Petals to avoid if you have pets

We love our furry friends even more than we love our blooms, so we know how curious they can be around just about any new thing we might bring home. Seemingly every new shoe, bag or ball gets sniffed, licked and even chewed on!

My cat especially loves playing with (read: destroying) flowers. We put them on a high shelf out of reach, but somehow she will always find a way to get to them.

Unfortunately, a lot of our favourite blooms are actually toxic to cats and dogsIt's very important for pet owners to identify which plants or flowers are poisonous to cats and dogs, what their effects are and the symptoms to watch out for if they're ingested. Signs of poisoning can vary greatly, ranging from rashes and vomiting all the way to convulsions and even death.

As pet owners, our furry friends’ safety is our top priority. That's why we’ve gathered a list of some of the most poisonous flowers and plants for dogs and cats so that you can be sure you're choosing the safest options for your fur babies. 

Flowers that are toxic to cats & dogs

Let's begin with a list of a few common flowers, which you might find in bouquets but also in gardens, that are known to be toxic to our furry friends.

Lilies

Pink lilies in a white ceramic vase

Lilies are well known to be highly toxic to cats. This includes the petals, stem, leaves and even the water in the vase. Because of this, we highly discourage keeping lilies in your house when you have a cat.

Signs of lily poisoning may include depression, lethargy and vomiting. If untreated, acute kidney or renal failure may occur. 

While lilies aren’t as dangerous for dogs as they are for cats, certain varieties are still highly toxic to dogs and can cause severe gastrointestinal upset and tremors if a large amount is ingested

Tulips

purple tulips in a field

Tulips are members of the lily family, and are just as toxic to our fur babies. They contain Tulipalin A, a natural compound that's found all throughout the flower, but in especially high concentrations in the bulbs.

Ingestion can cause gastrointestinal discomfort, vomiting, depression, diarrhoea, and hypersalivation in cats, dogs and also horses.

For those who don't have pets, tulips are one of the most popular flower choices. You can learn more about tulips in our blog post.

Chrysanthemums

purple and white chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums are generally considered toxic to dogs and cats. They contain a number of potential irritants, including lactones and pyrethins. Symptoms of ingestion include gastrointestinal discomfort, dermatitis, vomiting, diarrhoea, drooling and lack of coordination.

Amaryllis

white amaryllis flowers on a blue background

While they closely resemble lilies, amaryllis are not actually part of the lily family. However, they are similarly toxic to our pets. If consumed, this beautiful bulb can cause abdominal pain, tremors, diarrhoea, and hypersalivation for both cats and dogs.

Daffodils

yellow daffodils in a glass vase

These showy yellow blooms, known scientifically as "Narcissus", are poisonous to cats, dogs and horses.

The whole plant is toxic, the bulb especially so. Lycorine, an alkaloid present in daffodils, can trigger vomiting, while crystals in the outer layer of the bulbs are severely toxic and can cause serious conditions such as cardiac arrhythmia, low blood pressure, seizures and laboured breathing.

Poppies

multicoloured poppies

One of our favourite winter blooms, poppies are beautiful and full of character, but they are also toxic to cats and dogs. They contain alkaloids and opioids, the kinds and quantities differing between each species.

Some particularly potent varieties can affect your cat or dog's central nervous system. Symptoms including dilated or pinpoint pupils, euphoria, drowsiness, dizziness, loss of appetite and even coma.

Hyacinths

bright purple hyacinth lying on a whitewashed rattan basket

These pretty springtime blooms can be toxic to cats, even from simply inhaling them. Ingesting a hyacinth bulb can result in drooling, vomiting, or diarrhoea.

Consuming a large amount can cause more severe symptoms, such as an increase in heart rate, violent tremors, changes in respiration, and breathing difficulties.

Peonies

coral peonies

These popular springtime flowers contain paeonol, a toxin known to be harmful to cats and dogs. If ingested, peonies can cause mild to moderate poisoning. Some common signs to watch for would be gastrointestinal upset, vomiting, and diarrhoea.

Dahlias

pink dahlia

These showy blooms, popular from Christmas to late autumn, make stunning additions to our gardens as well as to our bouquets. But they are also, unfortunately, toxic to cats. 

While not nearly as toxic as some of the other blooms on this list, dahlias can cause mild gastrointestinal upset and skin irritation in both cats and dogs. Be on the look out for non-stop scratching, fur loss and runny bowel movements.

Wisteria

purple wisteria

These enchanting blooms hang down from their branches in curtains, looking like something out of a fairy tale. Pretty though they may be, they are also somewhat poisonous.

Wisteria poisoning symptoms may vary depending on the amount and part consumed. The seed pods in wisteria plants contain high levels of lectin and wisterin toxins that can cause serious gastrointestinal symptoms, which may be fatal.

Azaleas & Rhododendron

dark red pink azaleas

Grayanotoxin located in the leaves, petals and even pollen of azaleas can cause digestive problems, excessive drooling, weakness, and loss of appetite when ingested. Depending on how much of the plant your pet has eaten, tremors or seizures, as well as coma, may also occur.

House plants that are toxic to cats & dogs

Unfortunately, it's not only flowers that are toxic to our pets. A variety of common plants, succulents and trees are also poisonous to cats and dogs. 

Aloe Vera

aloe vera plant in a pot

While aloe vera may offer many health benefits to humans, the latex it produces can cause problems for your dog or cat. This latex contains anthraquinone glycosides, which encourage bowel movements. Ingestion can cause vomiting and diarrhoea, which may in turn lead to dehydration.

Eucalyptus

eucalyptus leaves in white ceramic pot

While our own koalas may enjoy eating eucalyptus leaves, they are toxic to dogs, cats and horses. Eucalyptol, the chemical present in the leaves and bark of eucalyptus trees, is a neurotoxin and gastrointestinal irritant.

Symptoms of ingestion may include vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, difficulty swallowing, dilated or pinpoint eyes, general weakness and excessive salivation, as well as seizures if consumed in large quantities.

In addition to keeping your fur babies away from eucalyptus bark and leaves, make sure you keep them away from any products containing eucalyptus oil, too. This may include aromatherapy oils, cleaning products and beauty products.

Philodendrons

fiddle leaf plant

A number of popular house plant varieties belong to this genus of plants, including fiddle leaf figs and monstera. Thankfully, they are only mildly toxic to dogs and cats.

The sap contains calcium oxalate crystals, which can irritate the mouth, throat and stomach if ingested, and even the skin if touched.

Other plants that contain oxalate crystals include ZZ gems, calla lilies and pothos. Like philodendrons, they belong to the araceae plant family. 

Other common plants that are harmful to cats & dogs

bird of paradise plant

Here are a few other plants and flowers to be wary of if you have a cat or dog, or are sending flowers to someone who does:
  • Ammi
  • Clematis
  • Monkshood
  • Iris
  • Asparagus Fern
  • Tanacetum
  • Yew
  • Autumn Crocus
  • Lantana
  • Anthurium
  • Caladium
  • Bird of Paradise
  • Delphinium
  • Boxwood 
  • Hydrangea 
  • Morning Glory
  • Gladiola

This is only a partial list of plants that are toxic to cats and dogs. For a more detailed list of flowers, plants and substances which are toxic to pets, visit the Pet Poison Helpline, Top Dog Blog or speak to your vet.

What to do if your dog or cat has ingested a toxic plant 

If you suspect your pet has ingested any potentially harmful flowers or plants, we advise contacting your vet immediately to ask for their professional advice.

The veterinarian will need all the details you can give about when your pet ate the plants, how much was consumed and the symptoms you have observed. It would also help if you bring along the flowers that may have caused the problem.

Protecting your pets from toxic plants

Dogs and cats are such curious creatures. We recommend keeping your flowers out of their reach and being especially careful around the flowers and plants listed above.

Tulips, lilies, chrysanthemums and other beautiful flowers can still be enjoyed in a pet-friendly household, just as long as you know the risks and keep them out of reach of your pets.  

Pet-safe flowers & plants

While it may seem like a large number of plants and flowers are toxic to dogs and cats, there are still plenty of safe options that pet mums and dads can enjoy.

Here are some pet-safe flowers and plants you can send to your family and friends with cats and dogs, or enjoy in your own home with peace of mind.

Roses

red roses in a glass vase atop a round rattan tray

Thankfully, this most romantic of blooms is considered pet-safe. These elegant flowers are available basically all year round, so are always a safe option to send to your pet parent friends and family. 

While red roses are often given as a gesture of love and affection, different rose colours can have different meanings. Pink roses are given as a gesture of friendship, yellow for happiness, and white for sympathy. To learn more about the symbolism and colour meanings of roses, check out our blog

Just remember to watch out for thorns!

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Sunflowers

yellow sunflowers in a field with a bee on one of them

Just when we thought we couldn't adore sunflowers any more than we already do. These iconic yellow blooms will instantly brighten anyone's day, and thankfully they are a safe choice for cat and dog owners. 

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Alstroemeria

pink alstroemeria

These are also known as Peruvian lilies, so it may come as a surprise to learn that they are non-toxic to dogs, cats and horses! Available in a variety of lovely colours, you'll find alstroemeria as a filler flower in several of our bouquets.

Phalaenopsis Orchids

white Phalaenopsis orchid

Otherwise known as moth orchids, these elegant blooms look wonderful in a little pot, are long-lasting and make a really great present. Another great thing about them is that they are considered non-toxic to cats and dogs. Win! 

Snapdragons

colourful snapdragons in a vase

These cool-sounding blooms are safe for cats and dogs. Their natural growing season is winter to spring, and they come in a variety of stunning colours.

Spider plants

spider plant in blue and white chinoise ceramic pot

These are non-toxic to both cats and dogs, so no worries if they accidentally nibble on them! These plants also grow really well in hanging baskets, so you can easily keep them up high and safely out of reach of any curious kitties. 

However, it is worth noting that some suspect spider plants of causing a mild hallucinogenic effect in felines, similar to that of catnip. While this is not thought to be harmful, it may result in some different behaviour from your cat.

Other pet-safe flowers & plants

  • African Violets
  • Gerbera Daisy
  • Areca Plant
  • Swedish Ivy
  • Prayer Plant
  • Blue-Eyed Daisy
  • Creeping Zinnia
  • Marigolds
  • Blazing Star

Which Floraly bouquets are safe for pets?

A word of caution: none of our Floraly bouquets are designed to be eaten—by humans or pets. Even if the flowers are technically safe to eat (such as kale flowers, roses and even sunflowers), they may contain pesticides or fungicides, which can be harmful if ingested.

To be absolutely safe, we recommend displaying your flowers out of reach of pets. Should your pet ingest any flowers—even if you only suspect they may have eaten some—we advise you to contact your vet immediately to ask for their professional advice.

When buying or gifting bouquets for someone else, it is important to be extra careful about flower selection and to know which ones can be harmful. Consider purchasing one of the flower varieties listed above that are pet-safe, or reminding your recipient to keep them in a safe spot where their pet can't get to them. 

Now that you're armed with this important information about which flowers and plants are safe for pets, and which ones are not, you can explore our range of bouquets and posies with peace of mind.

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