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Frequently (and not so frequently) Asked Questions

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BRIEF: Are poinsettias poisonous to dogs?


QUESTION:
I'd like to know if poinsettias are poisonous to dogs. Many sources that we found said yes (including the Cornell site, though not to dogs); the Floral industry contends that an Ohio State Study proved that they were not and that poinsettias continue to get a horrible rap due to popular misconception.

ANSWER:

The short answer is yes, but not very. There are some irritating compounds in the sap that cause sores in some animals, but not in others, and a dog eating enough of it might not feel too good and show signs such as diarrhea, vomiting, etc., at the worst and maybe nothing at all. I guess it all turns on what you call poisonous. Does a tiny amount make a dog drop dead? No. Is it dog food? No. What happens when a dog eats it? That varies from nothing to mild sores in the mouth, to GI disturbances. (Don't you hate academics' answers to these questions?)