Is Philodendron Toxic To Dogs?

Philodendron Gloriosum
Philodendron Gloriosum (Source: Reddit)

Philodendrons and other tropical plants are mostly grown indoors since they require minimal care and have lovely foliage. However, be aware Philodendron is toxic to dogs.

Are you both plants and a dog parent? Handling your dog not eating your plants can be a pretty challenging task.

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

Dog with indoor plant
Dog with indoor plant (Source: Unsplash)

But do not toss the plant away for this reason. It would be preferable if you implement several safety measures to protect your dog.

Continue reading about symptoms of consumption, diagnosis, and treatment of Philodendron poisoning in dogs. 

What Kind of Philodendron are Poisonous to Dogs?

More than 450 varieties of Philodendron are in the world, and almost all of them are poisonous to dogs.

Keep your pets away from Philodendron as it can harm your dogs, cats, birds, and horses.

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

Common Name Scientific 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

Why is Philodendron Toxic to Dogs?

Philodendrons are known for their attractive foliage, giving an aesthetic look to your house and making it lively. However, they are listed as toxic by the ASPCA.

The insoluble substance in Philodendron called calcium oxalate makes it toxic to dogs and cats.

All parts of Philodendron contain calcium oxalate crystals. The raphides in the plant contain calcium oxalate crystals that are needle-shaped and the principal irritants for your dog.

Raphides can inflame the sensitive tissues of dogs
Raphides needle-shaped calcium oxalate crystals (Source: Researchgate)

Likewise, these sharp crystals will start digging them and causes their soft tissues like mouth, tongue, throat, food pipe, etc., to swell and become inflamed. 

Further, the raphides also release the toxic chemical histamine, which causes symptoms of allergies, like runny nose and sneezing.

Chewing any plant portion will cause your dog’s mouth and throat to swell and hurt as the tiny crystals lodge themselves deep into the neighboring sensitive tissues.

Likewise, if your dog ingests plant debris or sap, the irritation typically spreads down the neck and into the gastrointestinal tract.

The toxicity level of Philodendron is mild to moderate but will not be life-threatening to your dogs.

Symptoms of Philodendron Poisoning

As we have discussed, Philodendron is toxic to dogs from chewing or biting the plant.

The symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on the quantity of intake.

Likewise, the first symptom your dog could experience after eating Philodendron is a severe burning sensation that might start after two hours of consumption.

Following are primary symptoms of Philodendron poisoning in dogs.

SymptomsWay of checking them
VomitingYou dog will throw up without eating anything
DiarrheaFrequent pooping which is runny and mucus in stool
Loss of appetiteYour dog will not eat properly
Dilated eyesThe eyes will be dilated looking more glassy
Hoarse barkingThe barking will be different than usual and be hoarser
Pawing at the face or mouthYour dog will constantly paw at their face or mouth
AgitationDog will seem more irritated
ChokingYour dog find difficulty in breathing
Drooling and foamingYour dog will drool and foam saliva

Additionally, consumption of Philodendron can also upset your dog and cause severe internal pain.

Your dog may have trouble breathing because the swelling of the tongue and neck constricts the airway.

However, the initial signs of trouble breathing and swallowing won’t worsen until the dog takes a significant amount.

In the worst scenario, philodendron poisoning can result in convulsions, kidney failure, and coma.

Diagnosis of Philodendron Poisoning

The dogs exhibit various symptoms caused by numerous other consumptions; diagnosing them can be challenging.

You can diagnose the signs of Philodendron poisoning in the following ways.

  • Plant leaves are lying on the floor.
  • The leaves look nibbled or see visible damage to the plants.
  • Around your dog’s mouth, you may find the residue of leaves.

If you cannot identify any of the abovementioned issues, it is better to contact the expert.

Further, you must visit the veterinary office if your dog eats large quantities of the leaves.

You need to tell the veterinarian about your dog’s medical history and whether they have ever experienced any problems.

Veterinarians may ask about the plants in your house that can threaten your dog. 

Similarly, the Veterinarians will collect samples of the dog’s blood and urine to indicate any coexisting diseases or abnormalities for a complete diagnosis.

Image represents a sick dog laying on a hospital bed undergoing treatment
A Sick Dog (Source: Pexels)

Blood diagnosis will help to know the blood count and urine sample to assess if there is any effect on the kidney and liver.

You need to perform these tests as the chemical calcium oxalate can result in severe kidney damage.

Similarly, you can perform an endoscopy to determine whether the dog’s stomach and food pipe have sustained any damage.

First Aid for Poisoned Dog

You should perform some first aid treatment to prevent further affect on your dog.

  • As soon as you notice your dog eating or chewing Philodendron, immediately prevent them from consuming more.
  • Flush their mouth with cold water to remove as many irritating crystals as possible.
  • Clean the dog’s eyes and paws with water to remove the tiny crystals that might be stuck.
pet first aid tool box
Pet First Aid Kit (Source: Amazon)
  • If the case is severe, take your pet to the nearest veterinarian or emergency clinic.
  • Feed them yogurt to soothe the gastrointestinal tract.
  • You can feed them electrolyte water to keep them hydrated if they suffer from diarrhea and vomiting.
  • 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 gastro intestinal tract.

The following helpline can be your lifesaver!

Best First Aid Kit 

Here are some recommended first aid kits for your poisoned dog.

First Aid KitContains
ARCA PET Dog First Aid KitGloves, Bandages, Antiseptic, Tweezer, Scissors
JUSAID Pet First Aid KitEmergency collars, Thermometers, First aid & emergency care instructions, Pet shaver
Home Vet BagBandage materials, Ice pack, Wound cleaning items, Thermometer, Pet Piller, Pill splitter, Syptic matches for bleeding nails, Topical sting reliever, Antibiotic ointment, Oral antihistamine.
Hi-Travel Pet First Aid KitSaline, Bandages with ties, Gauze swabs, Microporous tape, Alcohol-free cleansing wipes, and many more

Treatment for Poisoned Dog

There are no specific antidotes that can instantly overcome the toxicity of the Philodendron. However, some medications can help to ease the symptoms.

MedicinesDosagePurpose
Electrolytes2-4 ml of electrolyte (per pound of dog weight)To hydrate them after vomiting and diarrhea
Activated Charcoal0.5-1.5 grams per pound of dog's body weightPrevents the poison from being absorbed from the stomach into the body
Intravenous Fluids (IV)100-200 mlTo prevent or treat dehydration
Antihistamine Cetirizine: 1 mg/kg
Benadryl: 1 tsp
Relieves symptoms of allergy
Hydrogen Peroxide1 teaspoonTo induce vomiting if advised by veterinary professional

The medication we have listed is based on our research.

Seeing a vet is advised as we are not a vet. A nearby vet can help with your poisoned dog by providing proper medication.

Caution: This information is for education purposes only. Do not provide these medications without consulting the vets.

Recovery of a Poisoned Dog

Philodendron is categorized as moderate to light toxic. Therefore, the likelihood that your dog may have pain for a limited time.

The dog’s recovery is strongly impacted by how much Philodendron is consumed.

Sick dog sadly lying alone in bed
A sick puppy (Source: Unsplash)

Your dog might need to stay for a few hours or overnight if the condition gets worse than predicted so the vet can watch for any more swelling.

Though, mortality may have occurred in a rare instance where there was a poor or delayed response to treatment.

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

Generally, the poisoning symptoms from Philodendron last between 12 to 24 hours in your dog.

Your dog might start drooling in 12 hours. Additionally, it will begin pawing their mouth and face. Likewise, in 12-24 hours, your pet will suffer from appetite loss. 

Philodendron in a pot
Philodendron in a pot (Source: Instagram)

During recovery, your vet may advise you to give them a mild diet as their stomach will be in distress.

Provide them with nutritious food and avoid providing them with milk as it may trigger diarrhea.

How to Prevent Your Dog from Eating Philodendron?

Be grateful, as Philodendron has a bitter taste, making higher usage extremely improbable.

However, if you do not take precautions, dogs may sometimes become inquisitive and begin chewing the leaves of the Philodendron.

Here are some ways to prevent your dog from eating Philodendron.

  • If you have Philodendrons outside, you can fence them.
  • You can always keep your dogs occupied by giving them some toys to play with.
  • Buy some chewing grass for your dogs so they don’t chew unhealthy plants.
  • You can spray all-natural spray to stop your dog from chewing and repel from yards, plants, and gardens.
A Dog With A Potted Pothos Plant
Curious Dog Trying to Eat Plant (Source: Unsplash)
  • You can combine coffee grounds with citrus fruit juice and use the mixture in the plant’s soil as dogs hate the pungent aroma.
  • Surround the plant with spiky twigs as they hate poky stuff.
  • You can put the plants on a high stand to ensure your dog can’t get to them.

Conclusion

Philodendron is toxic for your dog or cats but is less likely to kill them.

The symptoms can be moderate to mild and will pass eventually.

Try to take the precautions I’ve suggested if you already have Philodendron and if you were thinking about buying it today.

Good Luck!

You may be interested to read: Philodendron Light Requirements,Philodendron Flower, Philodendron Rio Care Guide, Philodendron Seeds.

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