Vomiting Under the Mistletoe: Holiday Plant Dangers for Pets

With the holiday season upon us, that means decorations like lights, trees, flowers, wreaths and candles adorning every nook and cranny of the space we live in. We think about beautifying our homes, but often overlook the safety of some of our four-legged friends for that pretty arrangement we spot in the store.

New Canaan Animal Control Officer Mary Ann Kleinscmitt warns about the dangers of holiday plants like Poinsettias and Christmas Cacti that can be toxic and even deadly for your curious pets to ingest. She points to this list on About.com as a solid gathering of holiday plant warnings.

Poinsettias: Not in the "extreme toxicity" category as urban legend holds, but the sap can be irritating to pets and cause vomiting and nausea.

Mistletoe/Holly: Toxic in the moderate to severe range. Call poison control or vet immediately.

Lillies/Daffodils: Plants in the daffodil family are popular gifts this time of year, but extremely toxic for both cats and dogs, though particularly cats, and can induce symptoms like cardiac arrhythmia, kidney failure, convulsions and death.

Christmas Tree: Mild toxicity. Fir tree oils can irritate the mouth and stomach.

Try to keep plants out of reach of any pets and, if you have a daredevil cat, maybe forgo plant adornments entirely. Check out Officer Kleinschmitt's tips in the video above.


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