Norfolk Pine Toxicity to Dogs

by Deborah Lundin
    A common Christmas tree, the Norfolk pine poses a toxic risk to your dog.

    A common Christmas tree, the Norfolk pine poses a toxic risk to your dog.

    Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

    The Norfolk Island pine, or Araucaria heterophylla, is a common tree found in landscaping, but also used during the holidays as a Christmas tree. While the exact toxic agent is unknown, this tree is toxic to dogs. The holiday season raises the risk of potential toxicity given the plant is inside with your dog. Hanging decorations may attract your dog and increase the potential of toxic ingestion.

    Symptoms of Norfolk Pine Toxicity

    Ingestion of Norfolk pine needles can cause gastrointestinal symptoms, such as vomiting and diarrhea, as well as general lethargy and depression. In addition to the toxicity from the tree itself, trees used inside for the holidays pose another danger. In order to keep the tree fresh through the holidays, trees are placed inside a water bowl. Bacteria and molds grow inside the water, as well as fertilizers coming from the tree. A few laps of water by your dog can cause extreme sickness.

    Photo Credits

    • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Deborah Lundin has worked as a professional writer since 2005, though writing has always been a passion. She brings a background in health and fitness, veterinary care, professional cooking and parenting. She studied medical laboratory science and sociology at Northern Illinois University. Sites published on include Yahoo, Physorg and MedicalXPress.

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