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Holiday Plants That Are Toxic To Pets
December 15, 2021
Happy Holidays! At this time of year, many of you are likely enjoying that extra-cozy feeling that seasonal plants and decorations add to your homes. However, if you have pets, you’ll need to be careful with the former. Many holiday plants are toxic to our four-legged friends! A Bellevue, WA veterinarian goes over some of the most dangerous ones below.

Poinsettias

Poinsettias are a classic element to many festive scenes. Your furry pal could become nauseous and/or vomit after ingesting the sap. The leaves can even be deadly to pets, though fortunately it’s pretty rare for animals to eat fatal amounts of them.

Holly

Holly is another concern for pet owners to be aware of. It contains methylxanthines, saponins, and cyanogens, which are all toxic. These can cause pretty serious gastrointestinal issues, including vomiting and diarrhea. Plus, it has spiny leaves that can irritate pets’ mouths and throats.

Fir

Christmas trees can also be hazardous to Fluffy and Fido. The oils are toxic to them, and can cause respiratory issues, drooling, and/or vomiting. The needles are also unsafe, as they’re small and sharp enough to cause intestinal perforations or obstructions. Plus, many trees have been treated with toxic chemicals, such as pesticides and fire retardants. These things could leach into the water, which is definitely not safe for pets to drink.

Lilies

Lilies can be fatal to pets, especially to cats. Unfortunately, the entire plant is dangerous. Even drinking the water could cause kidney failure!

Mistletoe

By now, you may be wondering if all of those popular seasonal plants are dangerous to pets. The answer? Pretty much. Mistletoe, another classic holiday favorite, is also on the dangerous list. The culprits here are substances called toxalbumin and pharatoxin. These can cause respiratory issues, blood pressure trouble, and even hallucination. In large amounts, they can even be deadly.

Tips

These are just a few unsafe plants. You’ll find many more online at the ASPCA site here. Keep in mind that even plants that aren’t toxic may have been treated with substances that are. Fake plants can also be dangerous, especially if you have a pet that will eat or chew on plastic. This is one area where it’s definitely best to err on the side of caution! Happy Holidays from Cat And Dog Clinic, your Bellevue, WA animal hospital. Please contact us anytime!
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