Dangers of Holiday Plants

During the holiday’s many homes are decorated with Christmas trees and various holiday plants. Some of these can be very toxic to our pets.

Mistletoe and holly can be mildly to moderately toxic to both cats and dogs. Signs of poisoning can include drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Large amounts could even cause an abnormal heart rate, low blood pressure, collapse, and seizures. Leaves and berries, both fresh and dried, should be out of reach of pets at all times.

Live Christmas trees are considered to be mildly toxic. Tree needles are not easily digested and can cause irritation, vomiting, obstruction or even puncture in the GI system. The oils of the trees can cause irritation of the mouth and stomach such as drooling and vomiting. Pets don’t seem to consume excessive amounts of tree materials, but it is always good to be observant.

Poinsettias are rumoured to be severely toxic to both cats and dogs; however, they are only mildly toxic. The white sap from poinsettias can cause irritation of the eyes or skin when in direct contact. Ingestion can cause mild vomiting drooling, and rarely diarrhea. Due to the low level of toxicity, medical treatment is not usually required.

To keep your pet safe over the holidays, avoid bringing extremely toxic plants into the house. Monitor your pets’ interest in the plants and check for any bite marks or signs of chewing on the plants. If you suspect ingestion of poisonous plants, seek medical attention for your furry friends.

Written by: Teagan Wilson, Kennel Technician