RSPCA reveal which common toxic plants to AVOID

According to Clear It Waste, 10 percent of pets have fallen ill after eating plants in the home, with 43 percent of those needing urgent veterinary care.

1. Holly

The experts explained: “Holly is an all-year classic but because of its evergreen nature and vibrant red berries, holly has become a firm favourite of the colder months. Whilst the leaves are pointy, and can cause small damage, the real danger with holly is the red berries.

“The berries contain a chemical called theobromine, the same chemical compound found in chocolate, which is highly toxic for dogs and cats.

“It often causes vomiting, diarrhoea, high blood pressure and in severe cases, even death.

“Holly leaves also contain theobromine, though, in a much smaller dose, consumption is still strongly discouraged. Holly, whilst beautiful, is one houseplant to be wary of this winter.”

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2. Yew

Yews come in several different sizes, with unique green needles, brown cones and red berries and can look gorgeous in the winter months.

However, a chemical compound called taxines is found in the berries, cones and even the needles, which are “extremely poisonous” to humans and pets.

The pros noted: “In animals, yew poisoning often presents symptoms like diarrhoea, vomiting, trembling and convulsions – which are also seen in human yew poisoning with severe cases potentially leading to comas. As stunning as yews are, they are not worth the risk.”

3. Winter cherry

The winter cherry produces gorgeous berries which often make an appearance in winter festivities, but although they may look enticing, they are “incredibly poisonous” to both humans and animals.

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The experts said: “Winter cherries sometimes get confused for cherry tomatoes, due to their similar shape and colour making them a dangerous addition to a table spread this winter.

“The poison in the cherry is called solanocapsine and is found in the highest doses in unripe fruit and the leaves of the plant.

“Some of the side effects of ingesting a winter cherry include headache, abdominal pain, and vomiting.

“The actual amount of toxin that is ‘safe’ to ingest is still up for debate, so the general advice is to keep them out of reach of animals and children – or better yet avoid having them in your home altogether.”

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4. Poinsettias

Poinsettias are popular additions to many Christmas displays inside the home with their gorgeous shaped leaves.

They have a reputation for being poisonous to both humans and animals if ingested, however, researchers are now suggesting that they have low levels of poison, if any at all.

The sap of the plant has also been shown to only produce a mild reaction when in contact with skin.

The pros noted: “That being said, Clear It Waste still suggests keeping this beauty away from pets and children as ingesting high volumes of it could still produce nausea and vomiting. But in general, this is one plant considered safe for your festivities.”

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