids are not in spike or flower, these are small plants. You will love them.
These orchids are easy to grow, fast-growing, hardy, and forgiving. Great way to start or improve your collection.. “

Let me know what you like to grow.  Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear what is easy to find in your area and what you like to keep.


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