Winter Holiday Plants That Are Dangerous For Dogs

Plants To Keep Away From Your Dog This Christmas

Much of the decorating around Christmas and winter includes plants, flowers, and trees, and some of these may be potentially dangerous to your dog if ingested. The following are some of the more common flowers and plants that people include in their decorating, and give or receive as gifts. Know the toxicity, if any, to your dog before putting these plants within their reach!


Although Poinsettia’s are not deadly, the brightly colored leaves of this traditional Christmas plant contain a sap that is irritating to your dog’s mouth and esophagus. Eating the leaves can cause nausea, excessive drooling and vomiting. If your plant has been treated with pesticide, the severity of illness is dependent on the amount ingested. Severe reactions to eating pesticide-treated poinsettia leaves could include seizures, coma, and death.


The shiny green leaves and bright red berries of the holly plant are mildly toxic to dogs. Eating these can cause gastrointestinal upset, including excessive drooling, abdominal pain, vomiting, or diarrhea.



Mistletoe leaves and berries are moderately toxic to your dog. Depending on the amount ingested, your dog can experience severe intestinal upset (abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea), a sudden drop in blood pressure, difficulty breathing, and may exhibit unusual behavior due to hallucinations. Ingesting a large amount of this plant can lead to seizures and possibly death.


The majority of daffodil species contain a toxin that can be poisonous to your dog. While the toxin in present in the leaves and flowers, it is most concentrated in the bulb. Symptoms from ingesting  daffodils include vomiting, excessive drooling, and diarrhea.  Ingesting a large amount can cause convulsions, low blood pressure, tremors and cardiac arrhythmia.  If you have pets, this is one plant/flower that you may want to avoid having inside your home, or in your yard.


Amaryllis is a flowering bulb species in the same family as lilies. The toxin contained in the leaves, flower and stem is more concentrated in the bulb.  Symptoms of poisoning from this plant include increased salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, decreased appetite, abdominal pain and tremors. Other names include Belladonna, Saint Joseph Lily. Although bright and cheery, this is another that you may want to avoid having inside your home or in your yard – especially if your dog digs up your flower garden.


Christmas Cactus
Fortunately neither the plant nor the flowers of the Christmas Cactus are toxic to dogs.  However, since it’s a common holiday plant, it gets a mention. If eaten, the fibrous plant material may cause irritation to your dog’s stomach and intestines, causing vomiting and diarrhea.


Christmas Trees
Although not toxic, if you choose to have a real Christmas tree there are some things to look out for. The oils/sap can be irritating to your dog’s mouth and stomach, causing excessive drooling and vomiting. The needles can cause intestinal irritation, obstruction, or puncture.


If your dog starts exhibiting some signs and symptoms of illness, and you suspect ingestion of plants or flowers, contact your veterinarian in case of an accidental poisoning. If you’re unsure if your flowers or plants are safe for your dog, be sure to keep them out of her reach for a safe holiday.

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