Christmas Plant Safety

If you live in a pet friendly home that is anything like mine, you cannot keep live plants around. The MINUTE flowers or plants come into my home, my curious felines are all over them, checking them out, with their MOUTHS. It drives me INSANE! 

Around the holidays, this becomes more of a concern, due to popular Christmas plants that are actually poinsonous to our four legged friends, dogs and cats alike. Some you may know, some you may not. So take a moment to read thru the list to make sure the furriest of our family members (no, not your husband) is safe and protected this holiday season.

  1. It turns out Poinsettia plants have gotten a bad wrap for years! While they are considered mildly toxic, and can lead to nausea or vomiting if ingested, their consumption will not lead to death. I choose to error on the side of caution with this one, and purchase high quality artifical ones. Not only are they beautiful, they last year after year, which is a great money saver!
  2. Conversely, Mistletoe and Holly are moderately to severely toxic, and should your furry friend nosh on these poisonous bits, an immediate call to your vet and/or poison control is certainly warranted.
  3. Additionally, Lily an Daffodil plant kits are extremely popular this time of year for those of us are already dreaming of Spring. Keep in mind that these plants are extremely toxic to cats, and can lead to gastrointestinal distress, cardiac arrhythmias, kidney failure, convulsions, and death. Daffodils are toxic to both dogs and cats, especially the bulbs.
  4. Oh no, not the Christmas tree!!! Yes! Christmas trees are considered to be mildly toxic for our pets. Fir tree oils can be irritating to the mouth and stomach, which can lead to excessive drooling and vomitting. Tree needle consumption is of particular concern, which can lead to GI upset, vomiting, obstruction, and puncture.

So what are plant and pet lovers to do? To be 100% safe, consider artificial alternatives this holiday season. If you are unsure of the toxicity of a plant, you can click here for a quick lookup on the ASPCA website. Know your pet's habits around plants, and place out of reach. If they are still insistant, like mine, consider getting rid of them. 

Let's look out for the most vulnerable and often overlooked members of our households when it comes to holiday safety, our pets.

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  • by Christine Streich
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