The festive plants that may harm your pet

People love to bring the outdoors in during Christmas time. From decorative mistletoe, to handmade Christmas wreaths, it all looks very jolly. But all that added festive greenery may not be the best thing for your pet’s health. From holly, to poinsettias, we take a look at the festive plants that may harm your pet this Christmas.


Although there are several popular plants that spring to mind when thinking of Christmas, none are quite so iconic as holly. Although birds can happily feast on the berries, the plant is highly toxic to cats and dogs. You would hope that the spiky leaves would keep any inquisitive pets away but that can’t be guaranteed. These points can cause gut irritation but the plant also contains saponin which can be far more serious. If you bring holly into your house this Christmas, make sure it is well out of reach of your pets. If you’re at all superstitious, it’s worth noting that it’s actually considered bad luck to bring holly into your home before Christmas Eve.


Another festive favourite from the plant kingdom, mistletoe is troublesome for various reasons. The plant itself is actually a parasite that feeds off healthy trees. It contains several substances that can cause serious illness when ingested. Symptoms include a drop in blood pressure, sickness, diarrhoea, breathing issues and even death, if consumed in large amounts.

Christmas plants that may hurt your pet


These stunning red and green plants are about as Christmassy as they come but the leaves can cause vomiting if ingested. Luckily the plant has its own defence system in the form of an irritating sap and your pet would need to consume a rather large amount before any serious issues occurred. Still, it’s best to keep this plant out of reach just in case.

Christmas trees

Yes, the symbol of Christmas itself are festive plants that may harm your pet. Whether you’ve chosen a spruce, pine or fir to decorate, all evergreens contain essential oils that can cause an upset stomach. And of course the needles themselves can cause an obstruction in the gastrointestinal tract or even a puncture. You’ll also need to stop your pet from drinking the water that your tree sits in as this can contain harmful bacteria. And of course, the Christmas tree comes with the added danger of being knocked over by inquisitive kitties who like to climb. This could harm your pet or a passing family member. 


If you think your pet may be have ingested any of these plants, call your veterinarian as soon as possible. 

Fri Dec 18 2020