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Poinsettias and Cats: Are They Dangerous?

This post is written by our holistic veterinarian at "I and love and you", Dr. Angie Krause, DVM, CVA, CCRT.

Good news! All the hype about poinsettias being poisonous is overrated. If your dog or cat eats your poinsettia plant, they’ll be ok (although they may drool excessively or and may vomit). If your pet generally leaves your house plants alone, enjoy that poinsettia!

Here are a few real dangers to be aware of this time of year:

  1. Holiday lights/Extension cords. Some animals, (especially young) can get curious about these cords and will take a bite. The electricity running through these cords can deliver quite a jolt and can leave a severe burn on the tongue and palate. If you have a young animal or an animal prone to making bad decisions, keep a close eye on them around lights and extension cords. If you celebrate the holidays with a Christmas tree, here are a few fun ways to protect your tree.
  2. Chocolate. Most holidays are filled with chocolate. However, the type of chocolate common in the winter season usually contains more dangerous (dark) types of chocolate. You can check out what to do if your pet eats chocolate here.
  3. Ribbon/Tinsel. Feisty kitties love to play with anything with a string shape. Sometimes, kitties accidentally swallow these ribbons. As the ribbon works it’s way down kitty’s gastrointestinal tract, it can become bunched, causing a life-threatening surgical emergency. Avoid tinsel as a decoration and be sure to clean up ribbon after unwrapping gifts.
  4. Fatty foods. Rich, fatty foods are delicious! Our pets think so too. If your pet is not accustomed to eating fatty foods, be sure to avoid sharing your greasy food such as bacon grease, pork chops, heavy cream, etc. Sharing lean meats, vegetables and fruits without added fat are safe ways to show your pet a little love. Avoid onion, grapes, raisins, and macadamia nuts.

Do your pets celebrate the holidays? How do you include your four-legged family members in holiday traditions? I would love to hear from you in the comments below!

Sending all my love and holiday cheer to you and your pets!

Dr. Angie

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