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"Poisonous" does not mean deadly. Some manifestations of toxicity are subtle. The dose, as always, determines if a plant is safe source of nutrients or a toxic hazard.

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BRIEF: Are poinsettias poisonous to dogs?

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.


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?)