Is Holly Poisonous to Dogs?

by Cindy Quarters
    Both holly's leaves and berries are toxic to pets.

    Both holly's leaves and berries are toxic to pets.

    Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

    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.

    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.

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    About the Author

    Cindy Quarters has been writing professionally since 1984. She writes travel, pet, gardening and technical articles, with work published in "Radiance Magazine" and the "AKC Gazette," as well as online. Quarters earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Washington State University and a master's degree in management information systems from West Coast University.

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