Updated: Dec 22, 2020
This year we have had to take extra precautions to keep ourselves and our families safe due to a certain worldwide pandemic (BOO!!). Finally, there's something to look forward to (YAAY!!) and we are all enjoying getting into the Christmas spirit by surrounding ourselves with decorations and all of those lovely festive plants that start appearing in shops this time of year. As a pet parent, it's important to know that some of these are actually poisonous to your pet, so we have come up with a little list for those of you who may want to know which plants your pets should be avoiding this season.
These plants are very easy to grow and care for, and they bloom beautifully. The great tragedy of these flowers is their beauty is matched by their potential toxicity. The bulb of the Amaryllis is more harmful than the stalks or the flower itself, so watch out!
Although they are a classic for the festive season, Christmas trees can be very problematic for your pet’s digestive system. If too much time is spent under the tree, the prickly pine needles could get stuck in their little paws and eyes and cause great discomfort and infections. If eaten, the pesky needles can cut the inside of their mouths, throats and bellies and when consumed the pine sap is mildly toxic causing irritation to their mouths and stomachs. It is much safer to go with a fake tree to avoid the risk completely (whilst also keeping those floors clean)!
It is very traditional for some households to have this one on display during the holidays, but it will not be a ‘‘holly-jolly’’ Christmas if your furry friend has even a nibble of this plant! With holly, the berries and the leaves are toxic and may induce vomiting, diarrhoea and other gastrointestinal issues.
This iconic seasonal plant is often associated with cheeky yuletide smooches; however, it could be fatal for your household pooches (and other pets that didn't rhyme)! Much like the holly, this plant is toxic for your pets and may result in a trip to the emergency vet if ingested, which no one wants to do after their third or fourth mince pie or if we're being honest... a bottle of wine. It is important to keep this one well out of the way of your companions if you do have it in your house.
The poinsettia has quite an undeserved bad reputation for being the most dangerous Christmas plant. In fact, it is usually only toxic when ingested in large quantities. That being said, it is still best to keep it out of reach as it can endanger your pet's health.
What to look out for: confusion, strange behaviour, vomiting, diarrhoea, decreased or increased breathing rates, lethargy, tremors, abdominal pain, irritation to the mouth, low heart rate or collapsing.
If your pet is displaying symptoms that they have ingested something dangerous, make sure to contact your vet immediately.
We hope that these tips have helped in some way and we would love to hear any other steps that you are taking to keep your pets safe this Christmas. If you have any other suggestions for fellow pet parents please let us know in the comments below!