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D2006-49

Dear Daisy Dog

What’s the truth about poinsettias, mistletoe and other Christmas plants? I have heard conflicting stories about their toxicity. We have a new puppy, and I don’t want to take any chances.

Daisy Responds

If your puppy eats these plants, he probably will get sick, but he’s unlikely to die.

When ingested, poinsettias, mistletoe, holly and Christmas cactus can cause loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy.

Sometimes mistletoe causes more serious problems, because as a parasitic vine, it may acquire the toxicity of the plant on which it grew.

However, most problems with Christmas plants are mild and resolve on their own.

If you have a live Christmas tree, cover the stand to prevent your puppy from drinking the tree water. Bacterial contamination and preservatives in the water can make him sick.

To protect your puppy from these potential dangers, confine him to a crate or other safe place when you can’t supervise him.

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