Is Holly Poisonous to Dogs?

Holly is a traditional Christmas plant and a common winter decoration, but it is toxic to pets if ingested. Common symptoms include depression, vomiting and diarrhea. If your dog should happen to swallow some holly, he may also drool quite a bit or show other signs of gastric upset, but holly is not generally considered to be toxic enough to be fatal.

Treatment

The best way to handle poisonous plants such as holly is to keep them where your pet can never reach any part of the plant, including berries that might drop onto the floor. If your pet does swallow any part of the holly plant, call your veterinarian immediately. You may be able to dilute the effects if it hasn’t been long since he ate the plant, but if your dog gets very ill, he may need to stay at the vet’s for intravenous fluids or other care until he recovers.

By Cindy Quarters

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References
ASPCA: American Holly
Apple Lake Animal Hospital: Keeping Your Pet Safe
ASPCA: Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants

About the Author
A recipient of a business and technology degree from the master's program at West Coast University, Cindy Quarters has been writing professionally since 1984. Past experience as a veterinary technician and plenty of time gardening round out her interests. Quarters has had work featured in Radiance Magazine and the AKC Gazette.