Are Poinsettias Really Deadly for Dogs?
Growing up me and my family always had a dog running around the house. This year will be my first year with a dog of my own during the holiday season.
I'm pretty excited to introduce my dog to Santa Paws and spoil him with treats and presents. But the first thing I thought of this holiday season was how I would avoid Poinsettias at all costs. I know I'm not the only one who remembers being told that poinsettias are extremely poisonous to dogs (and humans!) and could possibly kill them.
So to prepare myself for this holiday season, I decided to look up all the dangerous festive plants to avoid.
Poisonous Holiday Plants
Purina.Com has a running list of holiday plants that could be poisonous for your pet. Of course, #1 on the list is Poinsettias. Here's how Purina breaks down the dangers of the pretty holiday plant for pets:
Even though they look harmless, poinsettias contain a milky white sap within their leaves that is mildly toxic for dogs. This sap can cause a range of unpleasant symptoms. If a dog ingests poinsettias, symptoms can include irritation to a dog’s mouth or esophagus, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Read it again. Did you catch it? Nowhere in their statement did they mention poinsettias causing death among dogs. However, they might experience "unpleasant symptoms." Which, for me personally, is enough to keep the plants away from my pup.
Poinsettias Deadly? Fact Check!
Where in the world did we get the idea that poinsettias were deadly to not only dogs, but humans too? The National Capital Poison Center explains that it stems from a story from over 100 years ago. They write:
Over a hundred years ago, a child was found next to a wild poinsettia plant. He died and people blamed the plant. This hasn't happened since. Researchers even tried to find out what the poisonous dose of poinsettia might be and they just couldn't, even after reaching experimental doses of about 1.25 pounds (500-600 leaves). The plant does not have dangerous effects when eaten.
The Poison Center says the bottom line, poinsettia plants are not deadly. Adding "Poinsettia can be irritating but it is not fatal if eaten. If children and pets eat it, they can develop a mouth rash and stomach upset. The sap can cause a skin rash, too."
Avoid the stomach issues and make sure your kids and pets don't take a bite out of poinsettia plans but ease your mind knowing there will not be a fatal outcome.