Spring is here, and flower gardens are starting to burst into bloom. But even though these blossoms are a beautiful sight, they also harbor hidden dangers. Many types of spring flowers are poisonous to pets, and some can even be deadly. For instance, Easter lilies can cause kidney failure in cats. So before you head to your local nursery to buy some bulbs, or to the florist to bring home an Easter bouquet, check this list to make sure you’re not putting your pet at risk.

What Types of Flowers Are Toxic to Pets?

You might be surprised to discover that some of the most popular spring flowers are also the most toxic. Easter and Mother’s Day are often dangerous times for our furry friends, because most people are unaware that flowers like Easter lilies are poisonous to pets. If you have a cat or a dog, you need to be very careful about the flowers that you bring into your home or encounter in your neighborhood.

Some spring flowers that are poisonous to cats and dogs include:

  • Daffodils
  • Lilies
  • Tulips 
  • Irises
  • Azaleas
  • Peonies
  • Hyacinth
  • Foxglove
  • Oleander
  • Ranunculus
  • Bird of Paradise

Daffodils and lilies are the most dangerous, especially for cats. All parts of these flowers are toxic, including the petals, pollen, leaves, bulbs, and roots. Eating even a small amount of these extremely poisonous plants could cause kidney failure and death in cats. 

Dogs do not usually react as severely, and eating a daffodil or lily is rarely fatal to dogs. However, ingesting these flowers can cause vomiting and diarrhea, arrhythmic heart rates, respiratory problems, and even seizures.

What to Do If Your Pet Ate a Poisonous Flower

If you see your pet eat a poisonous flower or notice a bite out of one of these flowers in your garden or a bouquet, contact your vet right away. Emergency intervention may be necessary to save your pet’s life. It’s a good idea to program the numbers for a local emergency vet and the pet poison helpline into your phone, just in case.

If you are not sure whether the plant they ate is dangerous, contact your vet for advice and keep a close eye on your pet for symptoms of poisoning. Vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, wheezing, rapid heartbeat, nosebleeds, excessive thirst, loss of appetite, and decreased urination are all signs of poisoning in pets.

Pet-Friendly Flowers for Spring

Not all flowers are dangerous! If you want to send a bouquet to your cat-loving mom, or plant a pet-friendly flower garden, there are still many beautiful flowers to choose from. The following flowers are usually safe for pets:

  • Roses 
  • Orchids
  • Sunflowers
  • Snapdragons
  • Zinnias
  • Petunias
  • Pansies
  • African Violets

Taking the precaution to choose pet-friendly flowers could save your pet’s life. March is Pet Poison Prevention month, so it’s important to be aware that pets respond differently to certain substances that humans do. Remember to keep things like chocolate, toothpaste, medications, antifreeze, and cleaning supplies out of your pet’s reach. And always double-check to make sure that the flowers you choose for your home and garden are safe.

Emergency Veterinary Care in Gilbert

Anasazi Animal Clinic is a full-service veterinary hospital in Gilbert, Arizona. We are open six days a week and we’re equipped to handle any urgent care your pet needs. If you’re worried about something your pet ate, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’ll let you know if you should bring your pet in to see us, and if they need treatment we’ll help them make a full recovery. 


Photo by Serafima Lazarenko on Unsplash used with permission under the Creative Commons license for commercial use 3/22/2024.