Monstera plants are popular for their stunning foliage, but it is essential to consider their potential toxicity to our furry friends. These plants contain calcium oxalate crystals, which can be harmful to dogs, cats, and even humans when ingested (source). If a dog bites into a Monstera leaf or fruit, the toxic crystals can damage the tissue inside their mouth, leading to discomfort and potential health issues.
Toxic Components in Monstera
The primary toxic component in Monstera plants is calcium oxalate crystals, found in the leaves and fruit (Houseplant Authority). When ingested by dogs, these indigestible crystals cause immediate discomfort and irritation, leading to various symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, weakness, and tremors (nahf.org).
Calcium oxalate crystals can become embedded in a dog’s mouth, causing additional symptoms like pain, swelling of the mouth, tongue, or throat, difficulty swallowing, and excessive drooling (Superb Dog). Although the initial reaction to the crystals is uncomfortable for the dog, the severity of side effects increases with the amount ingested (Pango Pets).
It’s important to note that the ASPCA classifies Monstera as toxic to both dogs and cats due to the presence of these calcium oxalate crystals. Pet owners should keep Monstera plants out of reach to prevent potential poisoning incidents and ensure the safety of their furry friends.
Effects of Monstera Intoxication on Dogs
When a dog ingests parts of a Monstera plant, it can experience symptoms such as oral irritation, intense burning in the mouth, lips, and tongue, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing due to the calcium oxalate crystals present in the plant ASPCA.
Although Monstera toxicity can cause discomfort for dogs, it usually results in mild to moderate side effects like swelling, irritation, and gastrointestinal upset PangoPets. In some cases, if a dog consumes a significant portion of the plant, a visit to the veterinarian may be necessary.
Calcium oxalate crystals in Monstera plants can cause additional risks, such as diarrhea, nausea, choking, or swelling of the mouth, tongue, or throat SuperbDog. Among these symptoms, swelling in the mouth or throat can be particularly dangerous as it can cause breathing difficulties.
What to Do If Your Dog Ingests Monstera
If your dog ingests part of a monstera plant, it is important to act quickly. Start by rinsing your dog’s mouth with copious amounts of water, being careful not to squirt it into the back of their mouth where it may be aspirated into the lungs. Observe your dog for any signs of oral irritation, such as pawing at their face, drooling, or whimpering.
In the event your dog exhibits symptoms or discomfort after ingesting a monstera plant, it is best to call your veterinarian or the pet poison hotline. Be prepared to answer questions about the amount and parts of the plant ingested, as well as any symptoms your pet is experiencing. Your vet will advise if a trip to the clinic is necessary for further diagnosis and treatment.
Prevention and Safety Measures
To protect your dog from the dangers of Monstera plants, it is essential to implement some safety measures. Start by placing the plant out of reach, either on high shelves or in rooms where your dog doesn’t have access (Houseplant Authority). Providing your dog with plenty of engaging toys can also help prevent them from being tempted to chew on potentially toxic plants.
Should your dog come into contact with a Monstera plant, monitor their behavior for adverse reactions (Superbdog). Offering water can help soothe any oral irritation if your dog has bitten the plant. Although Monstera plants are toxic to dogs, the effects are generally mild to moderate and can often be managed at home (PangoPets). Keep your veterinarian’s contact information handy in case your dog experiences severe symptoms after ingesting a Monstera plant.
Alternative Non-Toxic Plants for Your Home
If you’re looking for pet-friendly alternatives to Monstera plants due to their toxicity for dogs, consider adding a banana tree to your indoor garden. Banana trees are not toxic to pets and can provide the large bold leaves often desired in statement plants [source].
My name is Daniel Elrod, and I have been houseplant love ever since I was 17. I love how much joy they bring to any room in the home. I’ve always been amazed at how a few pots of flowing leaves can turn a drab and sterile office into an inviting place where people love to work at.