5 Popular Flowers That Are Toxic for Pets

When you or I see the first flowers blooming in the backyard, our first thought is not to eat them, because we are humans who know not to do that sort of thing. But dogs and cats don't know that, and all pet owners know that their animals have a tendency to eat whatever is put in front of them. Usually, that's annoying but mostly fine. But there are some flowers and plants that are toxic to pets, and if you are a curious (or hungry) pet, it's probably a good move to steer clear.


"Nature can be unhealthy if you don't take the time to educate yourself on the potential hazards," says Patty Holder, floral partner on the flower delivery site BloomNation and owner of Brittany Flowers of Kirkland in Kirkland, Washington. "With more than 700 plants that could kill or injure your dogs, cats, and children, it's difficult to go into all of them."

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This isn't a comprehensive list, but here are some of the most common flowers and plants you should keep far away from curious pets.

  1. Tulips. Holder says that though the whole plant is dangerous, most of the toxins are in the tulip bulbs. "Don't let you dogs dig them up in the garden or chew on the plant or the bulbs in the house," she warns.
  2. Crocus. "Both the spring and autumn crocus are toxic," Holder says. All parts of the plant are poisonous -- if your pets eat it, it'll cause respiratory failure.
  3. Daffodils. Like tulips, all of the daffodil plant is dangerous, but most of the toxin is concentrated in the bulbs. "If your pets happen to eat this plant, they may experience some unpleasant symptoms," Holder explains. "But most animals instinctively know that the plant is toxic and they will usually avoid eating it."

    Holder also says that daffodils have a toxic sap that may cause a rash in humans, and she recommends wearing gloves when handling them.

  4. Iris. "The rhizomes, the leaves, and the stems are all poisonous on this plant," Holder says. "Although the plant has a low toxicity, it can still cause vomiting and skin irritation."

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  5. Hyacinths. Hyacinths smell lovely, and they're a popular plant in arrangements, but Holder says you have to be careful with them. "It's toxic if eaten, and it's possible they cause dermatitis," she notes. "It's best to wear protective covering when handling this plant."

"If you think your pet has eaten one of your toxic houseplants or flowers, seek veterinary care," Holder says. "With the proper care and handling of plants and flowers, we can all happily coexist with nature while enjoying it indoors."


Image via Chris Bernard Photography Inc./Shutterstock

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