Beware several holiday plants can be toxic to family pets

Published Nov 26, 2017 at 9:00am

The holiday season is upon us which means many people will be decorating their homes and Christmas trees with lights, garland and pretty bulbs. These things can be a source of curiosity and objects to play with for our pets. It’s always important to keep an eye on what our pets are playing with especially these bright and pretty new toys that we have put out for them. 

Along with these decorations people also like to display holiday plants such as holly or poinsettias. Holiday plants are nice to look at but can be toxic to our pets so display them with caution. Pay close attention to your pets interest in the plants. The most common holiday plants are:

• Poinsettia plant: The leaves of a poinsettia taste bad so they probably won’t chew on them but if they do it will cause a stomachache, vomiting or diarrhea in dogs and excessive drooling in cats.

• Mistletoe: If ingested by pets it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression, abdominal pain and extreme low blood pressure. 

• Holly: It is an irritant to the mouth. Ingestion causes drooling, vomiting and diarrhea. The spiny leaves can also cause irritation to the mouth and throat.

• Christmas trees: The oils from fir trees can be irritating to a pet’s mouth and stomach, causing excessive vomiting or drooling. The needles if eaten can cause stomach irritation or obstruction, also the water from the tree can contain bacteria, molds and fertilizers and they can become extremely sick if they drink it.

Be aware of the dangers and possible symptoms and if you believe your pet may have ingested any of these plants, contact your veterinarian immediately. The size of your pet and the amount ingested will determine the severity of their reactions.

The staff and volunteers at the Humane Society of Rome would like everyone to have a safe and happy holiday season. They would also like to see the animals at the shelter possibly find their forever homes and spend the holidays with new loving families. Here are two of these animals dreaming of new homes:

• Chase is a 3-year-old male pit bull mix who needs a forever home. He is a sweet, handsome boy who would make anyone a very lucky dog owner. Stop in and meet him today.

• Hazel is a 9-year-old female kitty. She is an affectionate lap cat that loves to be pet and brushed. A great all-around house companion. Please consider adopting this beautiful girl. She has been waiting since April to find a forever home!