Valentine's Day can be dangerous for pets

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Vets urge pet owners to check their Valentine's Day bouquets for toxic flowers.

Louie and lilies? Daisy and daffodils? Not a good idea.

So say veterinarians who are warning pet owners – or boyfriends/girlfriends of pet owners – that as innocent as they might seem, not every flower is well suited for an environment where there are cats or dogs.

TrustedHousesitters worked with vets to learn about the biggest risks to pets and found five flowers all pet owners should avoid this Valentine’s Day:

Lilies

According to the Pet Poison Helpline Toxin Trends dashboard, lilies were the most common toxin that cats were exposed to on Valentine’s Day last year. Even though they may be gorgeous to admire, certified vet Amanda Takiguchi, DVM, warns that even eating a small amount of this flower can cause deadly kidney failure in cats. 

“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,” she said.

Daffodils

Daffodils are double trouble, affecting both cats and dogs. If your pet takes a bite out of a daffodil, have your towels and mops ready, because they’ll likely experience severe vomiting. Any part of the flower is dangerous, but the bulb is particularly poisonous. And you know how dogs like to root around!

Hydrangeas

A chemical called amygdalin is found in the leaves, flowers, and buds of the hydrangea plant. It is likely that your dog will experience an upset stomach and possible side effects like a high heart rate, high temperature, and vomiting if they eat this popular plant.

Tulips

Again, another double-whammy, extremely toxic flower. If a cat or dog gets their teeth into the tulip bulb, there’s a toxin in there that can cause excessive drooling, loss of appetite, vomiting, central nervous system depression, and even cardiac abnormalities.

Carnations

Carnations may work for a prom date, but as for a Valentine’s Day flower, they’re loaded with natural toxins that may cause mild gastrointestinal signs like vomiting and diarrhea, as well as mild dermatitis in some dogs and cats. 

Pet-Friendly Valentine’s Day flowers

The interviewed vets advise that Valentine’s Day gift-givers either opt for pet-friendly flower alternatives or look for flowers that are considered safe, such as…

  1. Sunflowers

  2. Petunias

  3. Pansies

  4. Marigolds

  5. Snapdragons

  6. Violas

  7. Freesia

  8. Orchids

“If you’re lucky enough to receive a bouquet this Valentine’s Day, often it’s the popular flowers that look and smell great in the home, that are the most harmful to our beloved pets,” Angela Laws, head of Community, added.

“Make sure that anything you leave in reach of your pets is safe, should they get their paws on it, keeping an eye out to spot any abnormal signs that your pet has become unwell, in which case a vet should be consulted immediately.”

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