We all look forward to decorating our homes for Christmas every year. However, are you aware that there are toxic holiday plants that can seriously harm your pets?
From mistletoe to the Christmas tree in your home, there are a lot of holiday plants that can poison your pet. We will break down eight of the most toxic holiday plants for pets so you can keep your furbaby safe this holiday season and all year round!
If you opt for a real tree this year, please proceed cautiously. While most dogs and cats won’t typically eat the Christmas tree, it will irritate them if they do. The pine needles can puncture and irritate the lining of your dog’s stomach and cause excessive drooling. Avoid leaving your dog or cat to play around the tree, wreath, or garlands with real pine needles. The needles can easily hurt their eyes and skin if poked accidentally.
Mistletoe is a staple of Christmas. Many people have it in their households, but it needs to stay hung up and far away from your pets. This toxic holiday plant can lead to gastrointestinal disruptions and dangerously low heart rates. Your dog or cat may also have trouble breathing and weakness if they eat too much. If you suspect your pet swallowed the mistletoe, you should contact your vet immediately.
Another decorative plant used during the holidays is Holly. This plant is toxic not only to pets but to your kids as well. Reports have shown that a mere 20 holly berries can kill a child – imagine what ingesting those berries can do to your pets! Vomiting, diarrhea and low energy are all signs of holly ingestion, and you should seek medical help immediately. You must still be cautious of the fake Holly plants, as they can pose a choking hazard to your beloved pets.
Of all the toxic holiday plants for pets, Lilies are highly toxic to cats. Most people are unaware of this and always gift them to people. So make sure you keep them away from your cats if you get them as a gift! Similarly, if you give them to someone who owns cats, be sure that you warn them of the dangers. Sadly, if your cat eats a lily, there’s no cure for the effects of poisoning from these plants. You can seek immediate medical attention for your cat, which can drastically improve its chances of survival.
The Amaryllis contains Lycorine and other harmful substances, which can cause gastrointestinal problems, vomiting, lethargy and, in severe cases, tremors. You may also notice a decreased appetite and abdominal pain in your pet. The bulb of the plant is more toxic than the flowers and stalk. So please be careful with this plant if pieces start falling or if it begins to wilt.
Related to Amaryllis, daffodil can cause many of the same symptoms – vomiting, diarrhea, depression and abdominal pain. Keep these plants a reasonable distance from your pets and seek medical help if you suspect they have ingested them.
Many people believe poinsettias are highly toxic for dogs and cats, but they are not as dangerous as the ones we mentioned above. The sap from the plant can cause some irritation, but in the most severe cases, it’ll only lead to an upset stomach or, at most, vomiting. The symptoms usually subside immediately after. You should be very concerned if your pet ingests a high quantity of this plant. However, once your pet experiences the ramifications of this plant, they will likely stay far away from it.
Lastly, we have a common Christmas gift that is fortunately not toxic but can still cause significant problems to your pets. Ingesting parts of the plant can cause injuries to your pets’ mouths and irritation of the gastrointestinal system, leading to vomiting. However, symptoms should subside as soon as access is limited.
This list of toxic holiday plants for pets will help you decorate your homes a little better this year to keep your fur babies safe! Please keep in mind the dangers of these plants during the holiday seasons and beyond. If your pet is one to meddle with your plants and flowers, then consider planting more pet-friendly plants instead.
Happy Holidays from Comfy Cozy Pet Sitting!