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Friday, December 14, 2012

Poinsettias- Toxic to your pets?




Here's something to keep in mind in the midst of this holiday season. I am sure we all have indoor and outdoor plants that we are not certain if they are dangerous to our pets or not. The holidays bring lots of new, beautiful, colorful plants into our homes and yards.  I found this article which is well informed in regards to Poinsettias since they are so popular this time of year, as well as a link to a more in depth list of toxic plants near the bottom of the article. Thanks pet friends!

"A view of potentially poisonous plants from Dr. Michael Knight":

Poinsettias: Dr. Michael Knight, a veterinarian at the ASPCA’s National Poison Control Center in Urbania, Ill. Said: “Poinsettias have a history of being fairly toxic. More recently we’ve found that they are not what we consider life-threatening at all. Occasionally, we’ll get a call where a dog has eaten a large quantity of the poinsettia plant.

The dog will have some digestive upsets, vomiting and diarrhea—but I don’t think we’ve actually seen any deaths associated with poinsettias over the years---- and we’ve gotten hundreds of calls. In our opinion, they are not a hazard to dogs or cats. Neither are Holly Berries and Mistletoe,” says Knight, who added that the Poison control center doesn’t get many calls about pets ingesting holly berries, mainly because the leaves are thorny and spiny and don’t taste great.


Mistletoe: is not considered deadly but Knight warns that the plant does contain a natural compound that can cause heart problems.


Don’t be afraid to decorate for Christmas. Just taking a few precautions will ensure the safety of your family and your pets to have a safe and wonderful holiday. Just to be safe, place those beautiful holiday plants up high and out of reach of pets and children.


For further reading on popular plants that could be harmful to your pet, please click here. http://vetmedicine.about.com/od/toxicology/qt/toxicplants.htm

Stay tuned for more holiday tips, stories and articles all through December! 
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  1. Never, ever leave your dog in the car;
  2. Make sure your dog has unlimited access to fresh water;
  3. Make sure your dog has access to shade when outside;
  4. Take walks during the cooler hours of the day;
  5. When walking, try to stay off of hot surfaces (like asphalt) because it can burn your dog's paws;
  6. If you think it's hot outside, it's even hotter for your pet – make sure your pet has a means of cooling off;
  7. Keep your dog free of external parasites (fleas, ticks) and heartworms – consult your veterinarian about the best product for your pet;
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Household pet tip for dogs from Blue Ribbon K9 Academy:

Train your dog to use a pet door by putting a dab of butter on the bottom edge of the flap. Have another person hold the dog on the side with the butter and you stand on the other side with treats. Your dog will lick the bottom of the flap, pushing it open while you encourage it through and offering treats. Happy Training!

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