Friday, April 19, 2024

Earth's Creatures Stop to Smell the Flowers

 “The beautiful Spring came, & when nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.” – Harriet Ann Jacobs

Spring often means it is time for you & your pet to explore the great outdoors. But before you & your furry best friend stop & smell the spring flowers, make sure they are not toxic. If you suspect your pet has ingested or been in contact with the plants below, call Pet Poison Helpline ASAP & then contact your veterinary team to keep them updated on the situation.

See Toxic & Non-Toxic Plant List - Dogs

Toxic and Non-Toxic Plant List - Cats

These services provide immediate expert advice, and include consultation with your veterinarian if needed. There is a fee, so have a credit card handy. Followup of the case is also included, if needed.

Animal Poison Control Center (ASPCA): 888-426-4435

Pet Poison Helpline: 855-764-7661

These are the top 3 flowers to avoid:


Important note: Extremely dangerous for cats.The entire lily family should be avoided by your pet. They contain toxic alkaloids that are extremely dangerous if ingested, especially for cats. True lilies & daylilies are particularly harmful—just a small amount of ingested pollen can cause deadly toxicity in cats. Dogs are slightly more resistant to the toxicity of lilies, but they can become itchy if exposed to these flowers or have some GI upset if they ingest them.


‍Avoid: Begonia grandis, wax begonias, double begonias, fimbriata begonias. These flowers thrive in the springtime, & their stems—particularly the part rooted underground—can cause acute toxicity if ingested by dogs & cats. Similar to our version of hot sauce, if eaten, begonias can result in an extreme burning in your pet’s mouth, swollen tongue or lips, & even difficulty swallowing. If you suspect your pet has swallowed a begonia stem or bulb, take them to an emergency veterinary office for immediate treatment.


‍Important note: Just a few ounces of azalea flowers are enough to cause severe toxicity in a large-sized dog. These shrub plants come in a variety of sizes & colors & give off a lovely smell. But, when it comes to azaleas, their beauty should be appreciated from afar as they are toxic to all pets, including horses. These flowers can disrupt the cells in an animal's body, which can cause symptoms from blindness & vomiting, to abnormal heart rate or even death. Make sure to avoid: Formosa azaleas, spider azaleas, Gumpbo pink azaleas, rhododendrons.