Serbian spruce (Picea omorika) is non-toxic to dogs and is safe to keep in homes with pets as long as precautions are taken.
What is Serbian spruce?
|Family||Pinaceae – Pine|
|Botanical name||Picea omorika|
|Common names||Serbian spruce, Bosnian spruce, Omorica|
|Mature height||50 – 60 feet (15-18 metres)|
|Native to||Southeastern Europe|
A close relative of the Norway spruce, the Serbian spruce is a medium-sized evergreen with dark green leaves on the top and silver blue on the underside. Serbian spruce grows in a narrow pyramidal shape, with branches that curve upwards and leaves are approximately 1.25 – 2.5 cm (1/2 – 1 inch) long, and rounded at the tip.
As a narrower tree, the Serbian spruce can fit into smaller corners than the Norway spruce. The leaves impart a citrus smell when crushed.
Related: Caring for a Christmas tree
While Serbian spruce is non-toxic to dogs, care must be taken to keep pets safe.
- Always secure the tree to a wall with fishing wire to prevent it from being toppled over.
- Unplug Christmas tree lights when they are not in use, or there is nobody there to supervise.
- Do not place edible decorations on the Christmas tree.
- Take care with tree preservers, aspirin or fertilisers in the tree water bowl, due to their toxicity and do not let pets drink out of the water reservoir.
- Place breakable objects higher up on the tree and non-breakable ones lower down.
- Avoid angel hair tinsel which can be injested and cause a linear foreign body obstruction.
- Clean up dropped needles regularly.
- Do not use fake snow on the tree.
Toxicity of common Christmas trees
|Norway spruce||Picea abies||Non-toxic|
|Blue spruce||Picea pungens||Non-toxic|
|Serbian spruce||Picea omorika||Non-toxic|
|White spruce||Picea glauca||Non-toxic|
|Nordmann fir||Abies nordmanniana||Non-toxic|
|Fraser fir||Abies fraseri||Non-toxic|
|Douglas fir||Pseudotsuga menziesii||Non-toxic|
|Noble fir||Abies procera||Non-toxic|
|Balsam fir||Abies balsamea||Non-toxic|
|Grand fir||Abies grandis||Non-toxic|
|Scotch pine||Pinus sylvestris||No information available|
|White pine||Pinus strobus||No information available|
|Virginian pine||Pinus virginiana||Toxic|
|Norfolk Island pine, house pine||Araucaria heterophylla||Non-toxic|