Toxicity of Christmas Plants for Dogs

toxicity of christmas plants for dogs

It has been a tradition to decorate homes and streets in celebration for the meaningful holidays, especially during Christmas season. However, some popular holiday plants during this festive season are disruptive to our four-legged companion. The toxicity of Christmas plants for dogs may result in distress, health issues, and even fatalities. Most of these plants look great for display, but who would want to ruin a vacation when a pet ingests it?

It would be best if you could prevent disturbances by avoiding the following indoor plants poisonous to dogs. Thus, bringing out the most immeasurable days of your Christmas celebration.

List of Toxic Christmas Plants for Dogs

Most Christmas plants look charming and colorful but contain typically toxicity that is harmful to our fur balls. Here are some of the plants we once thought were safe, but carry risks for our pooches.

Christmas Tree

A Christmas tree, usually an evergreen conifer or anything with similar appearance, has traditionally signified to rejoice winter festivals and events. However, this symbolic and meaningful tree that can be used as displays in homes during the season comes with dangers towards dogs.

The tree’s liquids and greases could provoke your fur buddy’s mouth and stomach. It can cause your pet to experience diarrhea and to vomit unreasonably. And to mention, since it is often decorated with lights and other colorful ornaments, its spikes might damage your dog’s eyes.

It would never be easy to let go of Christmas trees within our homes. But considering its spiky ornamental and unusual oils, it would be most beneficial to take precautions. If you have a tree at home, it will be helpful to arrange a non-flocked tree for your dog’s safety. You can make a toddler barrier within the entrances as an option to block an approach where the tree resides. Or, you can place your four-legged buddy to its separate room to keep her away from the plant with risk.

Pine Needle

Pine needles or other plants with delicate and pointed ends appear to be enticing, especially for small dogs. Many people prefer to display these in homes, considering its scent symbolizes the most beautiful holidays of the year. People often recognize a Christmas tree’s pine needles as the casual beginning of the festive season. Despite its popularity, it goes with the toxicity of Christmas plants for dogs.

The tree’s needle-like parts are not exclusively dangerous, but ingesting a large amount would lead to stomach problems. It resembles grass and may arouse pups to swallow them. A bored dog is more inclined to consume pine needles, so keep an eye on your pet. Taking numerous plants with pointed ends would make most dogs sick, while other pups might develop other serious complications.

As an owner, you should not encourage your dog to make consuming pine needles a habit while acknowledging its prospects and percussions. It is your responsibility to avoid your puppy or dog from ingesting them in beforehand. If you exclude these needles in your base decorations, there would be no temptations to devour or chew it. The best way is to keep it out of their reach by displaying them on walls.

dogs and pine needles
Some Christmas plants might be specially enticing to certain dogs.

Holly

The thorny green mottled leaves and red berries are traditional decorations for its vibrant color despite the weather. Moreover, holly is a symbol of the crown of thorns worn by Jesus when he died on the cross. That is why this plant is one of the most chosen ornamentals for houses, carols, and even cards. However, ingestion of this Christmas plant could lead to critical mouth discomfort, diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, drowsiness, and also fatality. Both leaves contain moderately harmful composites that induce a gastrointestinal subversion, causing severe damage when dogs consume large quantities.

Holly includes different varieties such as American holly, English holly, Japanese holly, and Christmas holly. And while some appear to be less toxic than others, it would be best to keep this out of reach from your pup. Take note, holly is not just poisonous to our loving companions but also us humans. Keep even your children away from it. Most pets’ initial response after ingestion are mouth smacking, drooling, and unreasonable head shakes.

Canines that devour holly, in most cases, do not die from poisoning. But you should immediately call your veterinarian once it exhibits symptoms of its toxicity of Christmas plants for dogs.

Mistletoe

Mistletoe is a flowering plant that develops on a range of trees, such as apples, oak trees, and willows. Some of its species are linked beside a holiday tradition of kissing during the Christmas season. Thus, people believed it to have mystical attributes during ancient times. Despite its romantic symbolism, mistletoes are pests that ascribe to trees, plants, and other shrubs stealing their nutrients and water. It would cause the tree to weaken or disfigure itself like a destructive nature of germination. Therefore, this festive shrub is one of the toxic Christmas plants for dogs.

This Christmas ornament comprises polysaccharides, alkaloids, and lectins. Consumption of it would cause gastrointestinal irritation. Meaning, your pup would experience drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and weakness, once they chewed enough of it. A toxic ingredient called Phoratoxin can cause these symptoms; it is a toxic protein found in all parts of the mistletoe, including the berries and mainly stored in the leaves. If you have caught your pet ingests it, do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian because early treatment is the best way to take for relieving results. Experts do not recommend displaying this at home if it is within reach.

Poinsettia

These finicky short-day plants that come from the weeds of crimson blossoms are commonly associated with Christmas blooms. Christians recognize its bright red flowers as the ‘Flores de Noche Buena‘ or ‘Flowers of the Holy Night.’ Meanwhile, its red-colored petals then signify the blood of Christ. Seeing poinsettias everywhere is a beacon of honor and celebration since its bright red. On the other hand, pure white flowers are iconic and charming. So, are poinsettias toxic to dogs?

This Christmas plant has its toxic attributes that endanger our four-legged companions. Do note that poinsettias are also hazardous shrubs. The milky white sap exposed in its parts carries chemicals and saponins comparable to a detergent’s components called diterpenoid euphorbol esters.

When ingested, you would observe your dog experience mild signs of vomiting, drooling, and sometimes diarrhea. But do not fret; these bright red flowers are not as deadly as they seem. It’s not fatal, but skin irritation and other symptoms might occur. The level of severity and symptoms still depends on how much your dog has consumed. It means that pet owners should always exhibit precautionary measures. You could be festive with your decorations while prioritizing your pet’s safety.

Berries

Christmas berry is a conifer plant that showcases lustrous green round leaves and profoundly colored, small red berries. You can see this plant everywhere throughout the winter, while it ripens at the end of fall. Considering the fruiting stage of this plant is attractive and enticing, some berries have toxic components for canines. The animal’s reaction may vary on the breed. Several seed berries such as holly beans, baneberries, pokeberries, juniper, and mistletoe berries produce risks comparable to poisonous chemicals toward canines.

Vomiting and diarrhea are typical consequences whenever pooches devour fruit and berries. However, there are some cases wherein fermentation could occur in your dog’s stomach. It can lead to gastric dilatation and torsion—a life-threatening condition associated with meals that cause the tummy to dilate. Avoid misfortunes by keeping all potentially toxic berries and other Christmas plants poisonous to dogs away from your fur buddies. Traits of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, inactivity, shiverings, seizings, drooling, or difficulty breathing. And if you think your pup has ingested these berries, go straight to your vet immediately.

Lilies

Lilies are known to be less lethal in dogs compared to other plants. But, you can still consider them poisonous to our canine companions. Don’t be alarmed just yet. You can educate yourself with the level of toxicity of this Christmas plant for dogs to know which are harmful. Numerous types of lilies are scientifically proven plants poisonous to dogs. Please take note that it may cause mild to severe gastrointestinal (GI) upset in dogs, so be mindful of these.

First is the prairie lily. Its bulbs are the most poisonous parts of this plant. It may likely cause GI to your pet. Next is the lily of the valley, which could also trigger gastrointestinal irritants as it contains cardio glycosides. Meanwhile, both peace and calla lily carries an insoluble calcium oxalate crystals. These crystals can cause oral irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, and decreased appetite.

Peace lilies contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals. If your dog chewed any part of this lily, it might cause mouth and GI tract irritation. Some plants also include insoluble calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause oral irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, and decreased appetite. The moment you suspect that your dog has ingested these lilies, it is best to bring them to a veterinarian for immediate consultation and prevention.

There are a lot of Christmas plants that are nice for displays and decorations. However, some of these can be extremely dangerous to our fur buddies. If you still prefer to have any of the Christmas plants that contain toxicity for dogs, be extra careful. It takes a lot of considerations before bringing home these plants when there are dogs in the house. As responsible pet owners, we must keep these plants out of our dogs’ reach. Even though some appear to be a symbol, it would be best not to risk our four-legged companion’s health.

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