Poinsettias are toxic, right?

Wrong.  For all of the little things that can cause you pet problems at Christmas (from chocolate to tinsel), you can cross poinsettia off of your danger list.

Long thought of as a plant toxic to pets when ingested, the beautiful poinsettia has been undeserving of all of the hype.  The legend of its toxicity seems to have stemmed (no pun intended) from a report from the early 20th century of a child that had allegedly died after consuming a poinsettia leaf.  The fear of poisoning from this “dangerous” plant exists to this present day.

Modern evidence does not support this fear.  Obviously, it would not be wise to allow your pet to ingest any houseplant.  In the case of the poinsettia, the most one would expect would be a mild gastrointestinal irritation.

So enjoy your Christmas and the festive poinsettia!

Dr. Bob

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