When winter weather keeps you from going outdoors, bringing nature indoors helps keep your spirits up and gives your home a touch of holiday warmth. Unfortunately, many popular holiday plants are toxic and potentially life-threatening to pets. If you like to decorate your home for the season, practice proper pet care by knowing which types of greenery are poisonous to your cat or dog and finding safer alternatives. Here are five types of plants you should avoid and what you should use instead.
5 Seasonal Plants Harmful to Cats & Dogs
1. Christmas Trees
If dogs and cats consume needles from pine and fir trees, they’ll develop stomach pain, digestive issues, and increased saliva production. In some cases, sharp pine needles get stuck along the digestive tract, blocking your pet’s system or puncturing soft tissue. In addition, if pets drink out of the tree’s water bowl, they may consume harmful fertilizers or bacteria. For this reason, artificial trees are often considered the safe pet care choice.
Holly berries cause severe digestive distress in cats and dogs, including vomiting and diarrhea. The spikes on leaves can injure soft issues, such as the mouth and throat. If you want a pet-friendly plant that offers a similar color scheme, try decorating with hawthorn or autumn olive.
Mistletoe triggers a variety of serious health problems that require attention from a veterinarian, including stomach troubles, impaired breathing, reduced heart rate, and low blood pressure. To avoid these risks, adorn your doorways with pieces of Christmas cactus instead.
Poinsettias aren’t deadly poisonous, but these bright red flowers still cause unpleasant vomiting and diarrhea in cats and dogs. To help keep your pet’s stomach in the safe zone, petunia and roses are red wintertime flowers that make for safe, yet vibrant alternatives.
Pure white lilies create a peaceful holiday atmosphere – and pet care emergencies. Dogs that eat lilies may develop tremors and gastrointestinal distress. Cats face even more serious consequences, as these flowers interfere with their kidney function and cause renal failure. If you’re looking for a safer option with a similar visual effect, consider white orchids or hibiscus.
If you believe your cat or dog has consumed a poisonous plant, seek emergency pet care immediately. Serving Houston County residents, Perry Animal Hospital is equipped to assess symptoms and provide rapid treatment to minimize the effects of dangerous substances. Offering weekend and extended evening hours, this Perry, GA, veterinary clinic makes themselves available to their clients. Their services are affordable and conveniently payable through CareCredit®. To learn more about their comprehensive services, visit this caring veterinarian online. For appointments, call (478) 224-7387.