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Pet owners have been told to keep an eye on their dogs this Valentine’s Day, as a vet warned certain flowers can be extremely dangerous to animals if ingested.

An estimated 250m bunches of flowers are sold around the world each year on 14 February, with most opting for roses or tulips to give to their significant other.

But despite looking beautiful, flowers can be extremely dangerous to dogs, David Leicester, an expert from an emergency vet company Vets Now, told Huffington Post.

The company told the news site that it saw an alarming 60 per cent rise in flower-related cases last February.

Lilies and Tulips are amongst the most popular flowers to give but are the most toxic to pets, Mr Leicester warned.

As millions celebrate Valentine’s Day, here is a run-down of the most popular flowers and whether they are poisonous to your furry friends:

Flowers can be toxic to cats and dogs



Certain types of lilies are extremely harmful to pets, including the calla lily, peace lily, lily of the valley and palm lily, explained Mr Leicester.

All of these lilies come from the Lilium of Hemerocallis species, he added.

“They contain highly toxic substances and ingestion of any part of the plant, or even just grooming the pollen from their coat, or drinking water from the vase, can be potentially fatal, causing acute kidney failure. While lilies don’t pose quite as severe a risk to dogs, they are still toxic,” he told Huffington Post.

Up close photograph of a St Joseph’s Lily (Lilium formosanum)

(Getty Images/iStockphoto)


Tulips belong to the lily family and are poisonous to both cats and dogs, Mr Leicester explained.

The bulbs are the most toxic part of the plant but the whole flower can pose a danger to cats, so it is advised owners keep them away.

Close-up, a bouquet of pink tulips in craft paper in female hands.

(Getty Images)


The symbolic springtime bloom can also pose a danger to animals and are severely poisonous.

According to the expert, the yellow flowers contain a poisonous alkaloid which can trigger vomiting, he added.

The crystals in the bulb can lead to more severe conditions such as cardiac arrhythmias and respiratory depression. Symptoms can take anything between 15 minutes and one day to develop, Mr Leicester said.

A woman walks by daffodils in bloom at Greenbank Park, Liverpool, during a bright winter morning. Picture date: Thursday February 1, 2024. PA Photo. Photo credi: Peter Byrne/PA Wire


Chrysanthemums and dasies

Chrysanthemums and daisies are less toxic than other flowers however chrysanthemums contain pyrethrins, a mixture of six chemicals, which are especially poisonous to cats.

If ingested, cats might vomit, have diarrhoea or a lack of appetite and owners should seek advice from a vet.

This October, 2022, image provided by Jessica Damiano shows perennial chrysanthemums planted directly in a garden bed on Long Island, NY

(Jessica Damiano )


Hyacinths contain a high concentration of poison in their bulbs making them harmful to cats and dogs, Leicester added.

Consumption of a hyancinth bulb can lead to drooling, vomiting or diarrhoea.


Which flowers are safe for dogs?

The safest flowers are roses, lavender, sunflowers and orchids but Mr Leicester urges pet owners to keep a watchful during times of celebration when homes are most likely to have flowers on display.

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