That Bouquet of Flowers Could Make Your Pet Sick

MARCH 1, 2022

Getting a bouquet, flowers or a new houseplant from a loved one feels wonderful. But there are some plants and flowers that could be really harmful, even deadly, to your pet. Some are so common, it may surprise you. 

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) lists this commonly grown greenery (found inside or outside the house) that should be kept away from pets.

  • Certain types of lilies (Lilium and Hemerocallis species) are highly toxic to cats. All parts of the plant, including the pollen, can cause kidney failure — even if only small amounts are swallowed. Some varieties you might come in contact with include: Easter lilies, tiger lilies, and orange daylilies.
  • Heart problems can be caused by Lily of the Valley, oleander, yew, foxglove, and kalanchoe, if ingested.
  • Sago palms (Cycas species), which can be found inside and outside of the home, can cause severe intestinal problems, seizures and liver damage. Be especially concerned if the nut portion of the plant is eaten.
  • Azaleas, rhododendrons and tulip/narcissus bulbs can cause intestinal upset, weakness, depression, heart problems, coma and death. So don’t leave these out if you’re not ready to plant them immediately.
  • Castor bean is an evergreen or semi-woody large shrub or small tree that can be found in your landscaping. Ingesting this plant can cause severe intestinal problems, seizures, coma, and death.
  • Rhubarb leaves and shamrock contain substances that can produce kidney failure.
  • Certain varieties of mushrooms (fungi) can cause liver damage or other illnesses.

Not sure if a certain flower or plant is toxic to pets? Search the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) database of Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants.

Unfortunately, even with all of your best efforts, it’s impossible to keep curious noses and paws away from toxins all of the time. It’s best to keep any questionable bouquets and arrangements up out of reach for everyone to enjoy! 

If you suspect your pet may have ingested something toxic, please contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.