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Toxic Holiday Plants

joytreeHey it’s that time of year again! Everyone is rolling out their lists of toxic holiday plants and now you have to dismantle your decor. What do you need to get rid of first? Bet you’re all set for us to yell POINSETTIA! Surprise! Poinsettias are not as toxic as everyone once thought. Lilies, on the other hand, are so toxic you could lose a beloved pet in hours.

Here’s the Quick List, but remember, in case you’re curious, you can always run the names of any of your plants through the Pet Poison Helpline to learn whether you need to suspend them out of reach.


Lilies – Any kind of lily can make your dog or cat very sick. Peace lilies are not as toxic as others, such as the extremely toxic Easter lily, but it’s a good rule of thumb to keep any kind of lily, and any kind of bulb plant, out of reach.

Narcissus – Very toxic, and can seriously sicken your dog or cat.

Amaryllis – Mild to moderate, vomiting, breathing issues and reduced blood pressure are just some of the side effects.

Mistletoe – European Mistletoe can be fatal to pets, American Mistletoe may cause digestive upset.. make certain your hanging mistletoe is firmly secured!

Holly – Yup, mild to moderate toxicity, it can even damage the intestines and stomach lining, according to the PPH.

christmastreefxChristmas Trees – and wreaths, boughs, and swags – often overlooked, but can definitely cause digestive issues in both cats and dogs. Even more importantly, keep the cats and dogs from drinking the Christmas tree water, as it can contain far more toxic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides as well as higher concentrations of oils and sap.

Christmas Cactus – Though generally considered non-toxic, vomiting and diarrhea are two common side effects for both dogs and cats.

Poinsettia – Not that toxic. Not a good idea to let pets eat them, but probably the worst you’ll have to deal with is vomiting.

Symptoms You May See

  • Vomiting, diarrhea and inappetance
  • Respiratory distress
  • Drooling
  • Neurological symptoms such as shaking, twitching, or having seizures.

If you see these signs, you can either grab the plant remains and head to the vet, or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435. There is a $65 consult fee for this. We’d recommend the veterinarian, particularly if you’re not sure what they ate.


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