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12 Days of Holiday Hazards...Day 6

12/05/2008

On the sixth day of the holidays, my true love gave to me...FLOWERS

During the holiday season, a lot of us will be decorating our homes, and giving and getting gifts of plants and flowers. We just need to be sure that we don't inadvertently put our own pets, or others, at risk.

So which plants and flowers do we need to worry about? Many people might answer that poinsettias carry the biggest holiday risk  to pets. Is this true?

Nope. Turns out that poinsettias don't seem to be terribly toxic to pets, perhaps causing an upset stomach, just as ingesting anything out of the ordinary might.

In terms of holiday-associated plants, holly and mistletoe are the two to worry about, and you want to keep these well away from pets. Best plan is to avoid having them in your home at all if animals or small children live there.

And although lilies aren't generally associated with the winter holidays, they are worth mentioning because they are so very toxic, and can turn up in many arrangements year round. Lilies of all kinds cause often-fatal kidney failure in cats, so it's essential to ensure that any flower arrangements you are getting or giving do not contain lilies; ask the florist if you're not sure.

For much more info on this subject, be sure to check out the ASPCA website.

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