Christmas Plants That are Toxic for Your Dog

Introduction

It can seem a strange concept: festive Christmas plants that dress up our home for holiday fun can make our pets sick. The reality is, even though they look festive, sparkly, and cheerful, they can be potentially lethal. There are also plant varieties that make humans gravely ill as well! If you have a house full of pets or young children over Christmas, you may want to take the time to take stock of the traditional greenery placed around your home. Make sure you don't have the following plants in your house to avoid potential disaster.

Holly

Holly has been a Christmas favorite for many years, but it's a plant you should look at, not touch! Holly contains theobromine which is also in chocolate and cocoa. It can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, a rapid pulse, and dizziness in humans, cats, and dogs, but is safe for other wildlife. Admire it, but don't leave it around children or pets.

Mistletoe

While there are several mistletoe varieties - with some not being at all toxic, it's better to be on the safe side and tar them with the same "don't touch" brush. There will be no pooches kissing under the mistletoe this year because this noxious plant contains phoratoxin. Phoratoxin can bring about low blood pressure,  blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, and more.

Poinsettia

There's no denying that the poinsettia is a beautiful Christmas plant, but if you have pets, it's best to opt for the plastic variety. Poinsettia, while not the most toxic plant, can still cause vomiting and stomach upset. If you touch it, it can also create an unbearable itch! It's impawtant to always supervise pets around potentially dangerous greenery and food.
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Ivy

Ivy makes an appearance in many Christmas decorations, but let the plastic variety grace your home this year. Ivy can cause your pets to feel a little ruff and not at all in the Christmas spirit. Touching it can result in rashes, conjunctivitis, and itchiness, but consuming it can cause diarrhea, excess drooling, vomiting, and blood in feces and vomit.

Christmas Cactus

While a Christmas Cactus is not going to cause an emergency trip to the vet if your dog or cat consumes it, it will make them feel a little sorry for themselves. This beautiful plant can cause a stomach upset, but will not have any permanent side effects. If you do wish to have one, keep it out of reach of pets.