Identifying Holiday Plants Dangerous to Dogs

The holiday season might mean kissing beneath the mistletoe and decorating with holly and poinsettias–but these seasonal plants are no holiday for your dog. Eating these plants can cause illness and even death to dogs. During this time of year, keep your dog away from:

Poinsettias Although not as dangerous as some pet owners may think, poinsettias can make a dog quite ill. The plant (usually seen in red but also available in pink and near white) can irritate the mouth and gastrointestinal tract of a dog that chews on it, leading to drooling, vomiting and diarrhea.

Mistletoe These poisonous berries spell trouble for dogs and children who might come upon them. American and European species of mistletoe are available; the toxicity varies by the type he eats and the number of berries he ingests. Some mistletoe can cause an upset stomach, with vomiting; other varieties may lead to liver failure and seizures.

Holly Holly is another popular Christmas plant but if your dog eats the berries, he can develop severe vomiting and diarrhea as well as depression.

Remember, too, that while you might have avoided these holiday plants in your own home (or replaced them with silk versions), keep an eye out for these dog hazards when visiting friends and relatives during this season.

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About Paris Permenter

Paris Permenter is the founder and co-publisher of LT Media Group LLC. Along with her husband, John Bigley, she edits,, and has authored over 30 books on pets and travel.