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Is Philodendron Toxic To Dogs? [How to Save Pets]

Are you both plant and a dog parent? Preventing your dog from chewing on your plants can be challenging, especially when plants like Philodendron are toxic to dogs.

According to the ASPCA, Philodendron contains insoluble calcium oxalate, which is toxic to dogs and cats. Calcium oxalate poisoning can cause various symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, dilated eyes, etc.

Do not toss the plant away for this reason. Instead, help them both exist side by side with proper safety implementation.

Why is Philodendron Toxic to Dogs?

The only downside to our beautiful Philodendrons is the presence of calcium oxalate crystals in every part of the plant.

A dog trying to reach for Philodendron gloriosum, both on a white table infront of greyish backdrop.
Dogs are inquisitive by nature and try disturbing your plant.

Be it the seasonally changing leaves, yellowish-white flower, or the tiny seeds, all possess the chemical.

According to the ASPCA, the insoluble calcium oxalate crystals in Philodendron are needle-shaped raphides and the principal irritants for pets when ingested. In short, Philodendron is toxic to dogs and pets.

These sharp crystals will start digging into them, and the irritation typically spreads down the neck and into the gastrointestinal tract.

Interestingly, calcium oxalate crystals are the plant’s defense mechanism to protect itself from external predators.

Moreover, the toxicity level of Philodendron is mild and may not be life-threatening to your dogs.

What Kind of Philodendron are Poisonous to Dogs?

With more than 450 known varieties of Philodendron, almost all varieties, including Heartleaf Philodendron, is toxic to dogs. 

Not only dogs but species like Philodendron birkin are poisonous to cats and humans too.

And if you are wondering about Split Leaf Philodendron, they are toxic to pets.

Here is a list of Philodendrons that can threaten your dogs.

Philodendron Toxic to DogsScientific Name
Split Leaf PhilodendronPhilodendron bipennifolium
Heartleaf PhilodendronPhilodendron hederaceum
Cutleaf PhilodendronMonstera deliciosa
Lacy Tree PhilodendronPhilodendron selloum
Lemon Lime Philodendron Philodendron hederaceum Lemon
Imperial Green Philodendron Philodendron erubescens 'Imperial Green'
Prince of Orange Philodendron Philodendron erubescens 'Prince of Orange'
Philodendron burle-marxPhilodendron burle-marxii
Variegated PhilodendronScindapsus, Philodendron spp

Symptoms of Philodendron Poisoning

Dogs start showing behavioral changes after the toxin kicks in about 4-6 hours of consumption. 

Initially, the needle-like crystals irritate the oral cavity within the first 2 hours and gradually move toward the gastrointestinal tract through the food pipe. 

At this point, the symptoms go beyond irritation and discomfort to vomiting, drooling, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain.

Further, the swelling of the tongue and neck constricts the airway, making the respiration process difficult.

Infographic mentions the symptoms of Philodendron toxicity in dogs on the left with two graphics of dogs on the right in mint green background. background.
Dogs appear tired and lethargic due to discomfort and pain.

While in humans, the chemical causes extreme pain in the throat, kidney stones, and painful urination.

Your pet will try to convey the discomfort by hoarse barking, pawing at the mouth, or upset look.

It is rather uncommon, but in the worst scenario, Philodendron poisoning can result in convulsions, kidney failure, and coma.

Did you know that the sign of Philodendron toxicity and Monstera toxicity are same?

Treating a Philodendron Poisoned Dog

No specific antidotes can instantly overcome the toxicity of the Philodendron, but a gradual treatment is possible.

That said, it is always wise to act upon the situation immediately.

We recommend you visit a vet nearby or contact the immediate helplines below.

Meanwhile, help your dog by providing some basic first aid.

First Aid for Poisoned Dog

As soon as you notice your dog eating or chewing Philodendron, immediately prevent them from consuming more.

  • Remove any plant parts inside the mouth and rinse with cold water.
  • Clean the dog’s eyes and paws with water to remove the tiny crystals that might be stuck.
  • Feed them yogurt to soothe the gastrointestinal tract.
  • If the vet suggests, give your dog some activated charcoal to help absorb the toxins.
  • Never give them milk or ice to soothe the oral infection until a proper diagnosis.

Do not try to induce vomiting in your dog as it can affect their gastrointestinal tract.

Remember to provide correct and detailed information about your dog to the vet for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Recovery from Philodendron Poisoning

The amount of Philodendron leaves your pet has nibbled is a significant factor during the recovery. More the portion, later the recovery, and vice versa. 

According to PetMeds, almost 25% of poisoned pets recover within two hours.

Generally, the poisoning symptoms from Philodendron last 12 to 24 hours in your dog, for it is mildly toxic.

Depending on the pet’s condition, the dog might need to stay under surveillance for a few hours to overnight.

Though an instance of mortality is rare, a little delay in the treatment can take an unwanted turn.

Pro Tip: Provide them with nutritious food  and mild diet as per the vet’s recommendation to help your pet.

How to Prevent Your Dog from Eating Philodendron?

Thankfully, Philodendron tastes bitter, making higher consumption extremely improbable.

However, your curious dog might have a not-so-good encounter with the Philodendron if you do not take precautions. 

It is in the owner’s court to play a bridge for your pets and plants to co-exist.

  • Keep your dogs occupied with distractions like plush toys or dog chew toys.
  • Provide nibbling alternatives like cat grass to suffice the dog’s green craving.
  • Spray natural deterrents to prevent the dogs from chewing on the plant’s leaves.
A Goldendoodle playing in a yard with a green tennis ball in its mouth.
Playtime is crucial for your pet’s health and keeping them away from the plant for the time being.
  • Combine coffee grounds with citrus fruit juice and use the mixture in the plant’s soil, as dogs dislike the aroma.
  • Fence the plant section to safeguard your plant from your canine friend.
  • Surround the Philodendrons with spiky twigs or thorny roses to keep the dogs and pets at a safe distance.

From Editorial Team

Train Your Pets!

You might have to reconsider having a Philodendron as a pet parent, but getting the balance with proper safety and guidance is still possible. 

Train your pet to make a safe distance from the plant. Moreover, the non-toxic ones got your back.

Good Luck!

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