The Monstera is a no-nonsense plant that’s easy-to-grow, which makes it a great choice for gardeners of all skill levels. Before you bring this plant into your home, however, you should consider the potential effects it may have on your dog.
All parts of the Monstera are toxic to dogs, and great care should be taken to keep this plant out of your pup’s reach.
So if you own a Monstera with dogs in your home or are planning to bring this plant home, take a look at some things to keep in mind.
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Are Monstera toxic to dogs?
Yes, Monstera is toxic to dogs. The fruit and leaves of this plant contain calcium oxalate crystals, which is a toxic element that can harm dogs, cats, and even humans. If they bite the plant, the crystals can damage the tissue inside your dog’s mouth.
With that said, however, your dog can sniff the plant and even rub against it without issue. The danger doesn’t occur until they start to chew on the plant.
The calcium oxalate crystals which are found inside the Monstera can also damage the tissue on the tongue, lips, and throat of your dog (and anyone else who decides to chomp on this, noting that Monstera is toxic to cats too). The good news is that this plant has a naturally unpleasant bitter taste to help keep animals from continuing to munch on it.
Keep in mind, however, that even though the taste of this plant helps to discourage future snacking, all it takes is one small bite for your dog to experience the symptoms. That is why it is important that you keep your dog away from the Monstera.
What happens if a dog eats a Monstera leaf?
If your dog eats a Monstera leaf, they will quickly start to experience pain in their mouth and on their lips. Vomiting may also occur, as well as swelling of their mouth and esophagus, both of which can cause difficulty swallowing and eating.
If your dog has eaten any part of the Monstera plant, they can experience the following symptoms:
- Burning on their lips, mouth, and/or tongue
- Irritation on their lips, tongue, mouth, and even their throat
- Excessive drooling
- Difficulty swallowing
- Pawing at or rubbing their mouth
If the dog consumes an abundance of the Monstera plant, more serious and life threatening problems can occur. This includes kidney failure, liver failure, coma, and even death. Thankfully, most dogs don’t eat enough of the Monstera to cause those serious health complications, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible.
Since the Monstera does have the potential to result in a life-threatening situation, it is best to keep it out of your pet’s reach. You will also need to immediately remove any leaves or plant matter that has fallen off the plant and on the floor.
Will Monstera kill my dog?
Monstera poisoning can be fatal if your dog consumes large quantities of the plant. Thankfully, most cases are not life threatening, partly because the plant tastes terrible which dissuades dogs from eating more. Most dogs who chew on the Monstera plant have a full recovery.
That doesn’t mean you should take it lightly if you catch your dog chewing on the Monstera plant. Reach out to poison control or your veterinarian if your dog has eaten any amount of the Monstera plant. As with any health issue and since the plant can be fatal, it is best to err on the side of caution.
Taking your dog to the vet as a precautionary measure is recommended since they can help address any potential symptoms that your dog is experiencing. While you may not want to spend the extra money on a vet visit, you could find yourself facing an even higher bill if you wait until more serious symptoms set in.
How long do the symptoms of Monstera poisoning last in dogs?
Side effects associated with Monstera poisoning can last for a few days to even a few weeks. Keep in mind, however, that this can vary depending on how much of the plant your dog eats, as well as their size. In most cases, side effects should start to subside within 48 hours.
Because side effects vary, it is best to monitor your pooch. Make sure to keep track of when the last time they ate, drank, and used the bathroom. If they haven’t used the bathroom or eaten or drunk anything for over 24 hours, contact an emergency veterinarian immediately.
What to do if my dog ate a Monstera plant
Since the effects of Monstera poisoning can occur immediately or take days to show up, it is best to take your dog to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Since it is hard to tell just how much of the plant the dog has consumed, you should treat the situation as an emergency.
The amount of time that the symptoms last can vary widely depending on several factors, such as how much of the plant was consumed and the size of the dog. In most cases, the symptoms subside within 2 to 3 days, but some symptoms can last for a couple of weeks. Taking your dog to the vet as a precaution will help to ensure they get the treatment they need ASAP.
Similarly, if you notice your dog isn’t eating, drinking, or using the bathroom in over 24 hours, get them to a veterinarian immediately. Not drinking and using the bathroom is a red flag that something may be seriously wrong with your pooch.
How to prevent my dog eating my Monstera plant
Despite Monstera being toxic to dogs, you can still grow a Monstera plant in a home with your pup. You just need to take a few precautions to help ensure they don’t eat the Monstera plant.
1. Keep the Monstera out of reach
Keeping the Monstera plant out of your dog’s reach is the best way to prevent him from eating it. This is especially true if your dog has a habit of chewing on plants. Placing the plant on a high shelf or hanging your Monstera can keep it out of your dog’s reach.
You may also be interested in: 16 Best Monstera Plant Benefits For You and Your Home
2. Move the Monstera to another room
Some people have a room in their home that they don’t allow their dogs in. If you already have such a room, moving the Monstera plant in there is a great way to keep your dog from eating it. Since your dog is already used to not being allowed in that room, you won’t have to disrupt their current routine to keep them away from the plant.
Depending on where you live, you could even consider moving your Monstera to live outside – although that may not solve the problem if it is placed in an outdoor area that your dog also has access to.
3. Noise deterrents can help keep dogs away from the Monstera
Some dogs do not like loud noises since they scare them and can hurt their ears. Utilize this fear to help keep them away from your plants. Simply fill a water bottle with small pebbles and then shake the bottle vigorously every time they go near the Monstera plant.
Keep in mind, however, that this noise can be quite alarming and bother others who live in the home. Because of this, noise deterrents may not be the best course of action for your situation. You may have better luck with other options.
4. Use smell deterrents on the Monstera
Dogs have a higher sense of smell than humans, and you can use this heightened smell to keep them away from the Monstera plant. Chili peppers and vinegar, for example, both have a strong smell that dogs don’t like. Spray the Monstera plant with these smells to keep your pooch at bay.
There are several chemical deterrents available online, although most of them are designed more for taste than smell. Since you don’t want your dog to nibble on the Monstera even once, it may be better to utilize one of the other methods to keep your pooch away from the plant.
5. Get pet safe plants instead
If you can keep your dog out of the Monstera plant, consider getting rid of the toxic plant all together and replacing it with dog-friendly plants. Spider plant, hens and chicks, and prayer plant are three popular indoor plants that are safe for dogs.
Even if your dog were to eat these non-toxic plants, they wouldn’t have any serious side effects or potentially life-threatening problems.
6. Reward their good behavior
While trying to keep your dog away from the Monstera plant, make sure you are also rewarding their good behavior.
Giving them a treat when you tell them to get away from the plant (and the listen) will help reinforce the desired behavior. Since most dogs are treat/food motivated, this can be a great way to keep them away from the Monstera plant.
7. Play with your dog
One reason why dogs will bother things they are not supposed to is because they are bored. We all have busy lives and sometimes we just don’t make time to play with our pets. This can lead them to act out and misbehave.
Setting aside play time with your dog every day will go a long way to keeping them healthy and happy, and away from your plants. Another option is to hire a dog walker who can help wear out your dog during the day while you’re at work. Getting that extra energy out will help reduce bad behavior.
8. Be consistent and don’t give up
Consistency is key to helping keep your dog away from the Monstera plant. If you let them sniff or bother the plant just once, you are reinforcing their bad behavior. Any training you have done to keep them away from the plant will be corrupted and you will have to start the process over again.
If you feel that you cannot keep up with the consistency, you should consider moving the plant so that it is out of your dog’s reach. While this isn’t ideal for everyone, it is the best way to ensure your dog doesn’t eat the Monstera plant.