Deck the Halls – Safely – for Companion Animals
For many of us, ’tis the season to decorate our homes with live
Christmas trees and holiday greenery. But did you know that some of these
yuletide traditions can be hazardous to your pet’s health?
* Lovely lilies are commonly used in holiday floral arrangements, but
many varieties–including tiger, Asian, Japanese Show, Stargazer and
the Casa Blanca–can cause kidney failure in cats.
* Bag the boughs of holly and live mistletoe. Yes, they add a nice
touch to your holiday decor, but holly can cause vomiting, nausea,
diarrhea and lethargy if ingested by your pet. And should he eat mistletoe, he
could suffer gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. Instead, opt
for just-as-pretty artificial plants made from silk or plastic.
* If your dog or cat ingests pine tree needles, she can suffer an
upset stomach and oral pain.
* Don’t drink the water! Christmas tree water may contain fertilizers,
which, if ingested by your pet, can cause stomach upset. Stagnant tree
water can also act as a breeding ground for bacteria–and Fido could end up
with nausea or diarrhea should he imbibe.
* Although the potential toxicity of poinsettias is generally
overrated, these showy holiday plants can be irritating to your pet’s
mouth if eaten, and may cause mild vomiting or nausea.
* If you suspect that your pet has eaten a potentially toxic
substance, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control
Center’s emergency hotline–1-(888) 426-4435–for round-the-clock
telephone assistance. For more information on poison prevention, visit APCC