Are poinsettias poisonous to dogs? How toxic are poinsettias to your pet

When it comes to decking the halls, it can include more than just boughs of holly. The holiday season brings the opportunity to decorate in many different ways, including with floral arrangements.

But bouquets of poinsettias have the potential of being a holiday hazard for your pup or kitty. So, here is what you need to know about poinsettias and if they are poisonous to dogs or cats, plus other holiday and Christmas plants to watch out for.

Poinsettias are mildly toxic to dogs. However, the dangers of these plants rarely lead to fatal or serious outcomes.
Poinsettias are mildly toxic to dogs. However, the dangers of these plants rarely lead to fatal or serious outcomes.

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Are poinsettias poisonous to dogs?

The short answer is yes, poinsettias are mildly toxic to dogs. However, the dangers of these plants rarely lead to fatal or serious outcomes, says the American Kennel Club.

The sap in poinsettias contains chemicals similar to those in detergents. If ingested in large amounts, the sap can lead to vomiting, drooling or, in some cases, diarrhea. Additionally, the sap can lead to skin irritation if touched.

However, poinsettias have a low toxicity level.

So, if you plan on using them around the house for your holiday decorating, just be cautious. Be sure to keep the plant out of your pet's reach, and do no leave your dog alone if poinsettias are present.

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What happens if a dog eats a poinsettia?

If your dog eats any part of a poinsettia, it may cause vomiting, drooling or, in some cases, diarrhea. Generally, consuming poinsettias will lead to irritation in the mouth and stomach, says the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Contact your veterinarian if your dog is exhibiting signs of ingesting a poinsettia.

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Are poinsettias poisonous to cats?

Just like dogs, poinsettias are mildly toxic to cats, according to the ASPCA. The same symptoms occur if a cat ingests or comes in contact with poinsettia sap.

Keep poinsettias out of reach of your cat to ensure it does not eat the plant and to avoid it getting sick.

Common holiday and Christmas plants dangerous to dogs

Here are some common holiday and Christmas plants that are dangerous to dogs, according to the AKC:

  • Peace lily

  • Calla lily

  • Amaryllis

  • Lily of the Valley

  • Autumn Crocus

  • Giant Dracaena

  • Palm Lily

  • Holly (the berry and leaf)

  • Mistletoe

Peace lilies are among several common holiday and Christmas plants that are dangerous to dogs, according to the American Kennel Club.
Peace lilies are among several common holiday and Christmas plants that are dangerous to dogs, according to the American Kennel Club.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Are poinsettias poisonous to dogs and cats? Symptoms and what to do.