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Are Philodendrons Toxic to Dogs? (What You Need to Know)

Are Philodendrons Toxic to Dogs? (What You Need to Know)

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Adding plants to your home will boost the mood, make your space cozier, and improve the air quality.

But if you have a pet in the house, you need to think a little about the type of plants to grow in your outdoor and indoor space. Plants are beautiful, but some of them can actually harm your pets.

Dogs are curious, and they chew stuff to explore the world. So, is philodendron toxic to dogs?

We’ll tell you everything you need to know about this plant and how to know if your pet is in danger in this article. So, keep reading to learn more about this topic.

Is Philodendron Toxic To Dogs?

The philodendron plant belongs to a huge plant family that contains more than 400 varieties. Some of these plants can successfully grow in pots, while others are vining plants that can hang onto any other structure.

All varieties are characterized by their impressive foliage, which requires minimal care to stay in great shape.

This makes philodendron a popular choice for a houseplant.

Plants that belong to this family have air-purifying properties, so they improve your house’s air quality. They’re also relatively easy to take care of.

Nevertheless, if you have a dog in the house, then this plant won’t work for you.

Philodendron is toxic to dogs, cats, humans, and lots of other animals. Since there’s always a chance of your dog ingesting plants’ leaves out of curiosity or hunger, then it’s best to avoid growing this plant at home.

If you already have an established plant that you don’t want to give away, it’s essential to make sure that it’s kept in a dog-proofed area. This means that your dog won’t have access to it.

Unfortunately, if your dog ingests some of the plant’s leaves, it will start showing minor signs of toxicity.

How Toxic is Philodendron?

Philodendron is indeed toxic, but it’s only mildly toxic to dogs. This means that it won’t cause a severe reaction.

There are several plants that are extremely dangerous, but luckily, philodendron isn’t one of them.

Nevertheless, it’s still one of the dangerous plants that you shouldn’t keep in the house.

Ingesting and even touching different parts of the plant can cause irritation, discomfort, and ulcers because of the calcium oxalate crystals.

The plant produces these crystals to protect itself and prevent animals from eating it.

The crystals are sharp and cut through the delicate skin that lines the animal’s mouth, preventing it from ingesting more leaves. This is how the plant keeps itself alive to spread.

Yet, these very same leaves can cause excruciating pain when your pet starts eating them.

When your dog nibbles on a few leaves out of curiosity or boredom, it will start to experience this agonizing pain because of the sharp crystals that can be found in every part of the plant.

The crystals then travel through the digestive tract, causing minor tears and irritating the mouth’s delicate skin.

If your dog touches the plant and then touches its face or eyes, you’ll notice that the eyes are red and swollen.

Philodendron becomes more dangerous if ingested by a puppy, a sick dog, a nursing dog, or a pregnant dog. These dogs aren’t in great shape, so they’re likely to experience more severe symptoms.

A healthy dog will probably handle the toxicity of the plant better. It will still experience pain and discomfort, but the symptoms will be milder.

Will Philodendron Kill Dogs?

Philodendron is mildly toxic, so it won’t kill dogs. Nevertheless, it’s still toxic and can make your pet very sick.

The severity of the symptoms depends on your pet’s health status and the number of leaves it has ingested. Here are the symptoms your dog will experience when it consumes some leaves of philodendron.

  • The first symptom is a burning sensation that leads to drooling.
  • The excessive drooling turns into foaming and coughing.
  • Your dog will start panting and will experience trouble breathing normally.
  • These sharp crystals cut through the delicate mucus membrane inside the mouth and throat, leading to difficulty swallowing.
  • The crystals found in the plant’s juices will lead to irritation and swallowing around the mouth. Ulcers can also form inside and outside the mouth.
  • You’ll notice that your dog isn’t eating normally because of the pain.
  • Your dog will start licking its paws.
  • If your pet touches its eyes after touching the plant, they will become red and irritated.
  • You’ll notice your dog’s eyes are tearing excessively. It might also squint and experience trouble seeing properly.
  • Your dog will stop playing and jumping around because it’s in so much pain.
  • If your dog eats too many leaves and you don’t act fast, the calcium oxalate crystals can lead to renal failure.
  • Your dog might start experiencing seizures.
  • Your dog might get into a coma.

What to Do If Your Dog Eats a Philodendron

You don’t have to panic if your dog has eaten some leaves of philodendron.

In most cases, the pain will prevent your pet from ingesting a large number of leaves, and a few leaves can be painful but not life-threatening. Yet, here are a few things to do to help your dog feel better.

  • Start by flushing your dog’s mouth to get rid of any of the sharp crystals.
  • Rinse your dog’s face and paws with cold water to help with the burning sensation.
  • Feed your dog some yogurt or milk. Food that contains calcium will bind with the calcium oxalate crystals from the plant, so they will help your pet feel better.
  • Take your dog immediately to the vet, even if you don’t think that it has ingested a large number of leaves. Your pet might be suffering from other health conditions that can make it unable to recover from the toxicity of philodendron.

Are Philodendrons Toxic to Birds?

Calcium oxalate crystals can irritate the skin, eyes, and mucus membranes in humans and pets. Philodendron contains these crystals, so it’s toxic to pets.

Bird owners unknowingly let their birds climb over this plant and play with its big glossy leaves.

Unfortunately, this plant can significantly harm your pet birds.

The calcium oxalate crystals burn the bird’s mouth and tongue, causing ulcers that make swallowing painful. As the tongue swells, your bird won’t be able to breathe normally, so it might die.

Due to their smaller size, birds can suffer greatly when exposed to philodendrons, so you need to be careful about exposing them to this plant. If you have pet birds in the house, it’s best not to grow this plant in the first place.

If you think that your birds have ingested some of the leaves, take them to the vet.

Will Philodendrons Kill a Tree?

There are many varieties of the philodendron plant, and some of them grow as vines.

This plant won’t kill a tree if it grows next to it. Yet, it will compete with it for food and water.

Philodendron plants are pretty resilient and quite easy to take care of. They’re not fussy about their requirements and will stay in good shape with minimal care.

This is probably the number one reason why people grow them as houseplants.

Yet, you should think twice before growing this plant outside or inside your house because it’s harmful to all pets.

Final Thoughts

Philodendron is an attractive plant that requires minimal care.

Unfortunately, this plant is toxic to dogs and other pets.

It won’t kill your dog, but it can cause several annoying symptoms. In most cases, your dog will recover on its own, but you can rinse its mouth to help with the burning sensation.

It’s essential to take your dog to the vet, and they will prescribe appropriate medication.

This plant is also toxic to birds, so you shouldn’t let your pet birds play and climb over it.

Before you go: Now is the perfect time to start tracking your gardening progress, and I created a garden journal to do exactly that. Click the image below to see it in action and to get your own copy.

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