Being both a dog and plant owner is living the dream! Unfortunately, your inquisitive doggo might want to meet his leafy cousin and end up eating some of your plants. I know this sounds absurd- dogs have never been known as vegetarians. However, your canine companion’s appetite can sometimes overwhelm his sense of judgment and have him do the craziest things.
The monstera plant, also known as the Swiss Cheese Plant, is a tropical rainforest plant that is found in many homes- either in a room or an outdoor garden. Dogs love to assume a “supervisory role” in the house as a result of their curiosity. This curiosity can make them end up chewing up anything, including your house plants.
The monstera plant is not consistent with the diet that the dog’s digestive system is used to, and consuming this plant can result in serious complications. In this article, we will talk about how toxic monstera plants are and what to do if your dog eats this plant. Let’s start by talking about the possibility of dogs eating this plant and the reasons that can be responsible for that.
Why Would a Dog Eat a Monstera Plant?
Dogs are curious animals, and this is the primary reason why they eat foreign items. Adult dogs are sensitive and do not usually eat because they find an object attractive. They sniff, try their teeth at, and inspect new objects closely. Occasionally after inspection, harmful items still get eaten.
Of course, this curious nature can put your dog in precarious situations as he can end up eating toxic plants like the monstera plant. Monstera plants have green leaves with fruits, and the sight of this plant around the house can be quite tempting for dogs. They will often begin by sniffing at the plant and trying to make sense of the smell. If the plant passes the smell test (which they usually do), your dog may lick it and then proceed to eat the soil from the plant pot or chew the plant, especially the leaves.
In other cases, dogs can exhibit abnormal feeding behavior in which they eat things that they normally would not eat, such as leaves. This condition is known as pica and is due to nutrient deficiency or even boredom. Pica is a serious condition that can lead to bacterial and parasitic infections, constipation, intestinal obstruction, and other complications.
Are Monstera Plants Toxic to Dogs?
You might be tempted to think that the monster plant is like all the other veggies your dog eats. This is not the case, though; monstera plants are toxic to dogs due to the presence of calcium oxalate crystals in their fruits and leaves. The severity of its effects on your dog’s health depends on how much of the plant your dog consumes. This plant is not only harmful to dogs, but it is also harmful to cats and humans when ingested.
If your dog consumes this plant, the calcium oxalate crystals are released to act on the digestive system beginning from the mouth. This toxic element causes swelling and pain in the tissues of the mouth, affecting the lips and tongue and spreading down to the esophagus. This puts your dog in a very uncomfortable situation, making it difficult for them to swallow food subsequently.
The crystals also irritate the digestive tract and can cause vomiting or diarrhea. There may be more serious consequences if your dog consumes a large quantity of the plant. He can experience excessive drooling, and major body organs such as the liver and kidney can be affected. In some cases, the symptoms can lead to coma and death.
What Should I Do if My Dog Ate a Monstera Plant?
If you find out your dog ate a monstera plant, you should treat the situation as an emergency. Treating the situation as an emergency will mean reaching out to your veterinarian as soon as you discover that your dog has eaten something odd. This is necessary because you won’t know exactly how much of the plant your dog has eaten, and it is advisable not to take chances.
Taking chances, in this case, might end with your dog in a terrible health condition. You do not have to wait before you start seeing any symptoms before visiting the veterinarian. Sometimes, the symptoms might take a few days before they start showing up, and at other times the symptoms can be immediate.
Whatsoever the case is, you need to understand that the monstera plant contains a toxic element, and the longer it is allowed to stay in the body, the more time it has to damage body tissues. Because of this, we recommend that you visit your vet when your dog eats this dangerous house plant. Your vet will help address the symptoms and provide further medical services as needed.
What Should I Do to Keep My Dog From Eating My Monstera Plants?
The best thing to do to keep your dog from eating monstera is to keep the plant from your dog’s reach. As long as your dog has access to the plant, it might be difficult to stop them from eating it. There are ways to do this; for instance, you can consider hanging the plant beyond your dog’s reach.
If there is a room in your home that your dog does not have access to, it is advisable to keep your monstera plant there. Attempting to keep the plant outdoors will not solve the problem since your dog also has access to the outdoor space. Also, in situations where you need to leave your dog unsupervised, restrict his movement by keeping him in a room away from your plants.
You can also consider doing a few strategic things to make the monstera plant unappealing to your dog. These deterring measures include spraying the plant with vinegar and chili peppers. Dogs have a strong sense of smell, and smelling these substances whenever they attempt to come near the plant will help keep them at bay. Lastly, learn to reward your dog for his good behavior each time you successfully tell them to go away from the plant, and they listen.
If your dog ate a monster plant, time is of the essence. It is a toxic plant, and your pet can only be treated properly by a veterinarian. With quick intervention and the right treatment, your pooch will be fine.