Harmful Christmas Plants

Author: Amy Holloway

Most of us enjoy having plants inside our homes, they look nice, some even smell nice and they can make us feel happy, especially at this time of year.

But some plants can be harmful to your pet and leaving a new plant with soil at their level is definitely something they will want to investigate. Read our list of Christmas greenery to beware of.

If your pet eats any of the plants below, it’s important to contact us immediately for advice or come directly to one of our practices.

1. Christmas trees

We’re not saying don’t have a Christmas tree, but be aware that dogs and cats will love to investigate an outdoor tree that suddenly appears indoors. Cats like to climb trees and dogs love to have a good sniff and ferret around in them. Ensure your tree is as secure as it can be to avoid it falling over and hurting your pet, or you. Beware of trailing cables too as cats and dogs could get tangled in Christmas lights and panic, sending your tree flying! Hoover up any fallen pine needles each day to avoid them getting into your pet’s eyes, ears. paws and skin.

2. Christmas poinsettias

A common plant to introduce into your home at Christmas is a festive looking poinsettia. This plant may be toxic to dogs so keep well out of their reach.

3. Holly

Holly and its berries have a greater toxicity level than poinsettias so should be kept well away from your dog. Symptoms include intestinal upset, such as vomiting and diarrhoea, excessive drooling, and abdominal pain. Plus, holly is a prickly plant and could harm your cat or dog if they come into contact with it.

4. Mistletoe

If you’re going to kiss anyone under the mistletoe this Christmas, make sure you keep this plant out of your dog’s reach. Mistletoe berries contain polysaccharides, alkaloids, and lectins. If accidentally ingested by your pet, mistletoe poisoning can result in signs of gastrointestinal irritation such as drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain.

Other toxic plants that could harm your pet:

Dogs: Aconitum, Amaryllis bulbs, Asparagus fern, Azalea, Cyclamen, Daffodil bulbs, Day lilies, Delphiniums, Foxgloves, Hemlock, Hyacinth, Hydrangea, Ivy, Laburnum, Lily of the valley, Lupins, Morning glory, Nightshade, Oleander, Rhododendron, Rhubarb leaves, Sweet pea, Tulip bulbs, Umbrella plant, Wisteria, Yew.

Cats: Amaryllis, Autumn Crocus, Azaleas and Rhododendrons, Castor Bean, Chrysanthemum, Cyclamen, English Ivy, Kalanchoe, Lilies, Oleander, Peace Lily, Pothos, Sago Palm, Spanish thyme, Tulip and Narcissus bulbs, Yew.

Ask us about toxic plants

Check back tomorrow for our next instalment!

What to do in an emergency

If your pet has eaten any of these plants, contact our Emergency Care Service immediately, on 01527 889810 even if it’s out of hours – we have emergency cover throughout the holidays. Don’t wait for symptoms to appear as early treatment is critical. Tell us how much of the item your pet has eaten and bring any evidence to our Bromsgrove surgery if you are advised that your pet needs to be seen by a Vet.

Other articles in this series:

FESTIVE PET TIPS – Keep your house tidy and your pet happy this Christmas

FESTIVE PET TIPS:  Don’t forget about your pet this Christmas

FESTIVE PET TIPS – 7 Christmas dinner foods that are harmful to your pet

FESTIVE PET TIPS – 9 Christmas treats that are harmful to your dog

FESTIVE PET TIPS – More festive food advice for cats and dogs