Pothos is a popular houseplant among houseplant enthusiasts. Its high tolerance to low light makes it an ideal indoor house plant. However, if a plant is kept indoors, it needs to be safe for your family members and pets.
Is pothos poisonous to pets?
Yes, the pothos plant is poisonous. It is also called the Devil’s Ivy for this reason. Although not known to be fatal, it can cause vomiting and irritation if ingested. So, it is best to keep both toddlers and pets away from your pothos. However, this poison is not transmitted by regular touching, and it has to be ingested for the poison to take effect.
So, let us explore more about the poisonous nature of the pothos plant.
Why is pothos poisonous?
Pothos plants contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals within their leaves and stems. These crystals are like shards of glass and can rip or tear the skin. It can affect places like the mouth, paws, throat, and even the digestive system. It causes severe irritation and causes the body to induce vomiting.
In severe cases, it may lead to swelling in the airway and may require you to even visit the hospital. So, it is best to be careful with your pets, toddlers, and even yourself around these plants. It usually happens when ingested but may sometimes also occur when you are pruning the plant.
Growing your pothos safely
Since pothos is poisonous, it is important to keep the pothos in a location where your pets or children cannot reach them. It can be kept in a high place like shelves or dressers or maybe even in offices where kids or pets are unlikely to visit.
Another important step is to educate your kids about the poisonous nature of the plant to ensure that they don’t try to eat or play with them. However, if you have pets, it is best to keep them out of their reach.
While dogs usually can’t reach higher shelves, you need to be more careful in the case of cats. Cats can easily climb and also have a habit of scratching things. So, if you have a cat, you might have to place your pothos plant in a room that it cannot access.
Even in your case, it is best to take precautions when pruning the plant as any plant material that touches the skin is likely to cause irritation. So, use rubber gloves when handling your pothos.
Alternatives to Pothos Plant
If you cannot keep your pets and children away from the pothos even after taking several precautions, you might want to consider an alternative plant. Several non-toxic plants offer pretty foliage and are similar to the pothos plant. Some of the examples are pinstripe calathea, prayer plant, wandering jew plant, and peperomias. These are some of the safer alternatives if you have kids and pets at home.
Thus, we can see that pothos is indeed toxic to your pet, and you need to be careful about letting them wander near your pothos.