11 Christmas Plants That Are Poisonous to Dogs

11 Christmas Plants That Are Poisonous to Dogs



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Holly has a long history of use as a symbol of Christmas, especially on Christmas cards and door wreaths. Despite its beautiful appearance, it is a toxic plant that should be kept away from dogs during the holiday season.

“If the berries or leaves with serrated edges of the holly plant are ingested, it may lead to mouth irritation, drooling, gastrointestinal disturbances (such as vomiting), and diarrhea. It may also cause excessive head shaking,” the team says. If consumed in large quantities.



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Kissing under the mistletoe is a festive tradition, but you'll want to keep the beautiful plant away from your furry friends. When consumed in small amounts, it can cause gastrointestinal irritation such as vomiting and abdominal pain. More serious effects include an abnormal heart rate, low blood pressure and lack of coordination.

“If you suspect your dog has eaten mistletoe, head to your vet as soon as possible for further medical advice,” advises Sean McCormack, head vet at tails.com.



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Poinsettias are somewhat toxic to dogs — and cats — but the risks are rarely serious or fatal. The milky white sap extracted from the colorful leaves contains a chemical that can cause nausea, vomiting, drooling and diarrhea in our four-legged friends.

“If you see your dog gnawing on a leaf, get him out of it as soon as possible (and perhaps put the dog outside or at least in a room with an easy-to-clean floor) and keep an eye on him,” Sean says. “They certainly won't need a trip to the vet.”

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Christmas tree

Christmas tree
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Christmas trees carry a number of potential hazards for dogs and cats, including pesky pine needles. If chewed by small animals, the oils released may cause irritation and stomach upset. They may be pretty to look at, but keep an eye on your canine companion if they get too close. And try not to leave them alone in the room with the Christmas tree.

“Putting a gate or some type of boundary around your tree will prevent your pup from getting too close to it,” Shawn suggests.


Ivy (Ivy species)

Ivy plant
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“Ivy can cause severe skin irritation if pets come into direct contact with this plant,” the team says. “If ingested, ivy can also cause stomach upset.”

In some cases, when the plant comes into contact with a dog's skin, it can also cause irritation. Therefore, you will want to keep this plant out of your dog's reach if you choose to place it in your home or garden.



Amaryllis in a pot
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Amaryllis plants are very popular during the Christmas holidays, and they contain toxic substances that can make our little ones feel unwell. If ingested, your dog may experience severe gastrointestinal upset (such as vomiting and abdominal pain), loss of appetite, lethargy, and tremors.

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White lily flower in a vase
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Tulips are one of the most toxic types of flowers, so be sure to keep them away from your dog – or cat – over Christmas. They may look pretty, but if any part of a lily is ingested (even in small amounts) it can cause severe damage to the digestive system, which can lead to kidney failure.

If your dog or cat has put his paw on a lily and seems unwell, it is important to contact your vet for further advice.



Laurel plant
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Experts explained that “laurel plants, including laurel (which is often used in cooking) and cherry laurel, contain toxins found in all parts of the shrub that cause vomiting, abdominal pain, low blood pressure, and in extreme cases muscle weakness and even seizures.” .


Yew tree

Red berries hanging on a yew tree
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“Yews may be a Christmas staple, but they can be dangerous to have around if you have a curious pup,” says Sean.

“All parts of this plant (including leaves and berries) are highly toxic as they contain taxis,” agrees money.co.uk. “When ingested, it can cause vomiting, weakness, breathing difficulties, and in critical cases, life-threatening changes in heart rate and blood pressure.”

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Snow drops

Snow drop
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If ice drops are ingested, they can cause symptoms ranging from stomach pain and vomiting to loss of coordination or muscle spasms. These small white flowers contain toxins in their stems and leaves, with the highest concentration in the bulb. Keep an eye on your dog if you notice this during a winter walk.


Pine cones

Christmas tree on wooden background
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Pine cones are everywhere this time of year, from wreaths and Christmas decorations, to even on the ground when we go for a walk. And while it's not toxic — or technically a traditional plant — it can pose a choking hazard to our pets.

So, keep it out of reach of curious pups or keep an eye on it when out for a walk.

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