When you want to bring farm-fresh floral arrangements into your home, you need to make sure they’re safe for your pets. Many flowers and other types of plants can make your dog or cat very sick, and some could even kill them. So, which plants are toxic for pets?
While we can’t cover all of them, here are some of the most common.
Toxic Plants for Pets
Whether you have a new dog or cat or you’ve just never thought about which plants could harm them, knowing this could save you thousands of dollars in vet bills or even the loss of your pet. These are the most common toxic plants for pets.
Calla lilies are usually white, but they also come in a variety of showy colors. They grow up to 3 feet tall, and the flowers have a unique funnel-like shape. The leaves are arrowhead-shaped.
Toxic for both cats and dogs, eating a calla lily can cause excessive drooling; trouble swallowing; vomiting; and burning or irritation of the lips, mouth, or tongue.
While pink carnations are the most common, these frilly flowers can be any number of colors including white, red, and purple. They can grow up to 3 feet tall.
Carnations are toxic for dogs, cats, and horses. Symptoms include mild dermatitis and mild gastrointestinal symptoms.
Also called mums, chrysanthemums are available in lots of colors. They come in several shapes and sizes because there are many varieties, including pompon, daisy, button, and spider forms.
Toxic to cats, dogs, and horses, eating a chrysanthemum can cause diarrhea, vomiting, excessive salivation, dermatitis, and a loss of coordination.
Daffodils have trumpet-shaped flowers and can grow up to 16” tall. While they are most commonly yellow, they can be found in many colors including white, orange, and pink.
The bulbs are the most poisonous parts of daffodils. They’re toxic to dogs, cats, and horses and may cause vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, tremors, cardiac arrhythmias, convulsions, and low blood pressure.
The dahlia can grow to be 1 to 5 feet tall and has blooms ranging in size from 2” to the size of a dinner plate. They come in every color except blue.
Dahlias are toxic to cats, dogs, and horses and may cause mild dermatitis or gastrointestinal issues.
There are around 180 species of gladiolus, and they range from 1.5 to 6 feet tall. The funnel-shaped flowers can be cream, white, yellow, red, orange, pink, lavender, green, or purple.
The most toxic part of the gladiolus is the bulb. It’s poisonous for dogs, cats, and horses, and symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, and lethargy.
These flowers grow in clusters on leafless stems. They’re usually blue, but may be pink, white, or other colors.
Hyacinths are poisonous for cats, dogs, and horses. Symptoms may include tremors, depression, intense vomiting, and diarrhea that may contain blood.
Hydrangea shrubs can grow to be 7 feet tall by 8 feet wide. The full blooms are typically blue or pink.
It is toxic to dogs, cats, and horses and causes vomiting, diarrhea, and depression.
There are about 300 species of irises. The flowers have six petal-like floral segments. Irises are most commonly blue, but they come in many colors.
The rhizomes (stem-like roots) are the most toxic part of irises. They’re poisonous for cats, dogs, and horses and can cause drooling, lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Lily of the Valley
Growing 6 to 8 inches tall, lily of the valley has white bell-shaped flowers.
Lily of the valley is especially dangerous for pets. It’s toxic to dogs, cats, and horses and symptoms include vomiting, low blood pressure, disorientation, irregular heartbeat, seizures, and coma.
Also known as buttercup, ranunculus has yellow five-petaled flowers that are usually yellow but may also be pink, white, red, or orange.
It is poisonous for dogs, cats, and horses and can lead to oral ulcers, excessive drooling, wobbly gait, anorexia, depression, vomiting, and diarrhea.
There are around 100 species of tulips, and the bell-shaped flowers come in every color except blue.
The most toxic part of the tulip is the bulb. Poisonous for cats, dogs, and horses, symptoms include drooling, depression, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Flowers Safe for Cats
The following non-toxic flowers are safe for cats:
Flowers Safe for Dogs
These flowers are safe for dogs:
- African Violet
Pet-Proofing Your Home or Garden
If somebody surprises you with a bouquet of flowers that are toxic for your pet, or you buy a home with poisonous plants in the garden, there are things you can do to help keep your pets safe.
- For indoor plants, use hanging or very large planters to help keep your pets away from the plant.
- Keep flowers somewhere your pets can’t get to them. With cats, that may be easier said than done. You might try a scat mat or other deterrent to keep your pet from getting too close.
- In the garden, use chicken wire or plastic fencing to keep your pets away from toxic plants. Another creative idea is to surround the poisonous plants with thorny ones that will keep your dog away from the toxic plants.
What to Do if Your Pet Eats a Toxic Plant
If your pet's symptoms are severe, you should take them to the vet immediately. For milder symptoms, you can call the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Hotline at (888) 426-4435 any time of day. You’ll tell them what your pet ate and what symptoms they’re having, and they can tell you what you should do. Consultation fees may apply.
A Final Word on Toxic Plants
While some plants are harmful to pets, there are plenty of flowers and plants you can safely enjoy without worrying. We’ve only covered the most common toxic plants here. For a more comprehensive compilation, check out this list of toxic plants.