Christmas Plants That Are Toxic and Non-Toxic for Pets

December 3rd 2020

By Katie B.
RVT & Montgomery Village Vet Clinic Medical Director

Are Christmas trees toxic to pets?

Fact time! Christmas trees in general are non-toxic, BUT ask the person you're purchasing them from if the use antifreeze to keep them fresh. Antifreeze is extremely toxic to pets and even just a little bit can have our pets pass away.


What plants should pet owners avoid?

Decorating with real plants, at Christmas looks amazing, but can cause a serious health issue for your pets. So in the spirit of safe Christmas decorating, here is a list of toxic and non-toxic Christmas plants for pets. For a comprehensive list of plants that are toxic and not-toxic for cats click here and for dogs click here
 

Non-Toxic Christmas Plants for Pets

Christmas Cactus


Christmas Cactus

Additional Common Names: Easter Cactus
Scientific Name: Schlumbergera bridgesii
Family: Cactaceae
Toxicity: Non-Toxic to Dogs, Non-Toxic to Cats, Non-Toxic to Horses
 

Toxic Christmas Plants for Pets

Poinsettia


Poinsettia

Scientific Name: Euphorbia pulcherrima
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Toxicity: Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Horses
Toxic Principles: Irritant sap
Clinical Signs: Irritating to the mouth and stomach, sometimes causing vomiting.
 

Mistletoe "American"

Mistletoe "American"

Additional Common Names: American Mistletoe
Scientific Name: Phoradendron flavescens
Family: Viscaceae
Toxicity: Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Cats, Toxic to
Additional Common Names: American Mistletoe
Scientific Name: Phoradendron flavescens
Family: Viscaceae
Toxicity: Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Horses
Toxic Principles: Toxalbumin, pharatoxin viscumin (Lectins, Phoratoxins)
Clinical Signs: Vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure (rare), difficulty breathing, low heart rate
 

Holly


Mistletoe "American"

Additional Common Names: English Holly, European Holly, Oregon Holly, Inkberry, Winterberry, American Holly
Scientific Name: Ilex opaca
Family: Aquifoliaceae
Toxicity: Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Horses
Toxic Principles: saponins
Clinical Signs: Vomiting, diarrhea and depression. Leaves and berries are low toxicity.

If your pet has ingested a plant or you have plants in your house and your pet is showing signs of being poisoned, please call us immediately at (403) 615-8016 to see one of our vets.

If you are having an after-hours emergency visit one of the 24 hr emergency clinics in the city. A list of emergency clinics can be found on our website.

For more information on household toxins for your pets, you may contact the National Animal Poison Control Centre or the Pet Poison Helpline 24/7 Animal Poison Control Centre at 1-855-764-7661 (fees may apply). The Animal Poison Control also has a mobile app for pet toxicities.
 

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