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Pet-Friendly Holiday Plants: What to Keep and What to Avoid

The holiday season is a time of merriment and joy, and many of us like to bring the festive spirit to our homes by decorating with plants. However, it is crucial to remember that not all plants are safe for our furry friends.

In this article, we will discuss the safe and poisonous plants to keep in mind during the holidays to ensure the safety of our pets.

Safe Plants for Pets During the Holidays

Christmas Cactuses (Subtopic 1.1)

If you are looking for a beautiful and pet-friendly plant, you can never go wrong with a Christmas cactus. These epiphytes grow well in hanging baskets, and they bloom during the holidays, adding a lovely touch to any room.

Not to mention, Christmas cactuses are non-toxic to pets, so you can breathe easy knowing they won’t cause any harm. However, keep in mind that nibbling on the plant may cause only mild gastrointestinal discomfort in pets.

So, it is better to keep them out of reach of pets that can’t resist a nibble. Other Non-Toxic Plants (Subtopic 1.2)

Apart from Christmas cactuses, there are several other pet-friendly plants that are perfect for the holiday season.

Easter cactus, spider plant, and African Violet are some examples of non-toxic plants that can add a touch of greenery to your home without posing a threat to your pets. You can also check with your local florist or a veterinarian to see which plants are safe to keep around your pets.

Poisonous Plants for Pets During the Holidays

Highly Toxic Plants (Subtopic 2.1)

Several plants can cause severe harm to your pets, and it is vital to keep them out of reach. Here are some of the highly toxic plants to watch out for during the holidays:


Mistletoe – The berries of mistletoe contain toxins that can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, and even heart failure. 2.

Holly – Holly leaves and berries contain a toxin called theobromine, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even depression of the central nervous system. 3.

Daffodil – The bulbs of daffodils contain lycorine, which is highly toxic to pets and can cause gastrointestinal distress, convulsions, and heart arrhythmias. 4.

Lily (primarily toxic to cats) – Lily plants can cause kidney failure in cats within 36-72 hours of ingestion. 5.

Amaryllis – Amaryllis bulbs contain lycorine, which can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and even seizures. 6.

Yew – The leaves and seeds of yew are toxic to pets and can cause sudden death due to the rapid onset of symptoms such as trembling, breathing difficulties, and collapse. 7.

Snowdrop – Snowdrop bulbs can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and in severe cases, death due to heart and respiratory failure. 8.

Laurel (Bay) – Laurel leaves contain essential oils that can cause gastrointestinal upsets and even neurological symptoms when ingested by pets. Plants that Cause Discomfort (Subtopic 2.2)

While not as deadly as highly toxic plants, some plants can still cause mild discomfort in pets.

Here are some plants that can cause mild to moderate oral irritation and gastrointestinal tract irritation:

1. Poinsettia – Poinsettias have a bad reputation for being extremely toxic to pets, but their toxicity level is mild.

They can cause oral irritation, stomach discomfort, and occasional vomiting if ingested. 2.

Christmas tree – Christmas tree needles and water can contain harmful chemicals and bacteria that may cause stomach irritation, vomiting, and diarrhea in pets.


Keeping our furry friends safe during the holiday season is crucial. By being mindful of the plants to keep around our pets, we can ensure they remain healthy and happy.

Remember to keep highly toxic plants out of reach and opt for non-toxic plants instead. If your pet ingests any type of plant, monitor them closely for any signs of illness, and seek veterinary help if necessary.

With some care and caution, we can enjoy the holiday season with our pets by our side, worry-free. The holiday season is a time for joy and celebration, and many of us like to decorate our homes with plants and flowers.

However, some plants can be toxic to pets, and it is crucial to be mindful of what we bring into our homes. In this article, we will discuss what to do if your pet eats a holiday plant and ways to keep your pets safe during the holiday season.

What to Do If Your Pet Eats a Holiday Plant

When to Contact a Veterinarian (Subtopic 3.1)

If your pet has eaten a holiday plant and has mild symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or stomach discomfort, monitor them closely for any changes. In most cases, mild symptoms will resolve on their own.

However, it is essential to contact your veterinarian if your pet shows any of the following symptoms:

– Severe vomiting or diarrhea

– Lethargy

– Loss of appetite

– Difficulty breathing

– Any signs of distress

Young or old pets and pets with existing health problems are more vulnerable to the toxic effects of plants. If you suspect your pet has eaten a toxic plant, do not hesitate to call your veterinarian.

They may ask for more information about the plant to determine the best course of action. Identifying the Plant (Subtopic 3.2)

One of the most crucial steps in treating a pet that has consumed a toxic plant is identifying the species of the plant.

If possible, provide your veterinarian with the scientific name or genus and species of the plant. You can find this information on the plant tag or by taking a photo of the plant and doing a google search.

In case of an emergency, you can also contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center or the Pet Poison Helpline to ask for help in identifying the plant and what steps to take next.

Ways to Keep Pets Safe During the Holiday Season

Choosing Safe Plants (Subtopic 4.1)

It is essential to choose pet-friendly plants during the holiday season. Some examples of safe plants include Christmas cactuses, Easter cactuses, spider plants, and African Violets.

These plants not only add a touch of greenery to your home, but they are also non-toxic to pets. When it comes to choosing plants, think about your pet’s habits.

If you have a nibbler, choose non-toxic plants that can withstand a bit of munching. If your pet is a curious explorer, choose plants with different varieties of colors and textures to keep them entertained.

Placing Plants Where Pets Cannot Reach (Subtopic 4.2)

Even if you have chosen pet-friendly plants, it is essential to place them in areas that are out of your pet’s reach. Placing plants on high shelves, using a pet fence, or even an indoor invisible fence can prevent curious mouths and paws from reaching the plants.

If you have a Christmas tree, keep it secure with a sturdy base and avoid adding any chemical preservatives to the water. Covering the base with a tree skirt can also prevent pets from drinking the water or chewing on the needles, which can cause irritation in the GI tract.

Avoiding Certain Plants (Subtopic 4.3)

Some plants are highly toxic to pets and should be avoided altogether. Mistletoe, holly, daffodils, lilies, amaryllis, yew, snowdrop, and bay laurel are some examples of plants that can cause severe harm to pets.

Keep these plants well out of reach and avoid having them in your home if possible. If you must have these plants in your home, keep them in areas where pets cannot access them.

Alternatively, consider using artificial versions of these plants to create a festive look without the risk of toxicity.


Keeping our pets safe during the holiday season is crucial. It is essential to choose pet-friendly plants, place them in areas where pets cannot reach, and avoid certain plants altogether.

If your pet consumes a toxic plant, identifying the species of the plant and contacting your veterinarian can help save their lives. With some awareness and caution, we can enjoy the holiday season with our pets by our side without any worries.

In summary, keeping our pets safe during the holiday season is crucial, especially when it comes to plant choices. Choosing pet-friendly plants, placing them out of reach, and avoiding highly toxic plants can prevent accidental ingestion and potential harm to our furry friends.

If your pet does consume a toxic plant, identifying the species and contacting a veterinarian are important steps to ensure their health and safety. Remember to be mindful of your pet’s habits and needs when selecting plants and enjoy the holidays worry-free.

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