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Pet Safety: Debunking the Myths, Clarifying the Facts

Myth: Poinsettia leaves are poison. With holidays on the way, now's a good time to bring up the widespread idea that this traditional holiday greenery is poisonous. It's not: The worst your pet will get is a stomachache. If you like these plants, enjoy them in your home without worry.

Fact: Lilies can be lethal. Now that you've cleared some space in your mind by not worrying about poinsettias, put lilies in that spot. These flowers are pretty in the house or yard, but if you have pets, you're better off avoiding them, since pets can die from eating any part of the plant. 

Have a question about your pet? Join Dr. Becker in AARP's PetPals online community group.

Dr. Marty Becker, AARP’s new resident pet expert, is a regular veterinarian contributor to ABC’s Good  Morning America and to The Dr. Oz Show. He has co-written several top-selling books on domestic animals and currently helps run the website

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Being Social



Pet owners and animal lovers, join Dr. Marty Becker for daily tips and lively discussions on our loyal companions. Discuss


Cat got your tongue? If yes, this group is for you. Get the latest on cat hardware, food recalls and how to trick a cat into taking his meds. Discuss

Birds as Pets

Does your bird talk? Share with us some of your favorite words or phrases. Discuss