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Choosing Holiday Plants

December 15, 2021

Did you know that most, if not all, of those popular holiday plants are toxic to pets? This is definitely something for pet owners to be aware of at this time of year. While some pets will ignore plants, others will try to eat, well, everything. A Fort Collins, CO vet offers some information on this below. 


Toxic Plants


Holly is one of the more dangerous plants for Fido and Fluffy. It contains methylxanthines, saponins, and cyanogens, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other issues. Poinsettias are also unsafe. The sap can cause gastrointestinal issues, and the leaves can be fatal in large amounts. Pine is another culprit: not only are the oils very irritating to our furry friends, but the sharp needles can also cause problems such as intestinal blockages and perforations. Lilies are also very dangerous, especially to cats. Ingesting all or any parts of a lily plant can lead to kidney failure in kitties. Ivy, mistletoe, and yew are also dangerous to your four-legged pal. If you have any of these, keep them in spots your pet can’t get to. Better safe than sorry! 


Non-Toxic Plants


We always recommend sticking to plants that you know are safe. (Tip: you can check the ASPCA website here for a full list of toxic and non-toxic plants.) However, keep in mind that even safe plants are often treated with chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers, which can render them unsafe. Also, toxicity isn’t the only danger to be concerned about. There are many plants that are not poisonous, but are still dangerous because of thorns, heavy fibers, or long leaves that can be choking hazards. Christmas cactuses and roses are both examples of this. Even putting a simple ribbon on a plant can render that plant unsafe. 



Plastic Plants


Plastic plants are, in many cases, a safer alternative to real ones. However, plastic isn’t something that’s safe for your animal friend to eat, either. Plus, anything that is shaped like a rope or string is a choking and entanglement risk. It’s best to keep these out of paws’ reach as well, especially if your furry pal likes to chew on things. 


All of us here at Troy Animal Hospital, your Fort Collins, CO pet clinic, want to wish you a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season. Please contact us for all your pet’s veterinary care needs. 

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