Holly is toxic for dogs

Ilex aquifolium toxic

The holly is an evergreen shrub or tree that has very prickly, thick leaves.

The flowers are inconspicuous, but the red fruits are very decorative, especially in winter.

Especially the leaves but also the berries of the holly are poisonous for dogs.

Holly is also known as:
  • common holly
  • English holly
  • European holly
  • Christmas holly
Holly with red fruits in autumn/winter

What should I do if my dog ate Holly?

How toxic is Holly?

Toxicity:toxic (toxic)
Toxic parts:Especially the leaves but also the berries are toxic.
Toxic time:winter, spring, summer, autumn
If your dog shows symptoms of poisoning, it is always an emergency! Time is critical for your dog's life. You should immediately call your vet or the animal emergency services and make sure that a vet is on site and then go there immediately. For the treatment, it helps the vet a lot to know what your dog has ingested.

Occurrence Holly

Plant species:Shrub
Occurrence:Gardens, Parks, Forests
Flowering time:spring, summer
Fruit ripening:-


The following symptoms may occur in case of poisoning with holly:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • stomach pain
  • diarrhoea

In the case of severe poisoning, the following symptoms may occur:

  • shortness of breath
  • reddening of the mucous membranes
  • palpitations
  • muscle cramps
  • coma


The vet will always try to remove the ingested poison from the body and alleviate the specific symptoms of poisoning.

There are different methods to remove the poison from the body:

1. ACTIVATED CHARCOAL: Activated charcoal can absorb toxins. If possible, it should be administered within 2 hours after ingestion of the poison, so that the toxin does not enter the bloodstream.
2. LAXATIVES: The vet may combine the administration of activated charcoal with a laxative.
3. VOMITING: The vet can also induce vomiting using medication to remove the toxin from the body. 

To relieve the symptoms, the vet can give infusions and other medication.

More information on dog poisonings can be found here: 

Preventing, identifying and treating poisoning in dogs

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