10 Winter Plants That Are Toxic to Dogs & Cats

If you’re a pet owner, chances are you’ve read that advice about making sure you keep your home safe from dangerous pet hazards like poisons, toxic plants and other household items.

With this useful guide, we will take you through the top 10 Winter Plants That Are Toxic to Dogs and cats, with pictures so you can quickly recognise each plant.

Now you can learn the 10 most dangerous plants to avoid around your pets this winter.

Christmas dog

Did you know that many popular houseplants are toxic to cats and dogs? This is true even of those plants that look so lovely in your home, such as bromeliads, ferns and philodendrons.

Winter is the perfect time to bring out the outdoor plants in your home, but what if you’re not sure which plants are toxic to your cats or dogs?

Well, we’ve done the research for you. From tree branches to succulents to herbs, these ten plants are toxic to cats and dogs. But how to tell if your pet has ingested one of them?

Christmas cat

Let’s take a look at 10 winter plants that can harm your pets, so you have the knowledge to keep them safe this Christmas 

10 most toxic Winter plants for dogs and cats

Here is a list of the 10 most toxic Winter plants for dogs and cats. If you’re wondering which plants are poisonous to dogs, or which plants are poisonous to cats, we hope this list will help you out and put your mind to rest this Christmas season.

The majority of these plants contain poisonous alkaloids (or plant poisons) that can be fatal if ingested.

These plants are extremely popular in the UK due to their striking, beautiful appearance in the winter months, but they are not appropriate for growing where your pets can get hold of them. For safety reasons, they should be kept away from pets and young children. 

dog and artificial christmas tree


If the berries or spiked-edge leaves from a holly plant are ingested, they may result in irritation of the mouth, drooling, gastrointestinal upset (such as vomiting), and diarrhoea. They may also cause excessive head-shaking if consumed in large quantities. 

holly plant


Mistletoe berries, although vary greatly in type, contain chemicals including polysaccharides, alkaloids, and lectins which are harmful to both dogs and cats. When ingested in small quantities they may cause gastrointestinal irritation such as vomiting and abdominal pain. Consumed in large quantities, they may cause abnormal heart rate, low blood pressure and incoordination.

Poinsettia plants 

These gorgeous Christmas plants are widely known for their bright red and green festive foliage, but the milky white sap from the coloured leaves contains a dangerous chemical. This could cause not only nausea, vomiting, drooling and diarrhoea, but also irritation in the skin, mouth and oesophagus of your pet.

poinsettia plants poisonous to pets

Christmas trees 

If the pine needles from Christmas trees are chewed, the oils released can cause irritations in the mouth as well as stomach upset.

Due to the prickly nature of these needles, it could also be hazardous to the mouth, throat and stomach if ingested.

If you are a household with pets, it may be a safer choice to go with an artificial Christmas tree.

Christmas tree pine tree needles


Ivy can cause severe skin irritation if your pets come into direct contact with this plant.

And if ingested, ivy can also cause stomach upsets.

ivy leaves


The whole of the amaryllis plant contains toxic substances, but even higher quantities are contained in the bulb, so be careful of pets who like to dig.

If consumed, your pet may experience severe gastrointestinal upsets such as vomiting and abdominal pain, loss of appetite, lethargy and tremors.

amaryllis flower


This plant is dangerous for both cats and dogs. If any part of a lily is ingested even in small quantities this can cause severe gastrointestinal damage, which may lead to serious problems including kidney failure for cats.

white lily


Laurel plants including bay laurels which are often used in cooking, and cherry laurel, all contain toxins. These are located in all parts of the shrub and can cause vomiting, abdominal pain, and hypotension.

In extreme cases it can also cause muscle weakness and even seizures.

laurel leaves for cooking


These small white flowers look beautiful but they contain toxins in their stems and leaves, with the highest concentration in the bulb.

When ingested, they can cause abdominal pain, vomiting, incoordination as well as a drop in heart rate and blood pressure.

snowdrops flowers


All parts of this plant, including the leaves and berries are highly poisonous as they contain taxines.

When ingested they can cause vomiting, weakness, breathing difficulties and in critical cases, life threatening change in heart rate and blood pressure.

yew tree christmas plant

Below, we will answer few more questions you might have about plants that are poisonous for dogs and cats

cat Christmas tree

Are hydrangeas poisonous to dogs?

Yes – if your dog eats any part of a hydrangea plant, you should call your vet. The leaves, buds and flowers all contain toxins that can make them sick.

pink hydrangeas

Are salvias poisonous to dogs?

This is one of the plants that’s actually regarded as non toxic. However, it’s still better if your dog doesn’t eat the leaves

salvias plants

Are Hebe plants poisonous to dogs?

There are different types of Hebe plant, and the one called “Paula” is one of the most toxic.

Cats and dogs can have sensitive stomachs, and they can easily get sick from eating plants that contain toxins. So it’s always best to stay on the safe side.

You can check this guide from the Dog’s Trust for information on even more plants and whether they are toxic or safe for dogs and pets.

We hope this quick guide has given you the tools to protect your pets and keep them safe this Christmas season, and keep these plants away from where they can reach.

You need to make sure you are responsible and informed with the plants you plant around your home, especially if you have pets. At Christmas time, we often introduce new plants to the house as a form of decoration but it’s best to check before introducing something new – and artificial plants can be a great solution which will last year after year, as well as avoiding these potential dangers.

In conclusion, to keep your pet safe and healthy this winter, take note of these few plants you should avoid putting near your pet. Be careful, it could save your cat or dog’s life!


If you found this list of toxic plants for pets useful please go ahead and share with your family and friends who are dog owners and cat owners, to help keep all the beloved pets safe this Christmas

Or pin to your Pinterest Boards so that you can come back to the list any time.

10 winter plants that are toxic to dogs and cats, avoid these plants around pets this christmas season

Thanks so much!

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