Poinsettias are a common Christmas decoration, but as a Pet Parent, I’ve never had one in my home for fear that my 4-Legged Kids would eat it. Well, I was surprised over the weekend to learn that poinsettias are actually NOT poisonous to pets! I was on a tour at Fahr Greenhouses and Pat Fahr shared some more information about poinsettias.
Poinsettias originally came from arrid areas in Mexico. The myth of a poinsettia being toxic began in 1919 when a 2-year-old child allegedly died from consuming a poinsettia leaf. The rumor was false, but the urban legend took off, and to this day, continues to thrive. Researchers at Ohio State University have measured the effects of ingesting unusually high doses of all parts of the plant (including the leaves, stems and sap) and found the plant to be non-toxic.
What does this mean for your pet? It means that your Christmas poinsettia will not harm your 4-Legged Kid. The plant produces a milky white sap, containing chemicals that have a very high salt content. If your pet consumes the sap, he might show signs of gastrointesntinal upset, including vomiting, drooling or diarrhea. Some pets might experience skin irritation if the sap touches their skin. Generally these symptoms are mild, but if they persist, a call to the veterinarian is in order.
So, if your cat decides that your poinsettia would a tasty treat, don’t panic. Watch your pet closely, but relax and know that this beautiful, non-toxic plant is not going to cause any harm.
If you are looking for poinsettias for your home, we recommend Fahr Greenhouses www.fahrgreenhouse.com If you are on Facebook, you can “Like” their Facebook page to get a coupon for poinsettias.