Since crotons are colorful and bright, they will attract your pets, so it is crucial to understand whether croton is a pet-friendly plant.
So, is croton plant pet-friendly? Let’s find out.
As per the guidelines issued by ASPCA, all parts of crotons, including their leaves, stems, flowers, and roots, are toxic for pets like dogs, cats, and small animals. Ingestion of any part of the plant can cause gastrointestinal problems leading to vomiting, nausea, and drooling.
You’re mistaken if you think you can’t have croton in your house after reading this.
With the proper knowledge and management, you can keep the croton and your pet in the same house without any of them getting hurt. Let’s read how.
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Are croton plants pet friendly?
Crotons are tropical plants native to Malaysia, Indonesia, and the western Pacific Ocean islands.
These plants were grown outdoors before becoming popular houseplants for their vibrant foliage.
Crotons contain diterpenes, which is the reason behind the plant’s toxicity, making it not pet-friendly.
This chemical can cause skin irritation when it comes in touch with the skin and gastrointestinal problems when the pet ingests any plant part.
If you witness any unusual behavior in your pet, you can take it to the vet, who will treat the issue.
I recommend carrying a part of the plant with you to show it to the vet.
Which parts of croton are toxic?
All the parts of crotons are toxic, but pets tend to get attracted to the leaves as those are the most colorful parts of the plant.
However, other parts such as the stems or flowers are also toxic.
The sap of the croton causes skin irritation and abdominal problems in humans and pets like cats and dogs.
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What are the signs of croton poisoning?
If your pets ingest croton, you’ll notice some abnormal behaviors in them.
The sap of the croton can cause irritating skin rashes on your pet.
When the sap comes in touch with your pet’s mouth, it causes a burning feeling that leads to drooling and pawing at the mouth.
Whereas, if your pet consumes the croton in a larger quantity, it might experience issues like diarrhea, stomach ache, diarrhea, etc.
You will also notice that your pet is not behaving normally and, instead, looking depressed.
Is croton toxic to dogs?
Yes, croton is toxic for dogs.
The plant’s sap is responsible for causing skin and abdominal problems in dogs.
If your dog has consumed croton, you’ll notice mild signs. Some of these are:
- Pawing at the mouth
- Skin irritation
- Eye irritation
- Stomach ache
- Loss of appetite
How to treat croton poisoning in dogs?
If you notice your dog behaving abnormally, take a look at the croton.
If you notice any sign of bite on leaves or any part of the plant, you know the abnormal behavior is due to croton poisoning.
You must take your dog to the vet.
You can also take a leaf from the croton to show to your vet.
The vet will run different tests on your dog to understand the problems it might be experiencing.
The vet will first wash your dog’s mouth to clean the toxins.
If the vet detects oral pain or irritation, he might give ice cubes to your dog as this will reduce the irritation and any burning sensation.
However, if the condition is more severe, your dog might need a pain reliever to reduce the pain.
In severe cases, the vet will start the dog’s treatment where he will inject fluids to prevent dehydration and give medications to cure and prevent further gastrointestinal problems.
Recovery from croton poisoning in dogs
The recovery time will depend on the amount of the plant your dog has ingested and your dog’s immunity.
If your dog has gobbled a small amount only, it will recover faster and might not require a visit to the vet.
But if your dog has consumed a more significant amount of croton, it will require more time.
If your dog has undergone treatment for croton poisoning, avoid offering complex or spiced food for the first 24 hours.
You should keep it on a light diet and provide food that can digest quickly.
Keep providing small amounts of water or ice from time to time to prevent dehydration.
Now, if your dog is healthy and active, it might show fewer and milder symptoms and recover faster.
But if your dog is aged or has other diseases, it might show more severe reactions to croton poisoning and require more time to recover fully.
Keep these in mind during treating and letting your dog recover from croton poisoning.
How toxic are Crotons to cats?
Croton is toxic for cats, and hence, you should keep the plant away from the reach of your cat.
The white sap can cause skin irritation, and consuming any part can cause internal problems for your cat.
Let’s look at some common symptoms to help you identify croton poisoning in cats.
- Pawing at the mouth
How to treat croton poisoning in cats?
Cats are unlikely to consume large quantities of croton as they will not enjoy the taste of the plant.
But if your cat has taken a bite from the croton plant, immediately take it to the vet.
Carry a plant sample with you to help your vet identify the problems.
You should take the cat to the vet even when it doesn’t show any unusual signs because it might take a few hours to notice any reaction in your cat.
Avoid trying any remedies on your own.
The vet will treat your cat by rinsing its mouth, giving it crushed ice for some relief, and taking measures to prevent dehydration.
The vet might also run tests and give medications in case of any severe problem.
How to keep your pets away from croton?
If you learn to keep your pet away from the croton plant, you can avoid all the problems we discussed.
I am mentioning some of the ways that have helped me keep pets away from toxic plants over the years.
Use these to protect the plant and the pet.
Keep the croton out of the reach of your pets.
Find a spot that will be away from the reach of your pets. You can use these for this purpose.
Get a plant stand: You can get a tall and strong plant stand to keep the croton at a height where your pet can’t reach.
However, this might not work for cats as they can climb and reach heights if they want to.
Use a hanging pot: Hanging pots give your interior a different look and keep the plants away from your pets.
Avoid keeping any other object near the hanging pot, as your pets can climb to the pot with the help of that.
Take the croton to a separate room: If you have a room in the house where your pets are not allowed, you can place the croton there.
But ensure that the croton gets proper light, temperature, and humidity in that room.
Make the pets go away from your croton.
Although you can keep the croton away from your pets, some measures will drive the pets away from crotons.
Cover the soil: Pets love to dig into the soil of your houseplants.
So, covering the soil with pebbles or aluminum foil can be a turn-off for your pets.
Use a pet deterrent: Since houseplants can attract dogs and cats, many products in the market can keep them away, one of which is a pet deterrent.
You can use a pet deterrent spray on your croton to keep your cat or dog away from it.
Train your pets
The next thing you can try is training your pets.
Like you train your pet to use the litterbox, you can train it to stay away from the croton.
For that, you must discourage your pet whenever it goes near the plant.
You can keep a spray bottle handy and spray a little water on your pet whenever it goes near the croton or tries to take a bite.
When your pet moves away from the croton, give it treats.
In this way, you can train your pet to stay away from the croton.
Cats can be harder to train than dogs. So it might take more time.
Many beautiful houseplants are not pet-friendly, and although croton is one of them, don’t drop the idea of having croton in the house along with your pet.
To have croton in a house with pets, learn how to keep them away from each other. I have mentioned a few ways to keep your pets away from the croton. In case of emergencies where your pet ingests the plant, take them to the vet without trying anything yourself.
Although many people suggest opting for pet-friendly houseplants instead of toxic plants, I think you can enjoy a houseplant that’s not pet-friendly with the correct management.