ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Are Poinsettias Toxic to Dogs and Cats ?

Updated on October 14, 2013

Celebrate December 12th Poinsettia day!

Some interesting facts about Poinsettias

Poinsettias: these beautiful star shaped red blooms effectively bring a whiff of Christmas spirit to homes along with adorned Christmas trees and stockings hanging off a fireplace. Yet, for years these marvelous plants have been removed from the tables and put far out of reach, safely away from small children and pets.

It may be a hard pill to swallow for all Poinsettia lovers to discover that Poinsettias are not the deadly plant as perceived for many years after all, causing nothing more than perhaps a mild stomach upset if a part of the plant is eaten. Eating a large amount of Poinsettias may luckily be very unlikely due to the plant's taste: very bitter and not very edible at all. So usually, a leaf or two will give the message to a curious toddler or rambunctious pet.

According to Poinsindex, "a 50 pound child would have to ingest 500-600 leaves to exceed experimental doses that found no toxicity." The white sticky sap however, may cause skin irritation in sensitive individuals. Pet owners can rely on findings from the ASPCA. According to ASPCA,"In reality, poinsettia ingestions typically produce only mild to moderate gastrointestinal tract irritation, which may include drooling, vomiting and/or diarrhea. Keeping this plant out of the reach of your pet to avoid stomach upset is still a good idea, but you need not banish the poinsettia from your home for fear of a fatal exposure altogether."

More about this can read here:

ASPCA, Deadly or Not? Busting the Poinsettia Myth

So all pet lovers and mothers of small children can now rejoice and no longer need to totally banish this plant from their home. They may still want to keep pets and small children away tough to prevent gastro-intestinal issues.

While the red Poinsettia is the most common, Poinsettias come also in a variety of colors. Pink, yellow, salmon, white and orange Poinsettias may be found in specialized garden centers. There are also some unusual specimens with mixed colors such as white and red, resembling Candy canes. More and more varieties are being produced each year.

The name Poinsettia originated from Joel Robert Poinsett, first American Ambassodor of Mexico which enjoyed the plant so much that he took a specimen from Mexico to his hometown in South Carolina where the plant thrived. The native Mexican flower was also known as Flores de Noche Buena- Flowers of the holy night. The name originated from a legend about a child looking for a humble gift for baby Jesus. She grabbed a few stems and upon approaching the altar, legend states the stems bloomed into beautiful star shaped flowers resembling the Holy Comet.

Most of us consider the red blooms to be flowers when they are actually pigmented leaves. The actual flowers are the pretty insignificant yellowish buds found in the center. So, what people pretty much are fond of, are the Poinsettia's leaves.

Poinsettias are not only very ornamental plants, but they can also prove to provide health benefits. They seem to contribute in improving air quality in homes, effectively removing harmful pollutants such as Formaldehyde, commonly found in plywood.

Poinsettias have become so popular that over 65 millions plants are sold in the US every year. They also dedicated a calendar day to this famous plant. December 12th is Poinsettia day! Now that the poisonous myth has been put aside, enjoy a colorful Poinsettia this Christmas holiday, it will bring lots of festivity, adorn your home and purify your house. Of course, use common sense and keep it away to avoid the gastro-intestinal problems discussed above. What else can you ask for!? Happy Poinsettia day!

Disclaimer: this article is not to be used as a substitute for veterinary advice. If your dog or cat ever gets sick as a result of ingesting something toxic or poisonous, please consult with your veterinarian or contact the ASPCA at (888) 426-4435

Poinsettias from a doc's perspective


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)