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Why You Should Skip The Poinsettias This Year

Posted by Ganga Prasanth on

‘Tis the season to be jolly! That’s right, with Christmas just around the corner, we’re sure everyone’s in the spirits to lighten up their homes and bring in the holy! However, as festive and fun this season may be, we wanted to give you some light reminders so that you can enjoy a safe Christmas with your furry friends. As much as you may love those red poinsettias or the smell of holly, it may not be the safest for your pet. With the help of PetMD, we want to take you through a list of plants that may not be on the safe side for your pooches, so you can keep an eye out on which plants to keep out of reach from them. 


Poinsettias: We have some good news about poinsettias; although their alluring red petals have been initially rumoured to be dangerous to ingest due to its sap irritating the mouth and esophagus, it’s been deemed to be on the safers side as it will take large amounts of sap for it to have harmful effects on your dog or cat - not to mention they usually stop eating it quickly due to the sap’s bitter taste. However, that doesn’t not make it a hazard; many poinsettias are laced with certain pesticides, which can be greatly harmful to pets, especially younger ones such as puppies or kittens. Ingesting these can ultimately lead to comas, seizures, and even death. It is safest to keep these plants out of reach of your loved ones, especially if you have a young one in the family. 


Holly and Mistletoe: Unfortunately, these aren’t as “nice” as poinsettias. Due to substances named toxalbumin and pharatoxin viscumin, holly and mistletoe can cause an upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea in pets. The more is ingested, the worse the problems; pets have also been reported having breathing difficulties, elevated blood pressure, and hallucinations; if enough is ingested, it can even lead to seizures or death. It’s best to keep the mistletoe and holly hanging far out of reach from your pets, or better yet - not buy them at all. 


Lilies and Daffodils: Lilies are known to be more toxic to cats; even a small dose may be enough to create severe gastrointestinal issues, arrhythmias, and convulsions in your feline friend. Daffodils, on the other hand, are known to be lethal to both cats and dogs, as just a couple bites of its bulbs can cause kidney failure and even death (mostly reported for cats). It may be of good conscience to skip the lilies and daffodils this year and go with a safer alternative.


Belladonna (Amaryllis): Amaryllis is also quite toxic to both cats and dogs. Its bulb has been known to cause gastrointestinal issues, as well as lethargy and tremors. This is one of the most lethal plants to have if you have a furry friend, so avoid these plants the best you can.


Christmas Tree: Think twice before purchasing a real tree. The oils produced by fir trees may be irritating to a pet’s mouth and stomach, while its needles can cause gastrointestinal irritation. While the tree itself may not be that toxic, the water used to keep it healthy may be riddled with bacteria and molds, so make sure your pet isn’t lapping it up when your back is turned. Lastly, if you have a cat at home, be aware that some cats love to climb, and a Christmas tree may just become their obstacle course. Keep an eye on your loved ones! 


Want an alternative for these plants? There are plenty of festive plants out there that are both colourful and safer for your pets. Otherwise, consider investing in plastic or hyper realistic plants; these will look good in front of the fireplace, be safe for your pets, and can be reused over for the next couple of years. We highly recommend you look more into these options, and save some money for the future! Have a wonderful holiday season y’all, and we hope you enjoy the rest of your week! 


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