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Can Pine Tree Needles Make Dogs Sick?

By Cuteness Team
December 19, 2017 • 2 min. read
dog pine tree

Key Takeaways

  • Pine needles from Christmas trees can cause gastrointestinal problems in dogs.
  • Throat issues and vomiting can result from a dog eating pine needles, and the needles can get trapped in a dog’s paws.
  • Christmas tree water can also be harmful if drunk by a dog.

The holidays are a time of merriment and relaxation for many, but it’s also a time of year when you should exercise plenty of care and caution when it comes to your pup. The hectic pace and constant celebration can sometimes interfere with household pet safety. In particular, the needles of Christmas trees, while festive, can be hazardous to pets — and can indeed make your furry guys ill.

Digestive Tract Issues

Dogs are very curious and exploratory, and as a result often love putting their mouths on new things. Because of this, it’s important to always make sure that your pup never chews on your Christmas tree, and never gets the opportunity to put tree needles that might have dropped to the floor in his mouth. If your pet ingests these needles, they could bring upon a couple of serious gastrointestinal problems. The tree needles are capable of triggering digestive blocks and puncturing the intestines. Fake Christmas tree needles are just as perilous, so be careful.

Throat Issues

Just as needles from Christmas trees can lead to intestinal blockage, they can also do the same to the throat. Due to the small pointy nature of Christmas tree needles, your pet consuming them can sometimes cause throat obstruction. This is definitely not something you want on Christmas or any other day of the year, for that matter. If this happens to your dog’s throat, you might notice him experiencing problems swallowing.

Vomiting As A Symptom

For any of the reasons above, but also because needles are not easily broken down, your poor pet might throw up a lot after taking any of them in. If you observe vomiting or any other sign that your dog ingested any Christmas tree needles, fake or real, seek emergency veterinary care for the pup. Note, too, that Christmas tree needles are also problematic for felines.

Christmas Tree Needles and Paws

Christmas tree needles aren’t only hazards for dogs’ mouths, but also for their paws. Needles can get trapped in or on your pet’s paws, a seriously uncomfortable and painful situation for him. Be sure to sweep near the tree regularly to help avoid such issues.

Not Just the Needles

In addition to the needles causing harm for your pet, other parts of the Christmas tree can also cause issues. Avoid allowing your pet to lap up the water that is situated at the bottom of the tree. This water, which is sometimes full of bacteria, can lead to possible throwing up, diarrhea, oral sores and decreased appetites in dogs. Also, the water is possibly toxic with all of the chemicals that could be part of it. Make sure that your tree water always has a sturdy top. If your pet drinks Christmas tree water, contact your veterinarian immediately.

The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical diagnosis, condition, or treatment options.

This article is provided by Cuteness—the go-to destination for passionate pet parents. Cuteness has answers to all of your health, training, and behavior questions – as well as the cutest, funniest, and most inspiring pet stories from all over the world.

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By Cuteness Team

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