PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Hang those holiday plants with care, the Food and Drug Administration warns. A number of floral Christmas decorations are toxic to domesticated animals like cats, dogs and horses.
“Many people have festive plants around the house for the holidays, including poinsettias, holly, and mistletoe,” the FDA said. “Remember to keep your furry family members in mind when you display or dispose of your holiday plants.”
The popular holiday flower contains a white sap that can irritate a pet’s mouth and stomach when eaten. The ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center states that symptoms of poinsettia poisoning can include drooling, vomiting and diarrhea.
Symptoms associated with poinsettia poisoning are generally mild. If ingested, the FDA says, it’s helpful to remove your pet’s food and water bowls for a few hours while their stomach settles.
Mistletoe contains seriously hazardous levels of toxic chemicals, the National Animal Poison Control Center says. If eaten in large amounts, these toxins can cause low blood pressure, slowed heart rate and breathing problems. Signs of more mild mistletoe poisoning can include upset stomach, diarrhea and unusual behavior.
While less toxic than mistletoe, holly berries and leaves can still be harmful to household pets. The toxins in Holly, known as saponins, can cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and loss of appetite in dogs and cats.
The FDA recommends contacting a local vet if any of these plants are eaten by your curious household critters.
“Your veterinarian can give you advice on what you can do at home to make your pet more comfortable and help you decide if your pet needs medical treatment,” the FDA said.