Are Money Plants Safe for Pets in the House?

Houseplants like the money plant can add beauty and a breath of fresh air to any indoor environment. However, if you share your home with furry friends, it’s essential to know whether these plants are safe for your pets. This article will explore the relationship between money plants and pets, particularly cats and dogs.

Also, Read: Why are the Leaves of my Money Plant Yellow?

What is a Money Plant?

Firstly, let’s establish what we mean by a ‘money plant‘. Also known as devil’s ivy or pothos, a money plant is a popular houseplant, owing to its resilience and beautiful, heart-shaped leaves. It’s believed to bring luck and prosperity, hence its name.

Are Money Plants Toxic to Pets?

The term “money plant” can refer to several different plant species, but most commonly, it’s used to describe Epipremnum aureum, also known as Pothos, or Devil’s Ivy. This plant is indeed toxic to both cats and dogs.

The primary toxic agent in money plants is a type of crystal called calcium oxalate. These are microscopic, needle-like crystals that are located throughout the plant. When a pet chews on or ingests parts of the money plant, these crystals can penetrate the soft tissues of the mouth, throat, stomach, and other parts of the gastrointestinal tract.

Symptoms of ingestion may include:

  1. Oral irritation: Pets may experience burning, irritation, or swelling of the mouth, tongue, and lips. You might notice them pawing at their mouth or drooling excessively.
  2. Vomiting: Ingesting money plant can cause nausea and vomiting, which is the body’s natural response to expel the toxic substance.
  3. Difficulty swallowing: The irritation and swelling in the mouth and throat can make it difficult for your pet to swallow.
  4. Loss of appetite: Due to the discomfort in their mouth and throat, pets may refuse to eat.
  5. Change in behavior: Pets may exhibit signs of distress, like agitation, whining, or changes in their regular behavior.

If your pet has ingested money plant and is showing any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek veterinary care immediately. Even if symptoms appear mild, it’s still crucial to consult with a vet, as internal damage isn’t always immediately obvious.

While having a money plant doesn’t necessarily mean you’re putting your pet at risk, it does require some extra precautions to ensure the safety of your furry friends. Always monitor your pets around houseplants, and consider placing potentially harmful plants out of reach.

Check out: The Best Indoor Locations for Your Money Plant

How to Keep Pets Safe

Keeping your pets safe around houseplants, particularly those that can be toxic to them, is of utmost importance. Here are some expanded tips to ensure their safety:

1. Monitor Your Pets Around Plants:

Observation is key. Every pet is different and may react differently to the presence of plants. Some may show no interest, while others might be naturally curious or use plants as a chew toy. Watch your pet’s behavior around your houseplants, especially when you bring a new plant home.

2. Position Plants Out of Reach:

Try to keep potentially harmful plants in places your pet cannot access. This might be on high shelves, hanging from the ceiling, or even in a room that your pet isn’t allowed into. For cats, who are excellent climbers and jumpers, hanging plants might not be out of reach, so consider putting toxic plants behind closed doors.

3. Use Pet Barriers:

Consider using pet barriers or enclosures to protect certain areas of your home. These are especially useful if you have larger plants that can’t be easily moved to high places.

4. Training Your Pets:

Training pets to avoid your plants can be highly effective, although it requires consistency and patience. Teach them commands like “leave it” or “no”. Reward your pets when they listen to your commands, reinforcing their good behavior.

5. Choose Pet-friendly Plants:

If you’re worried about your pet’s interaction with your plants, it’s always a good idea to choose pet-friendly plants. There are numerous attractive houseplants that are safe for pets, including Boston ferns, spider plants, and Swedish ivy.

6. Regular Vet Check-ups:

Regular vet check-ups are vital for early detection of health issues. Even if your pet seems fine, regular vet visits will ensure any issues are detected early.

7. Know Your Emergency Contacts:

Keep contact details for your vet and a 24-hour pet poison helpline readily available. Quick response is crucial in case of plant poisoning.

8. Provide Plenty of Toys and Stimulation:

Often, pets chew on plants out of boredom. Make sure your pets have plenty of toys and other forms of stimulation to keep them entertained.

By taking these precautions, you can keep your pets safe and ensure that they coexist happily with your indoor plants. However, always remember that each pet is unique, and what works for one might not work for another. The key is to understand your pet’s behavior and make adjustments as necessary.

Money Plants Safe for Pets in the House
Money Plants Safe for Pets in the House

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While money plants can certainly beautify your home and purify your indoor air, they can pose risks to your pets if ingested. It’s important to consider the safety of your furry friends when choosing houseplants.

With the right placement and possibly some training, you can ensure a safe environment for your pets without having to forego the pleasure of indoor gardening.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What should I do if my pet has ingested a money plant?

If your pet has ingested a money plant, look for signs of distress such as drooling, pawing at the mouth, vomiting, or difficulty swallowing. If any of these symptoms occur, contact your veterinarian immediately.

2. Are all types of money plants toxic to pets?

Yes, all types of money plants, including variations like Golden Pothos and Marble Queen, contain calcium oxalates, which are toxic to pets.

3. Are there any houseplants that are safe for pets?

Yes, many houseplants are safe for pets, such as spider plants, Boston ferns, and areca palms.

4. How can I keep my money plant out of my pet’s reach?

Consider placing your money plant in a hanging planter or on high shelves. Alternatively, you can keep it in a room that your pet does not have access to.

5. Can money plants harm humans?

While not deadly, if ingested, the calcium oxalates in money plants can cause discomfort, including irritation of the mouth and digestive tract in humans.

So, while the verdant money plant can liven up your interiors, always consider your pet’s safety first. A safe environment is a happy environment for everyone in your home, pets and plants alike.