'Tis the holiday season; and as such, the house may be decorated with boughs of holly. However, did you know that holly is just one of the iconic holiday plants that is actually toxic to pets? Some holiday favorite plants can make dogs and cats very ill if ingested. See the list of holiday plants to avoid keeping near pets, courtesy of DeerbustersCanada:
- Poinsettia: Probably the most iconic holiday plant. However, this plant contains sap that is irritable to dogs and can cause swelling of the mouth and esophagus. Vomiting can occur if leaves are ingested.
- Holly: Sorry, no mistletoe for dogs. Holly is a toxic plant that has a greater toxicity level than poinsettia for companion animals. Mistletoe can cause breathing problems, hallucinations, a drop in blood pressure, upset stomach and other intestinal complications.
- Daffodils: While daffodils are commonly planted in yards for deer resistance, it's best to keep them away from pets, too. A small amount ingested can leave cats with gastrointestinal issues, convulsions and other health concerns.
- The Christmas Tree: Some conifers, such as pine and fir, contain oils that can irritate pets' mouths and stomachs. Tree needles can lead to gastrointestinal irritation and punctures, if ingested. What's worse, the Christmas tree comes with other concerns for pet owners such as the lights and ornaments dangling from the tree. While pets may first view both as toys, they can cause serious health issues beyond choking if chewed on.
- Amaryllis: Beautiful, but dangerous. Amaryllis plants can leave pets drooling excessively with a decrease in appetite, abdominal pains and vomiting.
Other holiday plants, such as ivy and Christmas cactus, have made the list in the past for causing dogs to vomit and experience diarrhea - not to mention the choking and poking hazards that come with eating the prickles.
These top holiday plants must be avoided at all costs by pets. Some of these plants contain high toxicity levels for children, too. We're not saying to not buy these holiday flowers and trees; but we are saying to keep close watch on all family members and use good judgement of where to place holiday plants around the house.