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Which Flowers Are Pet-Friendly?

A cat next to a red flowerSo you’re looking at picking up a bouquet, perhaps for a partner, a parent, a friend or family member… but you’re not certain which flowers are friendly for our four-legged friends?

Trying to figure out exactly which flowers are safe for a dog or cat can be quite a complex process – some are safe for dogs while toxic to cats (or the other way around), only certain variants of some flowers may be safe, it requires at least a basic understanding on plant identification, and let’s not get started on trying to read the Latin names!

Generally speaking, it’s easy to find which flowers to avoid with a short search on Google, and we’ve opted to list some of them here, as well as some dog and cat-friendly alternatives. This isn’t an exhaustive list – the sheer size of the plant kingdom would mean we’d be here all day – but rather lists some of the more common flowers you could find. Hopefully it goes some way to illustrate how hard it can be to know which are safe or unsafe and will inspire further research.

It’s also worth mentioning every dog and cat will react differently to stressors. Some flowers have varying degrees of toxicity, too – one may cause an upset stomach, another could lead to severe organ failure. Common signs to worry about include drooling, vomiting, convulsions, lethargy and diarrhoea. If at any point you’re in doubt about something your pet has sniffed, rubbed against or ingested, get in contact with your vet.

Flowers to avoid around dogs and cats:

  • Amaryllis
  • Azalea
  • Carnations
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Cyclamen
  • Daffodils
  • Delphinium
  • Foxglove
  • Geranium
  • Hyacinth
  • Hydrangea
  • Iris
  • Lilies
  • Mistletoe
  • Narcissus
  • Peonies
  • Rhododendron
  • Sweet pea
  • Tulips

Flowers that are safe for both dogs and cats:

  • Freesia
  • Gerbera daisies
  • Limonium
  • Lisianthus
  • Pitto
  • Roses
  • Snapdragons
  • Statice
  • Stock
  • Sunflowers
  • Waxflower

If you’re still unsure about which are which, a reputable florist should be able to help you, and some websites even have entire sections dedicated to pet-friendly plants and flowers.

Or as another option entirely… chocolates make a great gift too!

Daniel Tipping

Education Officer

Daniel is the Education Officer at Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home and is responsible for delivering our educational outreach programme to schools, community groups and workplaces. If you’d like to find out more about our education programme or arrange a free workshop for your group, please visit our Advice & Education page.

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