This time of year it’s common to give and receive festive holiday plants, but if you have pets, there are a few you might want to avoid. Curious kitties and doggos find a way to get into everything this time of year, like “helping” wrap gifts. Being aware of potential dangers will help you keep your rascals safe.
Contrary to popular belief, poinsettias are NOT poisonous to cats or dogs, and will only cause mild symptoms if the leaves are eaten. But the leaves taste awful, which will hopefully be a deterrent for your pets.
The ASPCA lists the following plants that could be harmful to your cat or dog:
Amaryllis can cause hypersalivation, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, abdominal pain, anorexia, and tremors.
Begonias can cause vomiting and salivation. The most toxic part is the root or tuber.
Cyclamen can cause salivation, vomiting, and diarrhea. If they eat a lot of the tubers they can suffer heart rhythm abnormalities, seizures, and death!
Clivia can cause vomiting, salivation, and diarrhea. The bulbs are the most poisonous part of the plant and eating large amounts can cause convulsions, low blood pressure, tremors, and heart arrhythmias.
Holly, both native winterberry or English holly, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and depression but the toxicity is low.
Jerusalem cherry is a nightshade and can cause gastrointestinal problems and ulcerations, seizures, depression, respiratory issues, and shock.
Kalanchoe can cause vomiting and diarrhea. In rare cases it can cause abnormal heart rhythm.
Mistletoe can cause vomiting. diarrhea, low blood pressure, difficulty breathing and a low heart rate.
Paperwhite narcissus can cause vomiting, salivation, or diarrhea. The bulb is the most poisonous part of the plant and if they eat enough it can cause convulsions, low blood pressure, tremors, and cardiac arrhythmias.
If you’re given any of these, be sure to put it somewhere your pet can’t reach (challenging with cats!) or consider re-gifting (!) to someone without pets.
What Holiday Plants Are Safe For Pets?
Christmas cactus is non-toxic to dogs and cats, and can be safely gifted to your pet-owning friends without concern. Keep your Christmas cactus healthy and blooming with regular use of Houseplant Hero!
As mentioned above, poinsettias are considered predominantly safe to have around pets. An animal would have to consume several whole leaves to begin experiencing poisoning symptoms. Thankfully, poinsettias taste pretty nasty, which is a huge deterrent for most animals.
That’s all for now!
Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season!