Here’s a quick guide to keep your pup safe from holiday plants you didn’t know were toxic to dogs.
The Holidays are a busy time for most of you. Decorating is at the top your list of things to do. You add beautiful poinsettias, amaryllis, mistletoe and holly to compliment your festive decor. But are your holiday plants toxic to dogs and you unknowingly expose your favorite four-legged family member to dangerous poison?
Imagine all your family gathered together to celebrate the season and you’re having to rush your dog to the Vet because they have been poisoned by your plant. No thank you. No one wants to have to deal with that.
When you have a dog in house, you have to be mindful. You may not have even thought about the chance that some holiday plants can be poisonous. Mistletoe that has such romance associated with it but can actually cause heart problems for your dog. Here’s a look at which plants are toxic.
Are Poinsettia Holiday Plants Toxic to Dogs?
Poinsettias are one the most popular and recognizable holiday plants. The poinsettia can make your dog ill, but it won’t kill them. Their sap contains chemicals known as diterpenoid euphorbol esters and saponin-like detergents and when ingested can cause vomiting, drooling and diarrhea. Skin reactions such as redness, swelling and itching may also occur.
Are Mistletoe Holiday Plants Toxic to Dogs?
We’re all familiar with the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe. Ancient Celts were known to hang a sprig of mistletoe above the door of houses because they believed it’s sacred nature prohibited fighting beneath it. This custom slowly evolved over centuries into kissing underneath mistletoe at Christmas.
If you plan on hanging mistletoe this hoilday season make sure it is up high where there’s no way your dog can reach it. Check the floor often for dropped berries. The berries contain toxalbumin and pharatoxin albumin which are poisonous.
The ASPCA warns that mistletoe can also cause erratic behavior, digestive and nervous issues, nausea, skin irritation, a dangerously low heart rate and possibly even cardiovascular collapse.
Are Amaryllis Plants Toxic to Dogs?
These gorgeous flowers are a favorite especially around the holidays. But don’t have them in your house unless you have a dog-free place to display them. They contain naturally-occurring chemicals called lycorine that can be toxic to your pooch.
It’s the bulb that is the most poisonous, but other parts of the plant can also cause adverse reactions if eaten in large enough quantities. Amaryllis may cause drooling, depression, GI upset, and tremors. If you have to have an amaryllis, put it up high shelf far away from curious canines.
How Bout Holly?
What’s more indicative of Christmas than holly? There are between 400-600 different varieties of the Holly plant. All varieties have some degree of toxicity to dogs.
The holly plant contains small quantities of chemical compounds that can be mildly to moderate toxic to your canine companion. Holly berry poisoning rarely kills but can cause drooling, nausea, vomiting, confusion, dizziness and seizures.
The leaves also contain toxic saponins, methylxanthines and cyanogens that can lead to serious GI upset.
Using Common Sense Will Keep Your Holidays Merry
You can have a safe dog and a beautiful home for the holiday season. Just keep the holiday plants out of his reach, but don’t panic if he happens to find a fallen leaf. If you notice any of the above signs that worsen or don’t go away within 24 hours, take him to the vet immediately.