Five pet-poisonous plants to avoid this Mother’s Day

Five pet-poisonous plants to avoid this Mother’s Day

With spring and Mother’s Day just around the corner and flowers making a very popular gift for many celebrations, it’s important to consider which are potentially dangerous for pets.If you’re looking to gift flowers to a pet parent, you’ll want to ensure you avoid any flowers or plants that can be toxic if accidentally ingested.

Catrin George, dog insurance expert and Animal Wellbeing Specialist at Animal Friends Pet Insurance, reveals which to avoid. 


Lillies are a very popular choice of flower, especially when it comes to Mother’s Day gifts. However, lilies are very toxic to dogs and cats and can cause nausea, vomiting and other serious long-term health issues. For that reason, I’d strongly advise against gifting this flower to a dog owner this Mother’s Day.

If you do receive a bouquet of flowers containing lilies please that putting them up and out of reach might not be enough to keep your fur family safe. Cats can certainly get into those hard to reach places and although they may not actively eat the plant, if they brush up against it, getting pollen on their fur and then wash themselves, this can make them very ill. If you think that your pet may have accidentally ingested any part of a lily, please seek medical advice from your vet immediately.


Tulips are particularly popular during the springtime when it is in season. However, tulips contain molecules known as glycosides which can lead to several health issues in dogs and cats. It is not widely known but they are part of the lily family. 

The bulb is where the highest levels of toxin exist but the stem, leaves and flowers also contain these glycosides. Even ingesting small amounts can cause vomiting, change in respiratory rate or even result in death. If you suspect that your pet has ingested any part of a tulip, please seek immediate advice from your vet.


As beautiful as they may be, the peony plant contains paenol, a type of compound which is toxic to dogs and cats. If accidentally ingested, dogs can become seriously ill. The paenol tends to be concentrated in the bark and when ingested can cause gastrointestinal distress. If you suspect that your fur family have accidently ingested any part of this plant, please speak to your vet.


With at least 25 different species of daffodils and thousands of hybrids, you’re bound to see plenty of these flowers around Mother’s Day and general springtime. Daffodils, however, contain alkaloids and glycosides (similarly to tulips) which are highly toxic to both dogs and cats.

Please be aware that the whole plant is toxic, especially the bulb. If you have daffodils in your garden, please take care especially if your dog likes to dig, as ingestion can quickly cause severe stomach irritation with vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and excessive drooling. Again, if you think that your pet has ingested any part of a daffodil, please seek advice from your veterinarian.”


Hyacinths often make an appearance in gardens and as potted plants for inside the home. However, it is a flower that should be kept well away from dogs and cats as they contain toxic calcium oxalate crystals. Ingestion of hyacinths (or hyacinth bulbs) can cause serious health issues, but also even cause symptoms if inhaled too. 

Typical signs include excessive drooling, vomiting and diarrhoea. More severe cases when larger amounts have been ingested could see increased heart and respiratory rates or difficulty breathing. It is important to contact your vet if you suspect your pet has eaten any part of a hyacinth.

Bear in mind that this is not a comprehensive list of flowers which are potentially dangerous for your pet. Before buying any flowers for a dog or cat owner, you should do your research. There are many other plants which are more suitable, such as orchids, sunflowers and violets. If you are unsure or suspect your pet has ingested one of these listed toxic flowers you should contact your vet immediately.

Alessandra Pacelli

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