For whatever reason, Poinsettias have gotten a really bum rap over the years as being extraordinarily toxic to pets. In fact, they are only mildly toxic to the mouth, stomach and skin… you’ll have a sick puppy or cat and the incidence of direct contact or ingestion is reportedly rare. Same deal for Mistletoe, only mildly toxic… just like a lot of plants in the yard that they eat and yak up on your favorite rug.
So let’s talk about the real threats and place our focus there this season and keep our pets safe ok??
FRUITCAKE: Ok, you really shouldn’t have this in your house at all, but I digress. Dropping it on your foot could cause injury to yourself and your flooring… Now if your pet starts nibbling on it the alcohol and the raisins can cause a drop in blood pressure and blood sugar levels and acute kidney failure. ‘Nuff said.
SUGAR FREE FOODS: Xylitol is great for diabetics, but gram for gram the most dog-toxic ingredient on the supermarket shelf.
LIQUID POTPOURRI: Can smell sweet and tempting. Cats especially are likely to try a taste out of these nice little bowls and suffer chemical burns in the mouth, fever, difficulty breathing and tremors. Be careful where you place this, or use the wicking sticks instead.
CHRISTMAS CACTUS AND ENGLISH HOLLY: Dogs and cats can develop serious GI upset, though death is unlikely. You’ll get to know your emergency vet in a whole new way and ruin the holiday for everyone involved.
and I believe the winner is…
LILIES: These are highly toxic to cats! The petals, leaves and even pollen can cause kidney failure. Don’t even THINK about it!
Of course don’t let down your guard and leave the Christmas M&Ms down next to the dog dish or some such nonsense. Watch out for electrical cords so you don’t go all “Christmas Vacation” on us, and now have some fun with the holiday. Remember that the furry ones love to unwrap presents too, and don’t forget those in shelters who need a home, or at least a toy this season…
Joy to the FUR!