Bringing an indoor plant is a great way to enhance the ambiance of your home. However, with the wide variety of indoor plants available, it is best to choose one that is safe for pets and children.
While plants may seem harmless, there are some that could be dangerous if the leaves are eaten by pets. Here, we are going to take a look at whether or not Monstera is safe for pets.
Is Monstera Toxic to Dogs?
The Monstera deliciosa is a native of South America and thrives in tropical climates. However, it is considered to be just as toxic to dogs as it is to humans if ingested. While not as toxic as compared to other plants such as Aloe Vera or Philodendron, the Monstera can cause symptoms such as throat, eye, and nose irritation when exposed to the plant.
What to Do If Your Dog Eats Monstera Plant?
If your dog ingests a monstera plant, look into your pet’s mouth and at your pet. Watch out for swelling and redness. You probably don’t need to do anything if everything appears to be in order.
However, it is best to head to the emergency vet if you notice any worrying signs or symptoms of your pet being in pain. They will give your pet a painkiller and offer you with advice on how to best handle this situation.
Is Monstera Toxic to Cats?
All components of the Monstera plant are toxic to cats. This includes the leaves, stems, roots, and even the flowers. All of these parts are toxic to cats as they contain insoluble oxalate crystals.
Is Monstera Toxic to Animals?
All 45 species of Monstera are considered to be toxic to animals. Other than Monstera, the majority of indoor Araceae plants also contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals, which makes them highly toxic as well.
Due to the presence of insoluble oxalate crystals, the Monstera plant is toxic to animals entirely. Leaves, stalks, roots, flowers, and fruits are some of these components. If consumed, calcium oxalate crystals can cause irritation to the lips and even the stomach. Only the fruits of the Monstera Deliciosa are safe for consumption by animals.
Is Calcium Oxalate Crystals in Monstera Poisonous?
Because calcium oxalate crystals are present in the sap of monstera plants, they are poisonous. These minuscule calcium and oxalate particles have a needle-like shape and are sharp and jagged. They may even become entrenched in the tissues of the digestive system, including the throat, causing unpleasant micro-cuts.
It is important to realize that the Monstera is even poisonous to humans, so you should wear gloves when pruning the plants. The monstera plant benefits from the crystals because they keep animals from eating them.
The number of crystals found in various plants varies, which affects how violent a response might be after intake. For instance, spinach has fewer crystals than monsteras, but dieffenbachia has more crystals than monsteras; therefore, a reaction to dieffenbachia is stronger. Beyond defense, calcium oxalates also contribute to the internal regulation of calcium in plants and in the detoxification of heavy metals. This certainly does not make it one of the dog-safe plants.
Monstera plants toxicity might cause delayed side effects that appear a day or two after your dog has chewed on the plant. However, you should know that this depends on the amount of plant your dog consumes, your dog’s size, and its overall health. Mostly, these symptoms dissipate within 48 hours.
Since the Monstera plant is toxic to dogs at varying levels, side effects often differ from breed to breed. That is why it is best to keep a keen eye on them for the next few days. Also, you should keep a record of when your dog last ate, drank, and went to the bathroom.
If you notice that it hasn’t haven’t urinated, eaten, or drank anything for over 24 hours, you should head to the vet immediately. Also, take immediate action if you notice your dog experiencing oral irritation.
Most dogs feel instant discomfort in their mouth and on their lips as soon as they ingest a Monstera leaf. Along with a swollen mouth, they may also vomit or gag after ingesting the plant. Your dog may exhibit the following signs if they have consumed a mildly toxic plant:
- A burning sensation in the mouth
- Oral irritation
- Excessive salivation
- Having trouble swallowing
- Scratching their lips or pawing at it
- Kidney stones
More serious and perhaps fatal issues can develop if the dog eats a large amount of Monstera. This covers death, coma, liver failure, renal failure, and more.
How to Keep Your Pets Away from the Monstera Plant?
If you plan on bringing the Monstera plant to your home, there are some ways to keep this toxic plant out of reach of your pets.
Keep the Plant Away from Pets
It goes without saying that this is the most effective method for keeping your cat and Monstera separate, but it can be difficult if your cat is exceptionally athletic and has the ability to climb.
If at all feasible, place your plant out of your cat’s reach in a hanging basket or on a shelf that is inaccessible to him (for smaller monstera species).
If your cat is unable to leap the barrier or hide behind it, a fence, chicken wire, or similar obstruction may prevent access to your plant. The plant might also be kept in a location where your cat cannot enter.
In the case of a cat, you can make good use of some tried and true deterrents. Using orange, lime, or lemon peels in the soil usually helps. You can also rub a few drops of essential oil on the pot. It works well because cats detest the scent of citrus fruit.
Another option is to try misting the plant with water that has a little lemon juice in it. Lemon juice can help deter your cat away from your plant. Mustard and red pepper are also excellent cat deterrents. To keep your cat away from the plant, combine a few spoonfuls with water and spritz it over the area.
If you give your pet lots of love, attention, and things to do, they’ll be occupied and entertained and less likely to dig up or eat your monstera plants out of boredom. Try giving your pet a variety of toys to play with and chase, as well as visual stimulation like bird feeders or “kitty TV” movies you can find on YouTube. You should also provide your pet access to cat trees or tunnels so they may climb up them and hide.
Ensure that you play with your pet frequently and show them a lot of love. Your pet may act in ways that draw your attention in any way they can if they feel like they are starving for it, even if it is not in a positive way.
Using positive reinforcement can help prevent your dog from eating your plants. Reward your pet with a treat and some quick playtime when they ignore the poisonous houseplants and avoid them.
Call the Poison Control Center
If you want to keep a Monstera plant at home but notice damaged foliage or mild skin irritation on your pet, it could be a sign of minor toxicity after your dog ate or a dog ingests the monstera adansonii or its fully ripened fruit. You can also use the local pet poison helpline in the city you’re living in if your pet comes in contact with toxic plants.
Go for Other Popular Plants
Since these are popular houseplants, it is important to keep them away from a dog’s mouth and small children. Apart from the popular swiss cheese plant, you could also opt for more pet-safe plants in your plant collection since the Monstera is toxic to cats. Hanging baskets are another way to keep your dogs or other pets away from a life-threatening situation.
Since the Monstera plant is mostly found in tropical rainforests, they contain calcium oxalate crystals that are not only toxic but can lead to symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, excessive drooling, and even death. Because it is considered toxic, it is the one plant that should be kept out of a dog’s reach.
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.