Poinsettia plants are beautiful plants that have become a traditional part of Christmas and the winter holiday season. They’re used at home, for religious services, and in stores during the holidays. But what happens if you have a poinsettia at home and your dog eats some of the plant?
Has your dog eaten some poinsettia? Are you worried the poinsettia will make your dog sick? If so, you’ve come to the right place. We understand it can be scary when your dog eats something like this.
We’ve put together some information about poinsettias and whether they are poisonous to dogs. Let’s get started!
What are Poinsettias?
Poinsettias are those beautiful red and green plants that you see everywhere during the holiday season. The holiday plants are originally from Mexico and Central America, where they grow wild.
What many people don’t realize about the plants is that poinsettias are not flowers in the true sense. The plants look like they have very red, showy flowers. However, the red “flowers” are leaves.
The poinsettia was first used for Christmas in Mexico in the 1600s. Eventually, the plants were also used in Europe, in the US, and around the world. They quickly became a staple for Christmas as the red leaves were said to be star-shaped and symbolize the Star of Bethlehem.
Many pet parents have poinsettias in their homes over the holidays. But are these plants poisonous to dogs?
Poinsettias & Dogs
The good news is that poinsettias are mildly poisonous to dogs. A dog would have a huge amount of the plant to die from it. The plants produce a white sap which is the problem. The sap contains chemicals that are similar to those found in detergents. The sap can cause skin and digestive tract irritation in dogs
Symptoms of Poinsettia Ingestion in Dogs
You may notice these symptoms if your dog has eaten some poinsettia:
- Excessive drooling
- Skin irritation
- Redness & swelling (usually the mouth)
How to Help Your Dog
In most cases, your dog should be OK. Any vomiting and diarrhea should pass within a few hours. However, if it lasts longer, then it’s time to call the vet. The concern is that repeated bouts of vomiting and diarrhea can cause dehydration in dogs.
If your puppy or small dog has eaten some poinsettia, their symptoms may be more serious. That’s because they may have eaten a large portion of the plant compared to their body weight. In this case, it’s best to call the vet right away.
Poinsettias are not lethal in most cases; however, if your dog shows concerning signs, it’s best to call the vet right away.