The holidays bring with them a burst of decorations, and plants are no small part of holiday décor. From mistletoe, to the very Christmas tree in your home, there are a lot of holiday plants we put in our homes during this joyous time of year, but what about our pets? Are they safe? What are a few holiday plants that are toxic for our pets?
Though the idea is largely widespread that this plant is highly toxic for dogs and cats alike, the truth is it is not really! 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, with symptoms subsiding immediately after. There’s some concern for higher quantities of the plant being ingested, but after experiencing the first round of effects, your pets are likely to steer clear of this plant.
Christmas Tree (Pine)
While most dogs and cats won’t go for actually eating the Christmas tree, which can cause some irritation, the pine’s needles can actually cause some damage. Avoid leaving your dog or cat to play around the tree, as they can easily hurt their eyes and skin by bumping into the needles. Ingesting needles can cause upset stomachs and excessive drooling, but there shouldn’t be any significant risk.
Stepping into the more dangerous plants, albeit equally popular as holiday decorations, mistletoe is a staple of Christmas. However, if ingested by either dogs or cats, a vet should be contacted immediately. It can lead to sudden changes in a pet’s behavior, gastrointestinal disruptions and dangerously low heart rate.
Another decorative plant used during the holidays, holly is not only highly toxic to pets but for 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 medical help should be sought immediately.
Lilies are highly toxic to cats, so make sure that if you receive that you keep them away from your cats! Similarly, if you gift them to someone who owns cats, be sure that you warn them of the dangers. The worst part is there’s no cure from the effects of poisoning from these plants, but seeking immediate medical attention for your cat can drastically improve its chances to survive.
Related to your common garlic, this flower is toxic for both dogs and cats – garlic is to be avoided in both your pets’ diet, and access to this flower should be limited. Ingested, it can cause gastrointestinal problems, vomiting, lethargy and in severe cases, tremors.
Related to Amaryllis, the daffodil can cause much of the same symptoms – vomiting, diarrhea, depression and abdominal pain. Keep these plants a good distance away from your pets and seek medical help if you suspect they ingested it.
Last, we have a common Christmas gift which is fortunately not toxic, but can still cause some major problems to your pets. Ingesting parts of the plant can cause injuries to the mouths of your pets, and irritation of the gastrointestinal system, leading to vomiting. However, symptoms should subside as soon as access is limited.
Please keep in mind the dangers of these many plants during the holiday seasons and beyond, especially if your pet is one to meddle with your plants and flowers.