Having both a plant and a pet can be a dangerous combination. While plants don’t move around and run all over your house, your pets do, and they might crash into your plants. Pets absolutely love digging, scratching, biting, and chewing things. Unfortunately, your plants might be a victim.
Of course, there are many ways to live with both your leafy and furry friends in harmony. Below are some strategies for dealing with pets and plants in the same household.
Know What Plants Are Harmful to Your Pets
Our pets will munch on almost anything they come across. Even if they have toys, they’d still chew on chair legs and other things around the house. This means even plants are not safe from our vicious little munchers. Because of this, we have to be mindful of what plants to keep. What we think is just a pretty ornament to beautify our home might end up costing us our beloved furry friend.
One of the first things you need to know is the kind of plants that are poisonous to your pets. There are lists of common house plants that do not go well with our furry friends, some of which can be very dangerous when ingested. Lilies, for example, are poisonous to both cats and dogs, so that is definitely out of the question. If you are considering a certain type of plant, first check if it is safe for your pets so you can avoid a costly visit to the vet or, worse, an unfortunate accident.
What Plants Do Pets Like?
Now that we know which plants are harmful, we can also consider giving our pets their own plant. After all, it is inevitable that they will chew on some grass or stems, so might as well give them something that they will like and is helpful for them. In the case of cats, it’s not a secret that they love catnip, but another plant you might want to get for them is cat grass. They will munch on cat grass to help aid their digestion. Your cat will be thanking you for it. For dogs, they actually enjoy some herbs like thyme and lemongrass. Giving your pets their own plants, so to speak, can beautify your home without harming the ones you own.
Think About Placement
To make living with both your plants and your pets a lot more manageable, think about the placement of your plants. You don’t want to put a pot near the window where your cat often walks by. Or one on top of a shelf that can be easily knocked over. When you have a pet that tends to move a lot, you’re designing your home with their habits in mind- think like this when thinking of where to put your plants. Avoid passageways and precarious positions. If possible, consider going for aerial plants instead. Many smaller pets won’t reach them, and while cats can jump to it, they most likely won’t- especially if positioned too high from the ground.
Give Your Pets Their Own Space
We humans go to a mattress shop to pick the best bed, pillows, and blankets to sleep in. And we’re comfortable in that space we call our bed. The same goes for your pets: they need a space that they like. They won’t be bothering your window-side petunias or hanging ferns if they have their own space they’re comfortable with. Get them their own space where they can play in, like a cat castle for your feline friends or let your dog play in the living room (provided it’s big enough and free of things to be toppled over). As long as they have a space they’re comfortable to play in, they’ll be less likely to bother your plants.
Train Your Pets So that They Don’t Destroy Your Plants
You probably have trained your dog or cat to do their business in the litter box or maybe established that they can’t jump on your bed. Since that’s possible, the idea of training them to not mess with your plants is very much feasible. Whenever your pet does something to your plants, like digging the soil or munching on the leaves, give them a quick reprimand. You can keep a spray bottle near your plant, so you can gently spray them with water if they go there. Getting your pets to avoid your plants can test your patience, but with enough training, they’ll eventually learn it.
House plants have gained popularity recently, with a lot of us working from home. There’s no denying that a bit of greenery can uplift the mood and look of your house. But with pets around, we have to be responsible and make sure that they can coexist.