Thursday, December 5, 2013

Holiday Pet Safety - Plants

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We are in the thick of the year-end holiday season. It’s wintertime and people like to decorate their homes for the holidays with greenery. It’s too nasty to be outside, so why not bring the outside in? We deck the halls with evergreen, mistletoe, Christmas trees, pine cones, poinsettias, holly and flower arrangements. But did you know some of these plants are dangerous to your pets?

The Pet Poison Hotline website states that poinsettias are mildly toxic to cats, dogs, horses, cows, and birds and may cause drooling, vomiting and possibly diarrhea but it doesn't sound like it would kill your pet.

Apparently there are other plants that are far worse for your pet. Holly and mistletoe can be moderately to severely toxic if you pet eats it so call your vet or a pet poison hotline (800-213-6680) for advice. Lilies and daffodils are very toxic to cats and daffodil plants and bulbs are toxic to dogs.

You might also want to deter your pet from drinking the water in the Christmas tree stand. It could have preservatives or bacteria that can upset your pet's digestive track. And if you have cats, you should not use tinsel. If a cat ingests the tinsel it can cause internal harm.

Acorns should also be noted. Around here they have been dropping by the hundreds. Max, one of the dogs I walk, loves to scarf up acorns. Thankfully he knows the command “drop it.” The Dog Channel reports:
Acorns, oak buds, leaves, and drinking water that acorns and oak leaves have soaked in, have all caused symptoms of oak poisoning.
You can enjoy your natural holiday decorations, just make sure to put them out of reach of pets, and watch pets closely. A little nibble of something might not hurt them, but ingesting large quantities could. Watch for signs of discomfort, nausea, vomiting or convulsions. If you see any of these call your vet immediately. If you are not sure, call the Pet Poison Hotline at 800-213-6680. To be extra cautious don't bring these plants into your home.


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