Pothos Toxicity to Dogs, Cats, and Humans

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Epipremnum aureum is admired by many plant enthusiasts for its adaptability, gorgeous appearance, and beneficial air purifying qualities. It can happily live indoors, outdoors, and even in water! 

With heart-shaped leaves and bright green stems, every variety of the devil’s ivy houseplant is undeniably gorgeous. What many people don’t know about these plants is that they are considered to be poisonous. 

It’s important to understand what this means for you, your pets, and your children’s safety. Here is what you need to know about pothos toxicity to dogs, cats, and humans.

Epipremnum aureum contains a chemical called calcium oxalate in both their foliage and stems. If this type of chemical comes into close contact with the skin, it can cause slight irritation and reddening. If ingested, it can cause more serious symptoms including vomiting, intense stomach pain, and swelling of the mouth and throat. 

This only becomes a serious problem if your pet or child has consumed large quantities of this toxic ivy. In small amounts, it should only cause slight irritation and discomfort.

Is Pothos Toxic to Dogs?

If your dog consumes pothos, they may start to vomit, uncontrollably drool, paw at their mouth, have issues swallowing, and difficulties breathing. In small amounts, pothos should not be fatal to your dog. However, in large quantities, your dog can develop serious medical issues and can asphyxiate on the ivy. 

Call your local veterinarian and seek their assistance. Your dog may need help breathing and may need to have the harmful toxins washed out of its system with fluids. This will prevent the chemicals from crystallizing in the kidneys. If you seek veterinary support, your dog should recover quickly and healthily!

Is Pothos Toxic to Cats?

Cats have a very similar reaction to pothos poisoning as dogs. Their mouths and stomachs become painfully irritated and they may begin to drool and vomit. The calcium oxalate may make their mouths red and swollen. This type of poisoning can also cause cats to have a neurological reaction and aggressively act out.

If your cat has consumed pothos, take them to the vet immediately. This is the best way to ensure your cat lives. In serious cases, your cat may need immediate treatment to stop its kidneys from failing.

Toxicity to Humans

Epipremnum aureum is also considered toxic to humans. Although touching it will only cause slight discomfort, ingesting devil’s ivy can cause diarrhea, swelling of the mouth, swelling of the tongue, vomiting, and an unpleasant burning sensation. 

If you or your child has accidentally consumed golden ivy, contact poison control right away. When experiencing any of the above symptoms, immediately go to a doctor to receive professional medical advice and treatment.

How to Prevent Pothos Poisoning

If you’re concerned that having devil’s ivy may be harmful to your pets or children, try and find a similar plant for your household that is non-toxic. African violets, spider plants, prayer plants, and orchids are all beautiful non-toxic indoor household options. 

You could also move your golden ivy up high where your kids and/or pets cannot reach. This is another safe option that will prevent pothos poisoning. This species of houseplant loves to live in hanging baskets!

FAQs

Are pothos plants toxic?

Devil’s ivy is considered to be a toxic plant. If you’re concerned about your pets or children, keep your plant up high and out of reach.

Can pothos kill dogs?

Pothos can be fatal to dogs. Small consumption will most likely only cause vomiting and stomach pain, but in large amounts, your dog may start to asphyxiate. Keep your ivy away from your dog to avoid an unwanted trip to the vet!

Is pothos poisonous to touch?

Golden ivy can cause irritation on the skin when touched, but should not cause serious pain unless it is ingested.

What to do when a dog eats pothos? 

Call your veterinarian and have your dog checked right away. Pothos poisoning can be serious if your dog has eaten large amounts. 

~ image source: depositphotos/switlanasymonenko