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Keep Your Dog Away From These Holiday Plants


The holiday season calls for celebrations that include decorating our homes and leaving a mark. These decorations include holiday plants like mistletoe, holly, and poinsettia. While these plants are a great way to spruce up your house, they are not always pet friendly.

If you have a dog then it is important that you stay from plants that are known to be hazardous for dogs. Here’s a list:


Poinsettia is one of the most popular holiday plants, often found in homes during the Christmas season. While poinsettias are not as deadly as many may claim, they are proven to be slightly irritating to dogs.

Poinsettia leaves produce a white sap called diterpenoid euphorbol esters that may not be suitable for your dog. If ingested, your dog could experience hypersalivation and gastrointestinal pain. Here are some of the main symptoms of these conditions:

  • Drooling 

  • Itchiness

  • Diarrhea 

  • Swelling 

  • Vomiting and nausea

  • Skin and eye irritation 

So, avoid using these plants and instead look for non-toxic alternatives like achira and phalaenopsis orchids.



Another symbolic plant you’ll find in many homes during the holiday season is mistletoe. Unlike poinsettias, mistletoe is found to be extremely toxic to dogs. It contains chemicals like lectins, viscumin, and phoratoxins which, even in small amounts, could cause your dog to experience stomach aches and vomiting. Larger doses can cause seizures, weakness, gastrointestinal irritation, and cardiovascular collapse.

Look out for these symptoms: 

  • Low blood pressure 

  • Decreased heart rate 

  • Diarrhea 

  • Breathing problems 

  • Abdomen pain 

We advise you to keep the plant away from your dog and sweep up any fallen debris from the plant to be on the safe side.



The Amaryllis bulb contains toxic chemicals such as lycorine and phenanthridine alkaloids which can cause respiratory discomfort, gastrointestinal pain, and tremors if consumed in large quantities by your dog. In fact, this plant is said to be bad for humans as well.

The bulbs contain raphide oxalate crystals that can cause hypersalivation and abdominal pain.

Amaryllis poisoning symptoms are: 

  • Tremors 

  • Vomiting 

  • Low appetite 

  • Lethargy 

  • Diarrhea 

  • Low blood pressure 

Be sure to keep your dog away from amaryllis and consult a vet if you notice the symptoms highlighted above. 


Pine Needles

Pine needles are usually found on Christmas trees, garlands, and wreaths. Though not entirely toxic, they contain harmful oils that can irritate your dog’s mouth and stomach. Moreover, the shape of the needles can also make your dog feel uncomfortable and agitated. 

Your dog may show these symptoms after ingesting pine needles: 

  • Vomiting 

  • Diarrhea 

  • Fatigue 

  • Weakness 

If you want to use pine needles then make sure to keep them away from your pet.



Most lilies are poisonous and should be kept away from dogs. Almost every part of a lily is dangerous, from the stem to the leaves to the flower.

Ingesting lilies can result in gastrointestinal pain, kidney failure, lethargy, and other side effects. 

Lily poisoning in dogs includes these symptoms: 

  • Seizures 

  • Excessive salivation 

  • Redness 

  • Diarrhea 

  • Nausea 

  • Lack of appetite 

  • Dehydration

However, certain types of lilies are proven to be nontoxic to dogs and can be kept indoors. These include: 

  • Peruvian lilies 

  • Tiger lilies 

  • Easter lilies



Azaleas are found blooming in the fall and winter seasons and are used in floral bouquets and other decor pieces. These plants are known to be extremely dangerous to dogs as they consist of the potent neurotoxin grayanotoxin, which is a strong chemical that can disrupt skeletal, nerve, and heart functions. 

Steer clear of this holiday plant and be on the lookout for the following symptoms: 

  • Seizures 

  • Rapid breathing 

  • Dramatic changes in heartbeat 

  • Tremors 

  • Vomiting 

  • Weakness 

  • Loss of appetite 

  • Lethargy 

  • Abdominal discomfort 

  • Muscle weakness 



According to the U.S Food and Drug Administration, holly is toxic and can result in serious health issues.

Many varieties of holly leaves and berries contain saponins, ilicin, and methylxanthines, which can lead to severe vomiting, stomach aches, depression, and diarrhea in your dog. Holly poisoning comes with the following symptoms: 

  • Loss of appetite 

  • Nausea and vomiting 

  • Hypersalivation 

  • Diarrhea 

  • Blood spots in the mouth 



Laurel, or more specifically Cherry Laurel or English Laurel, is a traditional Christmas plant, and one of the most common types of laurel used for decoration purposes. 

Although every part of this plant is highly toxic to dogs and humans alike, the seeds and leaves of this plant, particularly, contain a dangerous chemical called hydrogen cyanide, which can develop when the plant is ingested, chewed, or crushed. 

Laurel poisoning can cause your dog to experience hyperventilation, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal and gastrointestinal distress. 

Symptoms can include: 

  • Coma 

  • Depression 

  • Lethargy 

  • Weakness 

  • Seizures

  • Perspiration 

  • Short-term blindness 

  • Unusual heart rate and blood pressure 

Dog-Friendly Holiday Plants You Can Use In Decorations

We know you want to decorate your home and make it stand out. Do not worry, there are several plants that are considered safe for both pets and humans, including:

  • Holiday cactus 

  • Roses 

  • Swedish ivy 

  • African violet 

  • Moth orchids 

  • Pink polka dot plant 

  • Boston fern 

  • Calathea or prayer plant 

  • Achira 

  • Autumn olives 

  • Spider plant 

  • Ponytail palm 

What To Do If Your Dog Has Been Poisoned 

Here’s what to do if your dog consumes these or any other poisonous plant:

  • Take your dog away from the plant and ensure your dog seems fine.

  • Take a picture of the plant to help the vet in treating your dog.

  • Contact a pet poisoning helpline right away and ask for help. Some cases may require professional intervention.

As highlighted above, some of these plants can be very toxic and your dog may require a gut cleaning. Hence, waste no time and get in touch with a professional right away.


Now that you’re aware of which holiday plants can be detrimental to your dog’s health, check your home and garden for these plants and swap them for nontoxic options instead. 

If you notice any symptoms, we advise you to consult a vet as soon as possible.

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