Toxic flowers

Freshly cut flowers are a springtime staple, but did you know that many of the common varieties can be toxic to your four-legged friends? 
Written by Mayhew team
Updated 5 months ago

We’ve compiled a list of toxic flowers to avoid having in your home, and we’ve also included a few pet-friendly options too - so you can still enjoy having fresh flowers around!

*Please note that this is not an exhaustive list. See the bottom of the article for additional resources.

It’s important to note that your dog or cat could also come across these flowers while they’re outside - so try to avoid your pet coming into contact with them in your garden or while you’re out walking together.

Some pet owners will think it’s OK to have toxic flowers in the house as long as they’re ‘out of reach’ however a cheeky dog can knock over a vase and a cat can jump up and access the flowers. Cats can also have the pollen fall onto their fur or walk through some on the floor, and then groom themselves, ingesting the toxins. They could even be tempted to drink water from the vase, which is also toxic.

1. Lillies

One of the most popular flowers in store-bought flower arrangements - lilies are extremely toxic to both dogs and cats. All parts of the lily plant are toxic to cats if ingested, and even a small amount, if ingested, can result in extreme poisoning, kidney failure and even death. 

2. Daffodils

The bulbs of daffodils contain crystals that are extremely toxic to both cats and dogs if eaten. The heads and leaves of the plant can also make your pet unwell - causing vomiting or more serious illness. Even drinking the water from the vase of cut daffodils can make your pet unwell.

3. Tulips

Tulips are another incredibly popular springtime flower that is toxic to both dogs and cats. Tulips can be fatal if ingested. They’re part of the lily family, and they contain the same toxins. The toxins have the highest concentrations in the bulb (root) and are in lower concentrations in the stem, leaves, and flower, but even a small nibble on the flower itself can cause irritation. 

4. Hyacinths 

Hyacinths are also toxic to both dogs and cats. Hyacinths are popular garden flowers, so it’s important to make sure your dog or cat can’t easily ingest them while outside. The entire plant is toxic, with the bulb having the highest concentration of toxins.

If you think your cat or dog has ingested one of the above flowers, or has potentially gotten pollen on their fur and licked it off, contact your vet right away - don’t wait for signs of illness to develop before calling as early intervention could save your pet's life.

As a general rule of thumb, always double-check that any flowers you’re purchasing are non-toxic to your four-legged companions. It only takes a few seconds to find out, and it could save their life! 

Looking for some pet-friendly flowers? We’ve got you covered!

  • Roses
  • Freesia
  • Gerbera daisies
  • Sunflowers
  • Snapdragon
  • Limonium
  • Waxflower
  • Camellia
  • Vanda, Cymbidium, and Dendrobium Orchids

For additional information on toxic flowers visit: https://www.cats.org.uk/help-and-advice/home-and-environment/dangerous-plants#houseplants%20%E2%80%93.

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