Pothos is a vibrant household vining plant that is kept for its beautiful golden variegation and low care needs. It’s also extremely affordable and could easily be found in many markets and nurseries.
Pothos has multiple cultivars and is known by many names such as Devil’s Ivy, Taro Vine, or Golden Pothos. Botanists call it Epipremnum aureum, where “Aureum” comes from a Latin word that means gold or golden.
Growing one of these glamorous plants is often a source of comfort and happiness, except for when you own a dog.
Being the fun and active creatures that they are, dogs are always running around the house looking for the next best thing to play with, which might sometimes involve chewing or biting every plant they see.
That might not always be so bad for the dog as for the plant, but on rare occasions, it could be the opposite. Is Pothos toxic to dogs? The answer is yes. Pothos isn’t only toxic to dogs, but to cats, horses, and even humans, too!
In this post, we will tackle some of the most important questions relating to Pothos toxicity to dogs.
Why Is Pothos Toxic to Dogs?
Ingesting any part of these plants, including the leaves or the stem of the plant, will result in mild to moderate toxicity symptoms.
The reason why these plants are toxic to dogs and a few other pets lies in one of their chemical components called calcium oxalate.
Many houseplants in the Araceae family carry a huge amount of insoluble calcium oxalate crystals. Upon biting any piece of the plant, it will release those sharp crystals, causing muzzle inflammation.
In rare cases, the damage could be severe and cause extreme swelling and acute pain.
What Are the Symptoms of Pothos Poisoning?
Chewing on calcium oxalate needle-like crystals will result in many diverse symptoms that you need to look out for.
If your dog simply bit on part of the Pothos plant, you’d find it pawing at its muzzle while having irritated eyes, mouth, lips, or tongue.
Other common symptoms might include excessive drooling, foaming around the mouth, mouth inflammation, and mouth swelling.
Severe symptoms might occur if your dog swallowed a piece of the plant. Those symptoms could include respiratory discomfort, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, and diarrhea.
If your dog is having any of these symptoms, even if they aren’t severe, immediately take it to the vet to avoid further complications.
What Do I Do If My Dog Has Pothos Poisoning?
In many cases, your action should depend on the time you first discover that your dog has ingested part of your Pothos plant.
If you caught your dog red-handed, immediately remove the plant pieces from their mouth and flush them out with some water.
You could let your dog drink some milk or chicken broth to remove the taste of the plant and prevent further damage to their stomach.
If your dog is suddenly experiencing some of the poisoning symptoms, taking them to the vet for further examination is the wiser choice. If the reason behind these symptoms is indeed caused by Pothos ingestion, your vet will prescribe fluid therapy.
Fluid therapy will remove the rest of the unwanted crystals and prevent any kidney failures or possible dehydration.
Your vet might also put your dog in an oxygen cage if they are experiencing any breathing difficulties. They might also prescribe some antihistamine to help reduce inflammation and mouth swelling.
Are All Types of Pothos Toxic?
Pothos come in all shapes and sizes. It’s tempting to keep one of them around. However, whether you’re fascinated by their colors or their climbing nature, it’s best to keep them away from your pets.
Many of the commonly found varieties of Pothos like golden Pothos, neon Pothos, and jade Pothos are toxic to dogs. It’s safe to assume that every other type of Pothos is also toxic to your pets.
If you want to keep your dog safe, don’t place any vining plant within their reach. It’s even better to keep all your household plants away from your dog even if it’s a well-behaved dog.
Because many household plants carry toxins, you’re risking the health of your dog by placing them in front of their curious eyes.
What Do I Do to Prevent My Dog From Pothos Poisoning?
You don’t need to get rid of your Pothos plants altogether. Pothos appreciate being kept in wide spaces where they could grow and flourish.
Placing your Pothos plant in a hanging pot away from the reach of your dog will do both your plant and your pet a huge favor.
Always remember to trim the long hanging parts that could extend to a distance where your dog can reach. You’d also want to keep the floor clear of any falling leaves or trimmed vines.
You could also try to keep your Pothos locked away in a room that your dog doesn’t have access to. Placing your Pothos outside in an area of shade that your dog rarely walks to is also a great option to consider.
Some other decorative methods might include placing your vining plants in some hanging cages or placing them around a long pole.
What Are Some Safe Plants to Keep Around Dogs?
There are plenty of wonderful non-toxic houseplants that you could keep around your dogs and cats.
Here is a list of some of the safe plants for dogs:
Many of these plants are pretty easy to care for. You won’t need to worry about keeping any of them around pets or children.
If you like variegated plants that grow long beautiful thick foliage, you would appreciate the spider plant.
Spider plants, or Chlorophytum comosum, are some of the durable, easy to grow, beginner plants.
All you would need to do to care for a spider plant is provide it with a well-drained soil mixture, and some indirect sunlight.
If you love the shape of your plastic Christmas tree, a real living one could be perfect for you.
Norfolk pine is an evergreen living Christmas tree. It’s beginner-friendly and would be a great addition to a house full of pets.
To care for one of these trees, you’d want to keep them in a place that is at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit and has high humidity.
They won’t be harmed if you decide to keep them in full bright sunlight for long hours, but they prefer indirect sunlight.
If you want a succulent that looks like a tree, Ponytail palm is just that. The tree has a very distinctive shape as it has beautiful long curly leaves and a swollen round base.
Like many succulents, Ponytail palm won’t require much watering and would appreciate being kept in bright light, at least during summer and spring.
Peperomia is another easy to care for plant that is both durable and elegant. Peperomia could have red, gray, green, or purple foliage that is variegated or solid.
You could easily grow Peperomia in a moist soil mixture that drains well. They wouldn’t mind drying out before rewatering them and would rarely ever need any feeding.
You could place the plant anywhere with bright light or indirect light. However, the amount of light they receive will affect their vibrant colors.
Succulents aren’t always a great choice to keep around pets because many of them are usually toxic to animals. Despite that, you could keep some succulents like Echeveria around dogs without worry.
Echeverias are flower-like succulents that have beautiful red and green leaves. They would thrive at room temperatures and would appreciate some direct sunlight during winter.
If you ever forget to water Echeveria succulents, they won’t be easily affected. When caring for Echeveria, always remember that they can withstand frost, but would rather stay away from hot temperatures.
Durable flowering plants are very rare to find. African violets are some of those rarer ones that produce white, purple, or blue flowers on dark green fuzzy leaves.
They take almost no space and require minimal care with the right amount of watering. While watering African violets, always remember to keep the leaves dry and water more towards the base.
For healthy-looking leaves, provide the plants with medium to high-intensity light. You could also maintain the beauty of their color by providing them with some fertilizers full of phosphorus.
Keeping plants around your house is great for a healthier, cozier environment. However, the safety of your pet should always come to mind when you’re purchasing any type of household plant.
Dogs are curious creatures that would love to go around biting on anything they can get their paws on. You wouldn’t want them to catch a disease or get subjected to any kind of food poisoning.
You should be especially careful when growing vining plants alongside your dogs. A vining plant like Pothos is toxic to dogs and can lead to multiple diverse symptoms. So, train your dog to stay away from houseplants and act immediately if they eat any of them.