Canada's Condominium Magazine

Easter can be dangerous for pets and children: lilies, ham and chocolate can be toxic

Easter can be dangerous for young children and pets if condo owners display seasonal Easter lilies and other flowers. Also topping the list of easter cautions for pets in particular:

  • ham is dangerous for cats and dogs and can cause pancreatitis
  • tasty packaging: good foods with tasty smells can be ingested by pets, leading to choking and other issues
  • chocolate is deadly to dogs. Candies can be a choking issue.

 

Cats and dogs rely on their caregivers to keep them safe from poisons in the condo.

Plants to Die For

Bringing the green into your condo can be perilous for toddlers and four-footed friends at any time of year (Christmas Poinsettias are also poisonous!)  — and especially for cats who crave green munchies. While children might be less likely to munch on a lily, cats crave green. Cat grass is important for their health; lilies can be deadly. Other seasonal warnings include chocolate easter bunnies — chocolate is deadly for dogs (the SPCA reports over 20 calls a day for chocolate poisoning!)[1]

In 2014, the APCC “handled nearly 180,000 cases involving pets exposed to possibly poisonous substances.” [1] Pet poisoning, especially, is prevalent in holiday seasons.

Houseplants that are toxic.

Toxic Plants to Avoid

Other Easter favorites are tulip and narcissus bulbs — also quite deadly to felines.  The list of plants toxic to cats and dogs is a long one, but here are the most toxic ones (many of which are also toxic for children!):

  • Amaryllis (Amaryllis sp.)
  • Autumn Crocus (Colchicum autumnale)
  • Azaleas and Rhododendrons (Rhododendron sp.)
  • Castor Bean (Ricinus communis)
  • Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum sp.)
  • Cyclamen (Cyclamen sp.)
  • English Ivy (Hedera helix)
  • Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe sp.)
  • Lilies (Lilium sp.)
  • Marijuana (Cannabis sativa)
  • Oleander (Nerium oleander)
  • Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum sp.)
  • Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
  • Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)
  • Spanish thyme (Coleus ampoinicus)
  • Tulip and Narcissus bulbs (Tulipa and Narcissus sp.)
  • Yew (Taxus sp.)

The ASPCA has a more extensive list of toxic plants>>

Other Condo Cautions

Prescription drugs are an even greater toxic risk than houseplants. Please keep them locked up.

Besides houseplants, he ASPCA also cautions pet owners on the other top reasons pets are poisoned in the home:

  1. Human medications: 19.8 percent of calls to the ASPCA
  2. Insecticides: 15.7 percent
  3. Over the counter medicines: 14.7 percent
  4. Household items such as glue and paint: 9.3 percent
  5. Human foods such as onion, garlic, raisons, xylitol (safe for humans, toxic for pets)
  6. Chocolate: 7.7 percent
  7. Rodenticides: 5.5 percent

Poisonous to children

Although children may be less likely to eat plants for the sake of eating, toddlers do like to put things in their mouths. If a child appears to be poisoned (choking or unconscious), call 911 immediately!

 

Avoid these toxic plants.

Advice from AboutKidsHealth.ca if your child appears to be poisoned but is not choking or unconscious:

“If your child appears well:

  • look for pieces of the plant in their mouth
  • remove any pieces of the plant you can see
  • give them small sips of water
  • do not try to make him throw up
  • call your local poison information centre.”
  • Information here>>

Here is a longer list of toxic plants to watch for with children:

  • ​Amaryllis         ​
  • Angel’s trumpet          ​
  • Arrowhead vine
  • ​Azalea
  • Bittersweet
  • ​Black locust
  • ​​Boston ivy
  • Caladium
  • ​Calla lily
  • ​Castor bean     ​
  • Chinese lantern           ​
  • Chrysanthemum
  • ​Clematis          ​
  • Cotoneaster
  • Crocus, autumn​​
  • Croton
  • Cyclamen​​
  • Daffodil​
  • ​Daisy
  • ​Delphinium
  • ​Dieffenbachia (dumb cane)
  • Elephant’s ear
  • ​English ivy
  • ​​Eucalyptus
  • ​Euonymus
  • Foxglove
  • ​​Gladiola
  • ​Holly
  • Horse chestnut
  • ​​Hyacinth
  • ​Hydrangea
  • ​Iris
  • Jack-in-the-pulpit
  • ​​Jequirity bean Jerusalem cherry
  • ​Jimson weed
  • ​Larkspur
  • ​Lily-of-the-valley         ​​
  • Lobelia
  • ​Lupine
  • Marijuana
  • ​​Milkweed
  • ​Mistletoe
  • Monkshood
  • ​Morning glory
  • ​Mother-in-law plant   ​​
  • Mother-in-law’s tongue
  • Narcissus
  • ​Nightshade     ​
  • Oleander         ​
  • Peony
  • ​Periwinkle (Vinca)      ​
  • Philodendron   ​​Poison ivy
  • ​Pokeweed
  • ​Potato (all green parts)
  • ​Pothos
  • ​Rhododendron
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • ​​Rosary bean​
  • Snake berry
  • ​Snow on the Mountain           ​​
  • Star of Bethlehem
  • St. John’s Wort
  • ​​Tobacco
  • Tomato (plant and unripe fruit)
  • ​Virginia creeper
  • ​Water hemlock
  • ​​Wisteria
  • ​Yew

Ontario Poison Centre:  1-800-268-9017

 

NOTES

[1] ASPCA press release>>

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