If you've got any pet-owners on your Christmas shopping list this year, you'll want to steer clear of buying them a plant for the holidays.
More than 700 plants contain toxic substances that can harm cats and dogs.
Lilies are among the most dangerous.
“Peace, Peruvian and Cala Lilies can cause minor signs of toxicities,” said Veterinary Pharmacist Dr. Lauren Eichstadt-Forsythe. “However, the true lilies – the Tiger Lily, Day Lily, Easter and Japanese Show Lilies – can actually be fatal because they cause kidney failure."
Another popular holiday plant, the Cyclamen, is also potentially fatal to dogs and cats.
“The tubers contain toxic lycosides,” Eichstadt-Forsythe explained. “If an animal ingests that, it can cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, refusal to eat, seizures or even heart-rhythm abnormalities.”
If your pet begins showing these symptoms, get them to the vet immediately.
“Catching it early is helpful because if they’ve just recently eaten the plant, there are some things a veterinarian can do to help decrease the toxicity,” Eichstadt-Forsythe continued. “They can give certain medications that actually bind things in the stomach to keep them from being absorbed. Depending on exactly what was ingested, they can sometimes induce vomiting if that’s appropriate.”
If you're not sure whether or not a potential gift could be toxic to a pet, it’s better to be safe than sorry. There are plenty of other potential presents for your animal-owning friends!