Having both plants and four legged, furry pets in the house can pose some unique challenges. Dogs for the most part don’t consume plants, but sometimes they are curious, or just bored and can tear up some of your beloved greenery.
What happens if they decide to take a bite or four out of your Monstera plant? Is it toxic, are you going to have a hefty vet bill, or are they going to be fighting for their lives?
Don’t worry too much because Monstera plants, while not good for your pup, for the most part, won’t do any real physical harm to your dog. Most animals who take a bite from these plants leave them alone after the initial sampling.
It’s very rare that Monstera plants severely harm your pets. If your pet has consumed some of your plant and seems like it’s in real distress, contact your vet immediately. Again, severe reactions are extremely rare.
Here we will go over why dogs might be eating plants, what reactions may happen when it comes to Monstera plants, and what you can do to minimize interactions.
Table of Contents
Why Is My Dog Tearing Up Plants?
Dogs aren’t known for eating plants as much as cats are, but it still happens. Most times, dogs who like the taste of greens will nibble on grass when they go outside. But of course, there are some who like to get into houseplants.
There are several reasons why your pooch is snacking on your indoor foliage.
- Some dogs like the taste of plants and greens. Dogs are essentially carnivores, but some do enjoy crunchy veggie treats. I had a dog once that loved anything the color orange.
She loved getting carrots, oranges, orange peppers, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash as treats. Give her broccoli, and she’d turn her nose up at it.
- Dogs who don’t feel well eat grass to alleviate bloating, nausea, upset stomach, or other gut issues. Anyone who has owned a dog knows that grass consuming grass can make them vomit. Not all do, but this may be a way to alleviate some stomach issues.
If your pooch is vomiting more than once or twice, or if they constantly eat grass, contact your vet.
- Your pet may be experiencing a nutritional deficiency. Dogs that munch on grass or plants may be lacking fiber or other nutrients in their normal diet. To help keep their digestive system running normally, just like us, they need some roughage.
- Bored dogs can get destructive and may turn on your plants. Pooches who are bored or stressed will chew on things to alleviate those feelings. Often this means things we don’t want them destroying.
They aren’t chewing on your favorite slippers or the dining room table legs out of spite. These things may smell like you, or just be in the right place when they feel bored.
Unfortunately, plants aren’t immune to this boredom chewing. Especially if they are on the ground like huge Monstera plants.
- They may be curious about the new addition that’s getting attention. Curiosity may be the thing that “gets” the cat, but this feeling can do the same to our doggos. When you bring something new into the house, your dog will usually have to check it out.
Usually, a good sniff is enough to satisfy their curiosity, but some may take it further and give it a cursory chew or worse.
Are Monsteras Toxic To Dogs?
This isn’t a simple Yes or No answer. Monstera plants are not toxic in the sense that they have poisonous compounds inside them, but they can be harmful to your pets. They can also be harmful to humans when they are trimmed, and yes, there have been reports of people trying to eat them.
While the ripe fruit is not harmful, and is often eaten in its native lands, the key word there is “ripe.” Unripe Monstera fruits should not be consumed.
The problem with Monstera plants is the large amount of irritating calcium oxalate crystals throughout the plant. These can be harmful if they are consumed in very large doses, but for the most part, they are just very irritating.
The Lowdown On Oxalate Crystals
Spinach, potatoes, and legumes are all foods that are considered high in oxalates, but they are safe to eat. Cooking them helps to remove a lot of the crystals, but even raw, the levels in these foods aren’t high enough to hurt us.
There are a lot of houseplants other than Monstera that are very high in calcium oxalates such as Pothos and Snake Plants. These plants aren’t inherently toxic, but the crystals can be very painful to sensitive tissues.
Calcium oxalate crystals are microscopic, but if you were to look at them under a very high powered microscope you’d see a lot of spikes, sharp edges, and even hooklike barbs. In high numbers, these crystals can cause a lot of irritation to the mouth, tongue, lips, and gums of animals.
In very high doses, calcium oxalate crystals can form kidney stones. This can even happen in humans. It’s one of the reasons doctors tell people who are prone to kidney stones to stay away from the above mentioned foods.
If your dog has consumed a lot of a Monstera plant, they may have some kidney issues, but usually, one bite is enough to deter them. The sharp, poking, cutting crystals can cause sharp pain, swelling of soft tissues, excessive drooling, nausea, and vomiting.
What To Do If Your Dog Ate Some Monstera Plant
For the most part, one bite should cause enough irritation and pain to prevent any further tastes. You may see your dog drooling, licking its lips, pawing at its mouth, drinking a lot of water, or vomiting.
If you can inspect their mouth, make sure you remove any leftover pieces of the plant and look for excessive swelling. If you see swelling of the tongue or throat, or you find your pooch is having a hard time breathing, get your little one to the vet immediately.
On very rare occasions, pets may have allergic reactions to Monstera plants. These reactions are the most dangerous. So don’t hesitate if you see these symptoms.
Most times, reactions will be short lived and mild. In these cases, if you can rinse your dog’s mouth and paws with water, or get them to drink some milk, this may help alleviate the irritation. Monitor your pet for constant vomiting, or more severe symptoms.
If you feel you need to take your pet to the veterinarian, by all means, please do so. You can also call the Animals Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4436. They can answer your questions, but there may be a fee.
What Parts Of Monstera Plants Are Harmful?
The simple answer to this question is “all of the plant.” Calcium oxalate crystals are present in the sap of the plant, so wherever the sap flows, these crystals will show up.
The leaves, stems, roots, aerial roots, and even the fruits contain high levels of calcium oxalate crystals. When the fruit ripens the presence of these crystals is reduced dramatically.
Most Monstera varieties can bear fruit, and some are considered edible, but you shouldn’t eat any fruits except those that come from the Monstera Deliciosa variety. A little side note here though, it may take up to 10 years or longer for your Monstera to make fruit, and still, that’s only under the perfect conditions.
If your dog has chewed on the leaves, stems, or aerial roots, you’ll need to watch and treat them. Even if your pooch hasn’t tried to eat any of it, but only did some exploratory digging in the pot, you should check their paws because they can still get irritated.
Will Eating Monstera Kill My Dog?
In almost all cases, this is a big NO. But, there are exceptions. Your pet would have to consume a lot of the plant, and still, it wouldn’t be from poisoning, but kidney damage. These plants with their high level of oxalate crystals will usually cause enough irritation that Fido won’t do anything more than chew it a few times and spit it out.
The biggest worries would be from the swelling that can occur if your pooch chews and swallows some of the plant, or an allergic reaction. It’s always worth a call to your vet to see if you need to bring him/her in for an examination if you’re worried.
After The Aftermath (Will My Plant Survive?)
You found out your little pup made a mistake and munched on your Monstera for a bit. You have checked your poor doggo and made sure there is nothing serious, and it’s feeling fine now. Will your Monstera survive a brush with canine chompers?
These plants are quite hardy and will easily bounce back after some slight nibbling. Even if your pooch dug it up or broke some stems, it should still bounce back after you tend to it.
Cut off any damaged leaves, repot it if it was dug up and it should be alright. If the main stem was damaged or broken, or the roots were torn up, then the plant might not make it. Just take good care of it, and you’ll know in a few days to a week if it is going to bounce back or not.
The good thing is, a houseplant can easily be replaced.
Prevention Is Key
If your pooch is inherently curious about your Monstera plant, prevent a negative interaction by keeping them away from it.
Most dogs know to leave certain things alone in the house, but some will act out when you leave, and puppies are super curious about everything so you may need to do some training or put up barriers to keep them away from these plants.
Use Positive Reinforcement
When your pup is showing interest in the plant, call him/her to you and when they come give them a small treat, show them some love, or have a short play session. Whenever it goes near the plant continue to do this until they understand to leave it alone.
Keep Plenty Of Toys On Hand
One way to keep your canines busy and out of trouble is to make sure they have a good selection of toys. Provide a variety of chew toys, tug toys, and problem solving treat toys. By engaging their mind with puzzles that reward treats with play, you’ll fight off boredom and separation anxiety.
You can also do toy rotation. Keep some toys put away for a while, and bring them out when they seem bored with their other toys. Then put the older toys away for a time. Just keep rotating them to keep the toys fresh and fun.
Use Scent Deterrents
Nature’s Miracle Repellent Spray is a good choice to keep pets away from certain areas. Just spray this around the plant, or on the pot itself and the smell will keep dogs away.
Some dogs also don’t like the smell of citrus (this wouldn’t work for my Callie, she loved oranges), so you can leave some citrus peels in the pot, or wipe the edge of the pot with lemon, lime, or grapefruit.
If these don’t work, try something else your pooch doesn’t like to smell. Pepper, spices, or cayenne may be strong smells that work for you.
Place Plants Out Of The Way
Monsteras like to climb, but they can also be trained to trail over a pot and hang from the ceiling. You may need to employ a method like this to keep your pets out of your plants.
Hanging baskets, shelves, or high tables may also work to keep your plants out of your pooch’s reach.
Erect A Barrier
Aside from large dogs and athletic jumpers, a baby gate works great to keep most fur babies out of certain areas. When the above options aren’t an option or aren’t effective, you may have to keep your pet out of the plant room.
What Plants Are Safe For Dogs?
After reading this, or experiencing the fear of seeing your dog feeling bad after consuming some of the plant you may want something harmless. It’s completely understandable, and there are plenty of plants that are safe for dogs. Even if they decide to try and eat them.
There are plenty of houseplants that are safe for your four legged friends to munch on and dig in. Some of these include:
- Burro’s Tail
- Ponytail Palm
- Boston Fern
- African Violet
- Chinese Money Plant
- Christmas Cactus
- Cast Iron Plant
- Majesty Palm
- Spider Plant
- Prayer Plant
- Rattlesnake Plant
Can dogs be around Monstera plants?
Dogs and cats can certainly be around Monstera plants. There isn’t anything that will harm pets just being around these plants. If they try to consume part of the plant they can experience oral irritation, and swelling of the mouth, tongue, or lips. You may also see excessive drooling, nausea, or vomiting. Contact your vet if you have any concerns or questions.
Will dogs stay away from toxic plants?
Most dogs will stay away from plants, especially toxic ones. They typically taste very bitter, or in the case of Monsteras, cause painful irritation. The majority of dogs will avoid these plants, especially if they had a negative experience.
Puppies and very curious dogs may try to chew on toxic plants.
What can I give my dog if he ate a poisonous plant?
If you suspect or know that your dog ate a poisonous plant, you should call your veterinarian immediately. They may recommend bringing your pet in. Depending on what your dog consumed and the symptoms they may administer IV fluids, or give them activated charcoal. This will absorb toxins and expel them from the body.
In the case of Monstera plants, you may want to wash out his/her mouth with water or give them a little bit of milk.
Wrapping It Up
Pooches and Monsteras don’t mix well, but with a little work, they can coexist together peacefully. Most dogs won’t give Monstera plants a second glance. But if one does happen to take a bite of it, they aren’t likely to take a second bite.
Your pooch could experience irritation, nausea, drooling, and vomiting but that’s usually it. Don’t hesitate to call your vet if you are concerned about your pet’s health for any reason. Most times, your dog will come out fine, but it’s always best to err on the side of caution.
To prevent any accidental consumption of Monstera plants keep them out of the way, provide stimulation to your pet to combat boredom, or use repellants. With a little preparation and training, your dogs and Monsteras can cohabitate without problems.
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