Cats and dogs’ adventurous tastes can prove especially worrisome around the holidays when you add Christmas decorations to your home. Mistletoe, holly, and Christmas trees (both real and fake) can all send your four-legged friends to the vet for an expensive visit.
Poinsettias — a common fear among pet owners — actually prove less toxic than many other potted plants you’ll find this time of year.
Here’s what you need to keep an eye on
Mistletoe: Just one bite has the potential to make cats and dogs sick — usually in the form of vomiting followed by lethargy. If you decide to have this traditional plant inside the home, make sure it’s hanging or placed high away from your pets.
Holly: can cause an issue two different ways, First, if it has the little points on it, that can be very mechanically irritating to the stomach and cause vomiting. But the holly also does contain compounds called saponins, which are soap-like and cause severe stomach irritation.”The combination can lead to blood in the vomit — a sure sign your dog or cat needs professional medical care.
Amaryllis: The pretty blooms and tall slender stalks won’t send your pet to the hospital, but the bulbs will. Toxins in the parts below the dirt can cause vomiting with or without blood and potentially low blood pressure — necessitating a trip to the vet. While mild stomach upset is possible, you can rest easier if your pet just took a bite out of the flowers or leaves.
If your pet ingests a toxic plant after hours when your veterinary clinic is closed, or if you’re very far from an emergency veterinary hospital, you can call an animal poison control center. Two animal poison hotlines are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week: the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435 (consultation fee applies) and the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661 ($59 consultation fee applies).