5 common flowers that are a ‘definite no-no’ – ‘highly toxic’ to pets

RSPCA reveal which common toxic plants to AVOID

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Valentine’s Day is a time for spreading love – but among the flowers lie dangerous hazards. Vets across the UK are warning pet owners of the potential dangers around Valentine’s Day, when they experience emergency visits due to poisoning. With 62 percent of Britons having a pet, the threat across the country is huge. From toxic treats to deadly bouquets, pet experts at Trusted Housesitters have shared the most common plants and their risk to dogs and cats – as well as their safer alternatives.

1. Lilies 

These flowers may be stunning to look at, but lilies are a “definite no-no” for anyone with a pet, urged Certified vet Amanda Takiguchi DVM.

She said: “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. Owners need to be especially cautious around Easter when these flowers are more popular.  

“While 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.” 

2. Tulips 

While a stunning choice for a bouquet,  due to their bright and cheerful appearance. However, this flower is toxic for both cats and dogs. 

They also contain glycosides which can be extremely detrimental to the health of animals that eat them. 

Poisonings can occur from consuming any part of the plant, although the highest concentrations of the alkaloids are found in the bulb of the plant. 

If your pet consumes material from the tulip plant, it is important to contact a veterinarian for further instructions. Consumption of this plant can be fatal, and supportive treatment improves the chance of survival.

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3. Daffodils 

Daffodils are a popular spring plant, so you’re likely to find them on sale around Valentine’s Day. However, this plant is 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.

All parts of the plants contain toxins and can cause issues for your pets, but the toxins are most concentrated in the bulbs of the plant – making the bulb the most dangerous part.

4. Roses 

Roses are undoubtedly one of the most popular choices for Valentine’s day flowers but they can cause a catastrophe for pets. 

While roses themselves aren’t toxic, the thorns on the stems can puncture through pets’ skin and cause injury. 

Even worse, if they’re ingested, they can lead to internal punctures and cause serious problems. For those considering roses this Valentine’s Day, always make sure the stems and thorns are removed. 

5. Sweet pea and ‘filler’ flowers 

Those buying a mixed bouquet this Valentine’s should be especially careful it doesn’t contain any filler flowers or plants that are toxic to pets. 

Veterinary Technician Lauri Partanio explained: “Sweet peas are one of the most common ‘filler flowers’ florists use. These small, pretty, sweet-smelling pink flowers are in most Valentine’s Day bouquets. 

“If you have pets that counter surf, double-check that your vases don’t include a trip to the emergency vet. Sweet pea contains a toxic chemical called aminopropionitrile. 

“If consumed by your pet, it can cause seizures, full body weakness, and even death.” 

For those who have a cat or dog and want some safe, pet-friendly options, there are 10 alternative flowers to buy instead

10 pet-friendly flower alternatives 

  • Roses with the thorns removed 
  • Sunflowers 
  • Petunias 
  • Freesia 
  • Pitto 
  • Snapdragons
  • Orchids
  • Pansies
  • Zinnias
  • Gerbera daisies 

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