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Most dog-toxic flowers to avoid this Mother's Day

Bowser Beware: Most Dog-Toxic Flowers to Avoid this Mother’s Day

With Mother’s Day around the corner, many lean into the most classic way to express their love to their mother figures— flowers, but you might need to think twice about the kind you buy if she has pets. Hence, our friends at House Digest have helped us with this list of the most dog-toxic flowers to avoid this Mother’s Day.


House Digest has revealed there is a significant spike in online searches for whether certain flowers are toxic to dogs, with search trends for ‘Pet safe flowers’ and ‘Are tulips toxic to dogs’ increasing by 50% and 1,100% respectively in the past week alone.

Similarly, there’s been a 110% increase in searches for ‘Are dahlias poisonous to dogs,’ so it’s clear that people are wondering if they can have these widely popular Mother’s Day flowers around their furry pets.

With this in mind, House Digest has revealed a list of the most toxic Mother’s Day flowers that your pet can get into, featuring insights from Dr. Kathryn Dench, MA, VetMB, and Chief Scientific Advisor at Paw Origins, and Dr. Kristi Crow.

Here are the most dangerous flowers for pets that are best to avoid on Mother’s Day.

Leave lilies alone.

Lilies are a great springtime flower, but they pose a significant risk to pets. Dr. Dench warns, “Lillies are famously toxic to cats, and also a risk to dogs. They contain compounds like lycorine that can cause kidney failure, especially in cats. For dogs, eating large amounts can lead to stomach upset and lethargy.”

Given their danger, even placing them out of reach may not be enough. Dr. Crow emphasizes, “If a cat ingests ANY part of a lily, it can be extremely dangerous.” Therefore, it’s safer to avoid buying any flowers with “lily” in their name to protect your pets.

Foxgloves can harm most pets.

Foxgloves are beautiful but highly toxic plants, coming in various shades with distinctive markings. However, they pose serious health risks upon contact or ingestion.

Dr. Crow explains, “Foxglove contains cardiac glycosides, which can cause gastrointestinal upset, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, heart arrhythmias, and in severe cases, cardiac arrest in pets,” Given the danger to both pets and children, it’s advisable to exclude them from arrangements.

Tulips are best for pet-free houses.

Tulips are a much-loved and much-planted springtime flower, but they can really hurt your pets. “The bulbs of tulips contain a compound called tulipalin A and B, which can cause a range of intense toxicity symptoms,” Dr. Dench shared.

“These include gastrointestinal symptoms, such as stomach upset, drooling, and loss of appetite, as well as nervous system problems like sedation, convulsions, and cardiac abnormalities.” So even though these are gorgeous flowers, if your pet eats them, you might regret bringing them home.

Daffodils are bright, but still deadly.

Daffodils, with their trumpet-shaped blossoms and vibrant yellow petals, add warmth to any Mother’s Day bouquet. However, they pose significant risks to pets. Dr. Crow explained, “Daffodil bulbs contain alkaloids that can cause gastrointestinal upset, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and in severe cases, convulsions and cardiac arrhythmias.” While daffodils are appealing for their cheerful appearance, their potential danger to pets makes them a risky choice for homes with animals.

Other dog-toxic flowers to also keep in mind.

House Digest goes into a deeper dive into other flowers every pet owner also needs to watch out for aside from these top 4 choices as well as the precautions to take and immediate steps should someone take if their pet eats a mildly toxic flower.

Other flowers include:

  • Oleander

  • Azaleas

  • Hydrangeas

  • Chrysanthemums

  • Rhododendrons

  • Amaryllis

So, which plants or flowers are safe to give to pet parents on a special occasion like Mother’s Day?

Luckily, there are plenty of flowers that won’t do harm to common house pets if ingested. Dr. Kristi Crow recommends roses, orchids, sunflowers, snapdragons, zinnias, and marigolds, among others. You can also reach for options like African violets, Boston ferns, spider plants, bamboo palms, or even a Christmas cactus. Most succulents are safe, but the blue echeveria stands out as a particularly great choice.

If you’re still looking for the perfect gift for your dog-loving mom this Mother’s Day, check out these pawesome gift guides curated by the editors at CityDog Magazine!

Best Gifts for Dog Moms (and Dads) Who Love to Travel

Best Gifts for Dog Moms (and Dads) Who Love the Great Outdoors

Best Gifts for Dog Moms (and Dads) Who Love to Cook

Best Doggone Gift Ideas for Dog Loving Moms!


about the author


Brandie Ahlgren is founder and editor of CityDog Magazine. She, and her team of dog-loving editors, dig up the best places for you to sit, stay and play with your four-legged friends. Brandie, 12-year-old boxer Thya and Mexican foster failure Pancho, reside in West Seattle and can often be found hanging out at Westcrest Dog Park.

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