Poisonous plants for dogs at Christmas: Poinsettias

Posted by Argos, 14 December 2015, last updated 2 September 2022.

As a pet owner, you are probably already aware that there are several plants that are poisonous to dogs.

You should always be careful with your dog around plants – particularly if he or she is of a curious nature.

And if you have plants in your garden, it’s a good idea to find out what they are and if they can pose a risk to your dog.

At this time of year, the poinsettia plant is popular in homes as it is commonly used in Christmas floral displays – and, unfortunately, these can cause your dog to be unwell if eaten.

Poinsettias are plants that are poisonous to dogs

Are Poinsettias dangerous to dogs?

The simple answer is not very.

Poinsettias are known as The Christmas Star and it’s easy to see why, with bright petals and deep green leaves.

Their sap is made up of chemicals including diterpenoid euphorbol esters, which can cause dogs to be unwell if digested. Luckily, it is very rare for a dog to be very ill from eating Poinsettias.

The sap can also irritate a dog’s skin, though the problem is rarely severe.

Keeping your dogs away from real Poinsettias is a good idea at Christmas

Signs your dog has been poisoned

While the affects of Poinsettia poisoning are likely to be mild, it may cause your dog to vomit, drool more than usual or, very rarely, suffer from diarrhoea.

If the sap touches your dog’s skin, you might notice redness or swelling. Your dog may also scratch more than normal.

If it gets in your dog’s eyes, then some inflammation might occur that looks like a mild conjunctivitis.


A Poinsettia’s poison has very low levels of toxicity and treatment is rarely needed. Your dog should be able to work through the short illness in a few hours.

Give your dog plenty to drink and keep a close eye on him or her for the next couple of days – and keep them away from the plants!

If you are worried, or if the symptoms appear more severe than described above, don’t be afraid to ask your vet to take a look.

Argos Pet Insurance customers can also take advantage of our free VetFone service to help answer any questions you may have and put your mind at rest.

Other Christmas plants to be wary of

While Poinsettia plants pose only a mild threat to your pet, there are other seasonal plants that can be more serious.

Mistletoe and holly are particularly toxic and can cause serious problems for both dogs and cats, so keep them well out of the way if decorating your home this Christmas.

Keeping your dog away from poisonous plants is important, as is keeping it protected with Argos Pet Insurance provided by Pinnacle Insurance plc. Explore our dog insurance policies today.

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