Between Christmas trees, poinsettias and mistletoe, many people are keeping their homes looking festive this holiday season – but these plants can be dangerous for pets.
As the owner of four dogs and two cats, Courtney Wiegard says her pets keep her busy. She is also a veterinarian and warns pet owners that there are several holiday hazards they need to look out for.
“We’ve actually had several cats who have come in with pretty significant burns from the candle tart burners,” Wiegard said. “Cats are pretty curious by nature, and so oftentimes they’ll bump into them.”
Poinsettias, mistletoe and Christmas tree water are mild toxins for dogs and cats and can cause an upset stomach, Wiegard said.
“People have used baby gates to protect their Christmas trees, and really teaching the animal behavior to stay away from them,” she said.
Wiegard suggests pet owners make sure plants and candles are placed up in a high spot. Ribbon and garland could also be hazardous for a curious cat, she added.
“When you’re wrapping your presents, be sure to pick up all the loose ends of the ribbon, and make sure your cats aren’t getting into the garland, or just don’t use garland,” Wiegard said.
Wiegard said it is also important to remember that lilies are deadly for cats, if eaten.
Outside the home, you should make sure your pet is not exposed to antifreeze, which can be deadly, Wiegard said.
If you think your pet has gotten into something toxic, you should call your veterinarian or poison control immediately, Wiegard said.