Veterinarians:  5 Kinds of Valentines Day Flowers Are Deadly for Pets

Bad Romance: Experts Warn of 5 Valentine Flowers Which Are Deadly for Pets

Veterinarians, nationwide, warn pet owners of the potential dangers hidden in romantic bouquets, gifted this Valentine’s Day.

While flowers such as roses, lilies, and tulips are renowned for expressing love and affection, they can also lead to potentially fatal health complications if ingested by pets.

TrustedHousesitters worked with vets to learn about the biggest risks to pets, encouraging pet owners to thoroughly check the contents of any floral arrangements they bring into their homes this Valentine’s Day, as even the filler in a bouquet can be deadly.

Five flowers all pet owners should avoid this Valentine’s Day:

  1. Lilies

According to the Pet Poison Helpline Toxin Trends dashboard, lilies were the most common toxin that cats were exposed to on Valentine’s Day in 2023.

While lilies may be stunning to look at, these should be avoided by pet owners. Certified vet Amanda Takiguchi, DVM, explains:

“A common flower that veterinarians warn cat owners against is lilies. Even eating a small amount of this flower can cause deadly kidney failure in cats. Multiple species of lilies are toxic to cats, so it’s best to avoid lilies altogether.”

“Whilst similar in name, Lily of the Valley flowers do not cause acute kidney failure like true lily species. Regardless, Lily of the Valley flowers are highly toxic to both dogs and cats. If ingested, this flower can cause seizures and dangerous abnormalities in heart rate and rhythm.”

  1. Daffodils

Daffodils are extremely poisonous for many pets, including cats and dogs. Your canine or feline friend will experience severe vomiting and health concerns if they ingest any part of a daffodil, but the bulb is particularly poisonous. Keep an eye on your dog if you are in an area where they may dig bulbs up, as it can make them very unwell.

  1. Hydrangeas

The leaves, flowers, and buds of the hydrangea plant contain a chemical known as amygdalin. If your dog ingests this popular plant, they are likely to encounter a seriously upset stomach and possible side effects like a high heart rate, high temperature, and vomiting.

  1. Tulips

Tulips are extremely toxic to both dogs and cats. The toxin is concentrated in the bulbs, but all parts of the plant can be harmful, and ingestion can cause excessive drooling, loss of appetite, vomiting, central nervous system depression, and even cardiac abnormalities.

  1. Carnations

An extremely popular Valentine’s Day flower, carnations contain natural toxins that may cause mild gastrointestinal signs like vomiting and diarrhea, as well as mild dermatitis in some dogs and cats.

Pet-Friendly Valentine’s Day Flowers

Pet owners are advised to either opt for pet-friendly flower alternatives this Valentine’s Day and ensure that the traditional flowers are placed out of reach of their pets. Roses, while not outright toxic, can still pose a threat due to their sharp thorns potentially causing injuries to a pet’s mouth, throat, or paws, so be sure they are placed out of reach too.

For safe, pet-friendly flower options this Valentine’s Day, opt for bouquets with the following florals:

  1. Sunflowers
  2. Petunias
  3. Pansies
  4. Marigolds
  5. Snapdragons
  6. Violas
  7. Freesia
  8. Orchids

If you suspect that your pet has ingested any part of a toxic plant, it’s vital to get them to a vet as soon as possible. By being mindful of these potential hazards, pet owners can help ensure that Valentine’s Day remains a celebration of love and affection rather than becoming a day of emergency vet visits.

Angela Laws, Head of Community adds: 

“If you’re lucky enough to receive a bouquet this Valentine’s Day, often it’s the popular flowers that look and smell great in the home, that are the most harmful to our beloved pets.

“Make sure that anything you leave in reach of your pets is safe, should they get their paws on it, keeping an eye out to spot any abnormal signs that your pet has become unwell, in which case a vet should be consulted immediately.”

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