As festive plants return to stores and homes, Gtech has observed that Google searches for poisonous Christmas plants, including inquiries about poinsettias, have increased by 120 percent over the past 12 months. To help those concerned about what might be harmful to cats and dogs, the company has shared an insight into which should be kept out of the way of four-legged friends.
The experts said: “Poinsettias have long been associated with Christmas because of their color and mid-winter blooms. Poinsettias belong to the Euphorbia family, which has a reputation for being highly toxic.
“Fortunately, poinsettias have a low level of toxicity and cause only mild symptoms if ingested. However, they can still cause nausea and vomiting when eaten.
This means that it is best to keep them on a high surface in the house where any pets cannot reach them.
An iconic Christmas plant, holly commonly features in a lot of Christmas displays and decorations. The leaves of a chaste bush are not poisonous, but the red berries are “very toxic” to animals, according to porters.
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The experts said: “These red berries can cause stomach upset for pets, resulting in irritation, vomiting or diarrhoea, which is why they should be kept out of their reach. Fortunately, the spiky nature of the leaves prevents any Should also help prevent the pet from getting too close.
The pros said: “This beautiful plant is known to evoke romance and sweet moments at Christmas time, and it has become a staple in many homes during December.
“Fortunately, this festive greenery is relatively less toxic, and it is unusual for pets to develop any symptoms after ingesting mistletoe. In the rare cases when pets react to this plant, their staggering , tremors or fits are most likely to occur.
“Nevertheless, conventional hanging of this plant should reduce the chances of any pet ingesting it.”
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Ivy is often used as foliage in winter wreaths and garlands, so if it is found indoors, it will be in sparing amounts.
However, consuming this plant can cause stomach upset in pets and can cause skin irritation if it comes into direct contact.
The experts said: “While furry animals like dogs and cats will have some protection from coming into close contact with ivy, it’s probably best to swap the ivy out of any decorations your pet can reach.”
5. Christmas Tree
Christmas trees are found in most of the homes that celebrate this day in the month of December. For those who have a real tree, it is important to regularly clean up any needles that may have fallen.
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Pros say they are of low toxicity, but pine needles can be sharp, causing cuts and burns to any pet’s mouth and throat.
Lucy Rhead at Gtech commented: “Christmas plants can add an extra level of seasonal decor to your home, bringing joy and color during the winter months.
“However, Christmas can also be a tempting time for curious pets who want to explore the new decorations and scents you’ve added to your home.
“Our advice would be to research all plants you keep in your home for any potential toxins that may be causing damage.
“Put anything that might be out of reach of your pet, or simply replace them with more pet-friendly options.”
Luckily, there are a variety of pet-friendly festive plants that would be perfect in any home. This includes the Christmas cactus, one of the names given to the Schlumbergera family of cacti.
According to Beardies and Daisies, this beautiful plant is “safe” around furry friends and children. Moth orchids, often given as gifts over the Christmas period, are another pet-friendly plant.
Like the Christmas cactus, orchids are available in a variety of colors including pink and white and will grow in a variety of conditions.