What to Do If Dog Eats Pothos: Immediate Steps and Care Guide

Disclosure: As Amazon Associates we earn from qualifying purchases. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.

Please note that while we always strive to provide 100% up to date and accurate information, there is always the small possibility of error. Therefore, we advise conducting further research and due diligence before consuming any plants or exposing pets to anything mentioned on this site. Kindly refer to the full disclaimer for more details here.

Sharing is caring!

Pothos plants are a popular houseplant due to their low maintenance and attractive foliage. However, they can be toxic to dogs if ingested. If you suspect your dog has eaten pothos, it’s important to take action quickly to minimize potential harm. In this article, we will explore what to do if your dog eats pothos and how to prevent it from happening in the future.

Dangers of Pothos Consumption for Dogs

Despite its attractive appearance and benefits, pothos contains calcium oxalate crystals, making it toxic to pets, including dogs 1. If a dog chews on or consumes parts of the plant, it can experience symptoms ranging from irritation to more severe signs of poisoning.

When a dog ingests pothos, it may suffer from oral pain, drooling, and foaming at the mouth due to the irritating properties of the calcium oxalate crystals 1. In addition to these symptoms, the dog may also exhibit difficulty breathing, panting, excessive yawning, whining, yelping, barking, and pawing at the face or mouth 2. If left untreated, the situation can escalate, causing vomiting, diarrhea, and weakness.

As the plant poses potential hazards to pets, it is crucial for pet owners to be aware of the risks associated with pothos and take necessary precautions. By placing the plant out of reach or opting for a pet-friendly alternative, owners can help prevent potential incidents and keep their furry friends safe.

Toxic Compounds

Pothos, also known as Devil’s Ivy or Silk Pothos, is a popular houseplant. However, it contains toxic compounds that can be harmful to dogs when ingested. The primary toxin found in Pothos is calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause irritation and inflammation in a dog’s mouth, throat, and gastrointestinal tract when consumed.


If a dog consumes Pothos, the symptoms might include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Panting
  • Excessive yawning
  • Whining, yelping or barking
  • Pawing at the face, mouth or throat
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Drooling
  • Weakness

The irritation caused by the toxic compounds in Pothos can lead to the dog’s mouth, lips, and tongue feeling a burning sensation as well as potential swelling of the tongue, making it difficult for the dog to breathe.

In case a dog is showing any signs of Pothos ingestion, the owner should immediately contact their veterinarian. It’s crucial to act swiftly, as delaying medical attention could lead to more severe complications for the dog.

Immediate Actions to Take

Assess the Situation

If you suspect that your dog has eaten pothos, it’s essential to assess the situation carefully. Observe your dog for any signs of pothos poisoning, which may include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, lack of appetite, and weakness1. Keep in mind that the severity of symptoms can vary depending on the amount of pothos consumed.

Remove Pothos Remnants

Once you have identified that your dog ingested pothos, try to quickly remove any remaining pothos from their mouth. Gently rinse your dog’s mouth with water to eliminate any remaining plant particles2. Be careful not to cause further distress, as this situation may already be stressful for your dog.

Contact Your Vet

After assessing the situation and removing pothos remnants, it’s crucial to contact your veterinarian immediately. Your vet may recommend specific steps to take depending on your dog’s condition3. They will most likely ask you to bring your dog in for examination, as professional treatment might be necessary. In some cases, the veterinarian may need to administer antihistamines to reduce swelling and provide oxygen support if the swelling is severe4.

Remember, acting swiftly in response to pothos ingestion can minimize the risk of complications and increase the chances of a full recovery for your furry friend.

Treatment and Recovery

Veterinary Interventions

If you suspect your dog has ingested a pothos plant, it is essential to seek veterinary advice immediately. Veterinarians may attempt to wash your dog’s mouth out to rinse any remaining crystals from their mouth and prevent further damage1. Depending on the severity of the poisoning, the veterinarian may also draw blood to run a complete blood count (CBC) and chemistry to ensure there are no serious complications from the ingestion2.

Home Care

After consulting with the veterinarian, there are some steps you can take at home to help your dog recover. If you notice that your dog has eaten a pothos leaf, clean their mouth with clean, cold water to remove as much calcium oxalate as possible3. Feeding your pet a few spoons of natural yogurt per day can also help coat their gastrointestinal tract and relieve inflammation3. To prevent future incidents, it is crucial to keep pothos plants out of reach of your dog, perhaps placing the plant on a high surface or using macrame hangers4. Supervise your pet whenever possible and treat them as if they were a toddler in terms of keeping them safe.

Remember, it is essential to closely monitor your dog’s condition and consult with your veterinarian for proper guidance during treatment and recovery. Always prioritize the health and safety of your pet.

Prevention Tips

Pothos-free Home Environment

One of the most effective ways to prevent your dog from eating pothos is to create a pothos-free home environment. Keep pothos plants out of reach by placing them on high surfaces or using macrame hangers. This keeps the plants away from your dog’s eye level, making it less tempting for them to chew on the leaves. Another option is to choose non-toxic plants as an alternative, reducing the risk of poisoning if your dog does nibble on them 1.

Training Your Dog

In addition to altering your home environment, it is crucial to train your dog to avoid chewing on plants. Utilize both positive and negative reinforcement methods to effectively teach your pet to stay away from houseplants, such as pothos 2. Some possible strategies include:

  • Offering praise, treats, or toys when your dog avoids the plants
  • Firmly saying “No” or using a sound like a loud clap to redirect their attention when they approach the plants
  • Creating an undesirable environment around the pothos plants, such as using bitter sprays to deter chewing

By following these prevention tips and training your dog, you can significantly reduce the risk of your pet eating pothos and experiencing the associated toxic effects.

Helpful Video