Are these festive plants poisonous to dogs? Here’s what you need to know.
We love looking at holiday decorations this time of year; the lights, the trees, the sparkly things, and, of course, poinsettias. While they poinsettias do make for great holiday decorations, they can pose a health risk to pets.
So, what is the level of risk to pets from this holiday plant? The American Kennel Club states that poinsettias are a mildly toxic plant that, with the appropriate reasonable precautions, can be safely used around pets. Here's what you need to know:
The white sap found on the plant will cause pets to experience excessive drooling, repeated licking of lips, vomiting, and diarrhea. The ASPCA says that the plant is toxic to dogs, cats, and horses with potential for irritating the mouth and stomach, but is "generally overrated in toxicity."
If your pet does ingest a poinsettia, medical treatment is not often needed, though medical consultation and proper steps should certainly be taken if the pet exhibits signs of poisoning.
Another common holiday plant that poses a risk to cats and dogs is mistletoe. This plant has several varieties, several of which are poisonous to pets. Small amounts will cause drooling, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Ingesting larger amounts can cause abnormal heart rate, low blood pressure, and seizures, with cases of death having been reported.
Holly is another seasonal decorative plant that pops up around this time of year, and it can also cause unpleasant effects in pets due to its toxicity. Again, a mild toxin, this plant can cause serious harm if ingested in large quantities. Similar symptoms to poinsettia will occur, including excessive drool, stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, appetite loss, and will get more severe the larger the amount ingested.
The Food and Drug Administration offers detailed information and tips for pet owners regarding a long list of holiday hazards: pet treats, tinsel and ribbons, plants, table scraps, and people treats, and how they can be used safely with pets.
If your pet ingests something that may be potentially toxic, you can get information and assistance from several places:
- American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
- Animal Poison Control Center website
- Pet Poison Helpline website
- Your veterinarian
The holidays are full of sparkle and fun, and with the right attention and precautions, our pets can safely enjoy them too!
What's your biggest concern for pets during the holidays? Do you know of any other ways to help keep pets safe around potentially harmful pants during the holiday season? Sound off in the comments!