Protect Your Pets from Poisonous Winter Plants Popular in Holiday Decor

Plants like poinsettias, holly, and mistletoe can be toxic to cats, dogs, and other pets

Protect Your Pets from Poisonous Winter Plants Popular in Holiday Decor
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December 12, 2017

As you deck the halls this holiday season, make sure to keep the safety of your pets at the forefront of your mind.

A number of plants—such as poinsettias, holly, and mistletoe—are traditionally used in holiday décor. Unfortunately, many of these popular plants can be poisonous to cats, dogs, and other pets.

If a curious pet ingests one of these seemingly mundane plants, adverse health effects may result. You could find your pet suddenly lethargic, vomiting, or even worse. The vet bills to remedy such an incident can also put a serious dent in your holiday budget.

So which plants should you keep away from your pets?

Toxic Winter Plants

The following live plants should be kept on high shelves or in other locations inaccessible to pets:

  • Poinsettias: A holiday season favorite, the sap of the poinsettia plant can cause pets to vomit and will irritate the mouth and stomach.
  • Holly Berries: Both holly berries and the leaves of the holly plant can cause vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and depression in pets.
  • Mistletoe: This Christmas staple is extremely toxic to pets. Any pet that ingests mistletoe should be taken to the veterinarian immediately to avoid severe illness, or even death.
  • Pine Tree Needles: Pine needles from your Christmas tree or other decoration can cause a pet's mouth to become irritated and may also be toxic depending upon the variety of tree.
  • Lily: The lily is deadly for cats. Animals who ingest any part of this plant should immediately be rushed to the veterinarian.

Further Tips

Do you have a cat that enjoys climbing and jumping or a dog that likes to chew and eat things it shouldn't? Consider artificial plants instead of the real thing to reduce the risk to your pet.

Also, restricting a pet's roaming space while you are not home is a good option. Blocking off rooms with plants or holiday décor that could be dangerous to pets will lessen the risk that a curious pet will become sick.

Have a safe and happy holiday season!