This time of year, people commonly believe that if you have a pet – particularly cats or dogs – you can’t bring poinsettias into your home.
However, this myth is just that – a myth. The white sap can be mildly irritating, but no, the poinsettia is not poisonous (to humans and pets). Research done at the Ohio State University disproved that myth.
Several of our colleagues were still unsure, so we double-checked with our veterinarian. Here’s her response:
“The poinsettia sap is an irritant that can cause irritation of mouth and gastrointestinal signs, but it isn’t life-threatening. The highly toxic reputation of poinsettias is thought to have come about due to a misidentification of a plant that was attributed to a lethal toxicosis.”
Hope this helps to clarify. We certainly don’t recommend feeding poinsettias to your pet, but they aren’t as dangerous as commonly thought.