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5 Poisonous Plants That Can Ruin Your Dog's Holiday Season

Holiday plants can bring festive color to your home ... and they can bring sickness to your dog. Check out our infographic and make sure to spread the word.

 |  Dec 12th 2013  |   3 Contributions


Plants are a great way to add some festive color and holiday cheer to your home. There's nothing like entering a house and being greeted with the warm, iconic fragrance of pine to get you into the mood for bright celebration.

Unless, of course, you've got a dog at home.

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Keep your dog friends safe! Photo: Black Shepherd and Tiny Dachshund Dressed for Christmas Celebration by Shutterstock

Some of the plants we bring into our homes for the holidays can be deadly if consumed. And we know you're not planning on eating them, but you can't really tell your dog friend, "Hey, dog friend, don't eat that poinsettia unless you want to be really sick," because we still haven't figured out how to communicate directly with our canine companions. (Bummer, I know.)

We've put together a handy infographic of plants to avoid and listed why they're potentially deadly.

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Don't forget that dogs will try to chew on anything, so keep these plants out of reach.

  1. Poinsettia: This red-leafed plant doesn't actually live up to all the hype -- it's actually only mildly toxic. However, even mild toxicity can be fatal when combined with other conditions. Better safe than sorry.
  2. Mistletoe: While the mistletoe may be a symbol of merry-making, it's toxic if swallowed -- but not as toxic as once believed. Again -- better safe than sorry!
  3. Holly: Holly berries may be the most attractive to dogs, but the leaves, bark, and seeds are just as poisonous. The effect of holly on dogs is similar to that of caffeine and chocolate.
  4. Amaryllis: Less common than the other plants on this list, amaryllis causes abdominal pain and convulsions, so keep an eye out for it!
  5. Pine needles: Probably the least of your concerns here, pine needles may cause harm if swallowed, puncturing intestines or stomach lining. The tree oils might irritate mucous membranes, but just keeping your tree area tidy should prevent any problems.

Signs of poisoning may be:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Coma
  • Convulsions
  • Diarrhea
  • Drooling
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Labored breathing
  • Lethargy
  • Swollen limbs
  • Vomiting

If you suspect your dog may have been poisoned, please seek immediate medical attention.

Happiest holidays! Here's wishing you and your loved ones a bright and warm celebration!

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Photo: Girl holding Yorkshire Terrier puppy on Christmas by Shutterstock

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About Liz Acosta: Dogster's former Cuteness Correspondent, Liz still manages the site's daily "Awws," only now she also wrangles Dogster's social media. That's why she wants you to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and -- her personal favorite -- Instagram. See ya there!

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