What to Do If a Dog Eats a Pothos House Plant?

By Kimberly Kaplan

Pothos is also known as Golden Pothos or more commonly as Devil's Ivy. Pothos's waxy-looking large leaves show well on a desk or featured underneath a bay window, and the plant typically requires little care. For these reasons, pothos is a popular houseplant. If you are a dog owner, though, you have be careful where you place your pothos because the plant could poison your pet.


If you own a pothos houseplant, hang it from the ceiling to make sure it is out of reach of your dog. Remove leaves as soon as they fall to the floor, and keep the plant healthy to decease the number of leaves the plant sheds. Know your dog's health. If you have an older dog with many problems, you may have to react quicker to a poison emergency. When you are away from your home, lock your dog in a room without a pothos plant or place your pet outside. If you want your dog indoors, cage your dog when you are away. Prepare ahead of time for a poison emergency by posting key phone numbers--for the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435) and your dog's veterinarian--near the phone. Invest in an animal emergency kit, which contains items you can use to quickly assist your sick or injured dog.


If you think your dog has chewed or ingested part of a pothos plant, remain calm and collect all materials you believe were involved. If you are not sure whether your dog chewed the plant, call your veterinarian as a precaution. Whether your dog shows symptoms or not, your veterinarian will advise you to either observe your dog or bring it to animal hospital. If you want more information relating to the pothos plant and its possible effects, call the ASPCA's dog poison control hotline (888-426-4435).


Ingesting or even chewing a pothos plant may not be life threatening to your dog or it may affect your dog's gastrointestinal tract. Eating the pothos plant typically idoes not kill a dog unless your pet is older or unhealthy. Most symptoms will appear within the first 24 hours. Ingesting the plant may cause oral irritation, intense burning and irritation of the mouth, tongue or lips. Other symptoms include lethargy, vomiting, difficulty vomiting, diarrhea and drooling. More serious symptoms include loss of consciousness, seizures or trouble breathing causing by internal swelling.


If your veterinarian requests to see the dog immediately, bring with you details of when and how much of the plant you think your dog ingested. Provide specifics of your dog, such as breed, age and weight. Tell your veterinarian the symptoms of your dog's distress. If possible, bring the plant itself and samples of any vomit or stool that your dog has produced since eating the pothos plant.