Philodendrons are common houseplants that are extremely popular in the houseplant community for their exotic leaves. Still, if you have cats or dogs in the house, you might be concerned about the toxicity of the philodendrons as you don’t want any harm to your plant or pets.
But are philodendron plants poisonous to pets? Let’s find out!
Philodendrons are considered mildly toxic for pets that can cause discomfort in them. If your pet ingests any part of the philodendron, they will show signs like oral irritation, gastric issues, drooling, and difficulty swallowing. If you see any such signs rush your pet to a vet immediately.
Philodendron contains a poisonous material called calcium oxalate that mostly causes a lot of discomfort to your cat or dog.
You can keep your philodendron and your cat or dog in the same house, but you must keep the plant out of the reach of your pets.
We will discuss how philodendrons can affect your pets and the different ways of protecting your philodendron and your pet from each other.
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Is your philodendron pet friendly?
No, philodendrons are not pet-friendly.
The philodendron is toxic to both cats and dogs.
If your pet consumes any part of the philodendron, it will cause stomach irritation and vomiting and make swallowing difficult for your pets.
The philodendrons produce a toxic element called calcium oxalate to protect themselves from pests and bugs.
Calcium oxalate contains crystal-like chemicals that have sharp edges. So, if the pet consumes even a leaf, it will have oral irritation or digestive problems.
You will notice excessive drooling if this happens.
Also read: 21 Best Indoor Plants That Are Safe For Pets.
How poisonous is philodendron?
The philodendron is mildly poisonous for your pets. Although it won’t kill your pets, its effects will depend on the amount of consumption of the plant.
The philodendron is dangerous for dogs and cats, so we need to ensure that your pets don’t consume from the plant.
If you notice that your pet has nibbled any part of the plant, you can figure the quantity by checking the plant thoroughly.
We will notice symptoms like vomiting, swelling on the mouth or tongue of your pet.
Consider contacting your vet or take your pet to the clinic as soon as possible. It would be best if you did not try to cure your pet yourself, as that can worsen the situation.
So, it is best to relocate the plant so that neither your pets nor the children can get hold of it. If you have climbing philodendron, you can easily keep them in hanging pots.
For the non-climbing ones, you can hang them if they are small. Otherwise, try to keep the plant in a spot away from the pets.
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Signs of philodendron poisoning in pets
Philodendrons release calcium oxalate, a toxic crystal-like substance that is not good for your dog or cat.
The toxin can cause mouth irritation and swell in the lips of your pets. You will notice signs like:
- Oral irritation
- Excess drooling
- Cat or dog pawing at its mouth
These are caused due to the toxin’s crystal form that can cut the mouth and cause injury to pets.
This toxin is present in all the plant parts, so consuming any part can affect your cat or dog.
Now, let’s understand how this affects different types of pets, including cats and dogs.
Which pets are most vulnerable to philodendrons?
Pets do not understand which plants or things can harm them. They are curious and innocent creatures who might nibble your philodendron out of curiosity.
We must ensure that our pets, including the cats and dogs, do not nibble on the philodendrons.
Philodendrons are poisonous for almost all kinds of pets. It might not have any strong effect if your cat or dog nibbles one or two leaves from the plant.
However, other domestic animals such as horses, goats, or cows will have more effect due to nibbling on the plant. This is because these animals take a large bite of the leaves.
Many people consider growing their philodendrons in an aquarium. The philodendrons cannot grow underwater, but their roots can.
The philodendron will not affect the fishes as long as its leaves don’t get immersed in the aquarium’s water.
However, some species of philodendrons can be a great addition to the aquarium of your house. Be careful while growing the philodendron inside the aquarium.
Are philodendrons poisonous to dogs?
Yes, philodendrons can be poisonous for your dogs.
It is hard to understand if your pets have consumed any part of the plant, but you must check the plant for any bite signs if you notice these signs.
- Pawing at the mouth
- Irritation to the mouth – lips, eyes, and tongue
- Foaming at the mouth
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Difficulty in breathing
Check the plant to understand the quantity of the plant swallowed by the pet. This will give you an idea of the severity of the situation.
Are philodendrons poisonous to cats?
Yes, philodendrons are poisonous to cats.
You will notice similar problems in cats like dogs. Philodendrons release calcium oxalate toxins in the form of crystals that cause irritation and other issues.
You will notice these symptoms in philodendrons:
- Respiratory issues
- Pawing at the mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty in swallowing
Again, check the philodendron to understand which parts of the philodendron have been affected.
Cats and dogs can have various internal issues, pain, and breathing problem due to the consumption of philodendron.
Is philodendron toxic to birds?
The calcium oxalate toxins in the philodendron can irritate your birds.
Philodendrons fall on the list of plants that are harmful to the birds. All parts of the philodendron can be poisonous for your bird.
The symptoms you will notice in the case of birds are:
- Bird falling from the perch
What to do if your pet ate philodendron plant?
The best thing to do is your vet as soon as you know that your pet has consumed the philodendron plant.
Your pet might have severe pain due to irritation and inflammation. If not treated on time, the urine will start forming crystals that will be even worse.
You must never think of solving this problem on your own, which can increase the problem even more. Therefore, consulting a vet will be the ideal option in such a case.
The vet will check the symptoms and clean the poison by washing the mouth of your pet first.
You must explain the situation in detail so that your vet can understand your pet’s condition due to the poisoning. You can take a sample of the philodendron with you.
If your vet asks you to take the pet to the hospital, you must do so without delay.
How to keep philodendron away from pets?
If you have any pet in the house, you must keep your philodendron away from it. You must also keep the plant away from the reach of your children.
It is natural for your pet to be curious about your houseplants, and unique foliage can make them even more interested.
Philodendrons have different variegated species that can increase the curiosity of your pets.
It would be best if you found a spot at a height for the plant to keep it away from your pets.
You can use floating pots, hangers, or floating shelves to keep the philodendron away.
How to keep philodendron away from cats?
Cats can be more curious than dogs. They can reach places that even we can’t. So, you need to be more careful if you have cats in the house.
We can keep the philodendron plant in a floating pot and ensure that the cat can reach the vine if you have climbing philodendron.
Cats don’t like clusters, so you can keep the plant in the bookshelf along with other objects such as books to make it clustered.
If you follow these, you will be able to keep the philodendron away from your cat.
If you plan to leave the house for some time, keep your cat in a different room from the philodendron plant. This will protect the plant and cat from each other.
How to keep philodendron away from dogs?
Dogs can be trained and are more obedient than cats, but you cannot be sure of their curiosity. So, you need to keep the philodendron away from your dog as well.
Make sure that the vines of your climbing philodendron are out of reach of the dog.
You also need to ensure that the dog can’t reach the hangers where you place the philodendron with its hind legs.
It would help if you took a lot of care of the plant so that it remains healthy. If you don’t have a healthy philodendron, it will shed leaves, and if your dog consumes the already unhealthy leaves, it will face more issues.
You must remove the fallen leaves before your dog gets hold of the leaves.
Remember to keep the dog away from the philodendron when you are not available in the house. This will save both of them.
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How to keep philodendron away from birds?
Keeping the birds away from the philodendron might be challenging, but it is a must to keep your bird healthy and avoid unnecessary issues.
You can place scarecrows near the philodendron plant that will keep the birds away. Another good option is to hang shiny balloons near the philodendron. This way, the birds will stay away from your philodendron.
If you have a radio, you can use it to keep your bird away using distressing sounds as birds will take it as an alert and will not come near your plant.
Philodendrons are toxic for your cats and dogs, and you must keep the plant away from them. You can easily keep the philodendron in the house along with your pets once you understand how to keep the pets away or find an ideal spot for the philodendron.
Source: Houseplants and Ornamentals, Pet poison online, Toxic plants, and companion animals.
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