are birds nest ferns toxic to dogs

Even though it’s easier than ever to buy plants online, keeping them alive is still a challenge. So we’re digging up everything you need to care for every type of houseplant. Welcome to Plant Week.

Even though it’s easier than ever to buy plants online, keeping them alive is still a challenge. So we’re digging up everything you need to care for every type of houseplant. Welcome to Plant Week.

Pet owners, note: Many of the most popular indoor plants are toxic if ingested by cats or dogs. Philodendron, ficus, ZZ plants, and aloe can be problematic for your pet (a complete list of plant toxicity in cats and dogs can be found here). While you should keep your flourishing fiddle-leaf fig (part of the ficus family) out of your cat or dog’s reach, there are plenty of pet-safe options. “I generally tell people to prevent their pets access to houseplants, even just the fertilizer that the plant sits in can be a problem,” said Stephanie Liff of Pure Paws Veterinary. We spoke to plant experts and veterinarians to find out which plants are in fact safe for both cats and dogs, even if you’re dealing with a kitten who likes to chew.

ISA-certified arborist and environmental educator Ben Team of stressed the importance of shopping by scientific name when looking for pet safe plants. “Make sure that you identify plants properly before putting them in your home. Many plants go by several different common names, which can lead to serious problems.” For example the mint that we humans like to eat can be toxic to dogs and cats. But one common name for catnip (a safe and enjoyable plant for cats) is catmint, which is very different from peppermint or spearmint.

While some plants are safe for dogs and not cats (or vice versa), for simplicity’s sake, we’ve only included plants that are safe for both. And while it may seem obvious, Liff also stressed keeping your pets away from cacti or other spiny plants. “I recently saw a pug that ingested a cactus and had needles in his tongue and muzzle, so a plant may not necessarily be toxic but can be problematic.”

Just because something is safe for us humans to eat doesn’t mean it’s safe for animals (think about chocolate and dogs). So when it comes to the herbs your pet has access to, you want to choose wisely. “Most herbs are toxic to dogs and cats, except for basil,” said George Pisegna, deputy director chief of horticulture at the Horticultural Society of New York. “If your cat chews on basil it’s probably because they really like it. Not because it’s just something to chew on. It’s one of the few herbs that are safe for pets.”

At the top of every one of our experts’ lists of safe plants for pets was the spider plant. Joshua Woolsey, chief medical officer at the Humane Rescue Alliance, said, “A common houseplant that’s considered nontoxic to pets is the spider plant; however, it is important to remember that the ingestion of plant material and/or soil from nontoxic plants can cause gastrointestinal upset for animals and people.” So while chewing on the leaves a bit won’t hurt your pet, eating the entire plant (or any entire nontoxic plant) might give them some digestive issues.

Though many ferns are not safe for pets, the Boston fern is one of the exceptions. “There are many safe indoor plants that you can get,” said Sara Redding Ochoa, veterinary adviser for “Some ferns — such as Boston fern, bird’s-nest fern, and staghorn fern — are safe for pets.” And because it makes such a nice hanging plant, it’s easy to keep out of your pet’s reach.

Rachel Barrack, founder of concierge NYC-based practice, Animal Acupuncture, highlighted Swedish ivy as one of the best safe plants to have in your home. As did Pisegna, who also mentioned that “it’s a really vigorous grower and super easy to propagate.”

Another favorite of Pisegna is the entire echeveria family of succulents. “Echeverias, which we call hens and chickens, are all safe for pets,” he points out. “They come in a huge variety of colors shapes and sizes.”

Hoyas are defined as semi-succulents, making them easy to care for and slow to wilt. They come in a ton of shapes and sizes all of which are safe to have around pets. “All the Hoyas are pet and human safe,” said Jesse Waldman of Pistils Nursery in Portland, Oregon.

You have to be really careful about certain flowering plants in your home like lilies, daffodils, tulips, and paperwhites (again check the ASPCA’s list of toxic plants before buying anything new). But one flower you can definitely keep around, according to our experts, is the African violet. “African violets are easy to grow and they’re a really safe plant — some cultures even eat the blooms,” said Pisegna.

The prayer plant was mentioned by both Team and Pisegna as a plant that’s safe for cats and dogs. It’s also very tolerant of low light — because of its origins on the floor of the Amazon rain forest — making it great for NYC apartments.

“The parlor palm, which is from Central America, and the butterfly palm, which is from Madagascar, are two safe palms,” said Pisegna, who told us that in general palms can be very iffy. And a few of our other experts recommended putting your palm in a big, tall, heavy pot to keep your pets from digging in it.

Lastly, if your cat just won’t stop chewing your plants, Waldman recommends putting them up high or in a room that’s off-limits. You could also get them a plant distraction. Pisegna said, “If a cat’s looking out the window and there’s a plant there, the cat will chew that plant. By getting some wheatgrass, catnip, or catmint, you encourage the cat to go there so they won’t go for other plants.”

Recognizing Toxicity Symptoms in Dogs

Even though Birds Nest Fern isn’t the most evil plant in the world, it can still be quite problematic for your dog’s health. Let’s get specific about what to watch out for.

Toxic Compounds in Bird’s Nest Fern

Alright, lets get down to the nitty-gritty. Asplenium nidus, the scientific name for birds nest fern, is widely regarded as a houseplant that is suitable for pets. It is comparable to that kind neighbor who never fails to smile and wave at you, even if your dog urinates on their grass. However, as with that neighbor, it’s best to play it safe.

Here, a substance known as insoluble calcium oxalates is the true problem. These are present in a variety of plants, not only our fern pal. Imagine them as tiny, jagged shards of glass. They’re not exactly good for your dog’s digestive tract, throat, or mouth.

Now, before you start panicking, lets get one thing straight. The Birds Nest Fern isnt exactly brimming with these oxalates. It differs from plants like peace lilies and philodendrons, which are essentially oxalate factories. But, its always better to be safe than sorry, right?.

Therefore, if your dog does decide to nibble on ferns, those oxalates may irritate their mouth or gastrointestinal tract. Its not a pleasant experience, but its rarely life-threatening.

However, keep in mind that individual reactions can vary. While some dogs may only experience mild stomach pain, others may experience more severe symptoms It’s similar to how some individuals can consume an entire ghost pepper without breaking a sweat, while others cry and drink a lot of milk after just one bite.

In conclusion, even though the Birds Nest Fern doesn’t contain a lot of harmful substances, it does contain some And should your dog choose to nibble on those, it may cause them pain or annoyance. Therefore, watch your pet closely to ensure they don’t grow to love ferns.

The Telltale Signs

Vomiting is the first red flag. It feels as though your dog’s body is screaming, “Hey, something’s wrong here!”

Drooling is another sign. It may be cause for concern if your dog is drooling more than a toddler going through teething.

Difficulty swallowing is the third symptom. It’s obvious trouble when your dog acts like it’s trying out for a part in a canine adaptation of “Choking Hazard.”

Now, lets say your dog is showing these symptoms. What do you do?.

First, dont panic. Fear is detectable by dogs, so you don’t want to add to their anxiety.

Second, grab your phone and dial your vet. Dont hesitate. Its always better to be safe than sorry.

Third, attempt to identify the plant your dog consumed, if at all possible. If your dog threw up, gathering a sample might be beneficial for the veterinarian.

Remember, youre your dogs best advocate. Remain alert and prevent your pet from turning your houseplants into a salad bar.