Holiday Plants That are Dangerous to Pets



With the festive season upon us, we are decorating & that may include plants tied to the season. There are some types of decorative plants that are toxic to dogs & cats. In some cases, only mild indigestion & discomfort will result but with some plants, the toxicity can lead to more severe health problems & even fatalities. If you are planning to bring holiday plants into your home, you should first research which plants are safe, which should be kept out of your pet’s reach & which should be avoided entirely.

Here are the more common seasonal plants that you may wish to avoid.

The poinsettia plant’s brightly colored leaves contain a sap that is irritating to the tissues of the mouth & esophagus. If the leaves are ingested, they will often cause nausea & vomiting, but it would take a large amount of the plant’s material to cause poisoning. Most animals will not eat a large enough amount because of the irritating taste & feel from the sap.

Holly & mistletoe are also popular holiday plants. These plants, along with their berries, have a greater toxicity level than the poinsettia. Symptoms of illness from eating these plants include vomiting & diarrhea, excessive drooling & abdominal pain.

Mistletoe contains multiple substances that are toxic to both dogs & cats. Mistletoe is well known for causing severe intestinal upset, as well as a sudden & severe drop in blood pressure, breathing problems, & even hallucinations (unusual behavior). If a large enough amount of these plants are ingested, seizures or death may follow. The leaves & berries of holly & mistletoe, even if dried, should be kept well out of your pet’s reach, or kept out of the home altogether.

The lily & daffodil can be toxic to pets. In cats, Lilium & Hemerocallis genera lilies are the most dangerous. Eating even a small amount of the plant will have a severe impact on a cat’s system, causing severe symptoms such as gastrointestinal issues, arrhythmia, & convulsions. Daffodils are also toxic to both dogs & cats, especially the bulbs.

The beauty of the flowering Amaryllis is matched by its toxicity. The Amaryllis contains Lycorine & other noxious substances, which cause salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, abdominal pain, lethargy, & tremors in both cats & dogs.

If you do choose to bring any of these plants into the home, be very careful about where you are placing them. Cats, especially, need to be considered, since they can jump to high shelves. If your pet is a known plant chewer, you will probably be better off choosing imitation plants over the real things. But, if your dog or cat does manage to ingest any part of these holiday plants, call your veterinarian or poison control immediately.

CEO Olivia

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Pet poison reference guide



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