Monday, December 11, 2006

Holiday Hazard: Fact or Fiction?

There is no doubt that the holidays, any holiday, can put pets' safety and health at risk. The addition of decorations, foods and candies, plants, and guests can all take their toll on our furry friends. So it is imperative to take precautions, but one of the "greatest" dangers I have heard of over the years and one of the most highly debated is the poinsettia.

Many pet owners and shelter employees live under the unspoken rule that poinsettias are toxic and potentially deadly to pets, while some say this is purely myth.

So what is the truth? Well, there is an entire website created to debunk common myths that claims the poinsettia rumor is fictitious, while HSUS stands by the thought that poiinsettias are, in fact, dangerous to pets.

Personally, I would be inclined to take my final word from the AVMA but they only go as far as to state that the leaves and stems of poinsettias have a low toxicity but they they do not state anything about the danger of the plant's flowers or explain the effect of low toxicity. Hmmm.

Well, looks like this myth will neither be proven nor debunked today. My suggestion? Better safe than sorry. If you want to add holiday foliage to your home, why not use silk flowers? They don't have to be watered, they won't wilt or die, and they probably won't taste very good to Fluffy. Dilemma solved!

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