Before picking up a bouquet for your favorite pet owner, make sure it doesn't contain any of these extremely toxic flowers.

Flowers That Can Kill Animals

Stephen Chernin, Getty Images
Stephen Chernin, Getty Images

Today is Valentine's Day, which means people all over New York will be putting a fresh bouquet of flowers somewhere in their house. For those with cats or dogs, especially those that love chewing on plants, they might have to rush the vet and even make an impossible choice.

Every year, people lose their furry best friend to accidental exposure to plant toxins and Valentine's Day is typically one of the worst days of the year for this.

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That is why veterinarians and other animal experts are raising awareness about the plants people should and should not bring home. TrustedHousesitters worked with these animal doctors to compile a list of the deadliest flowers of all.

The most dangerous plant are lillies. Veterinarian Amanda Takiguchi, DVM, explained:

A common flower that veterinarians warn cat owners against is lilies. Even eating a small amount of this flower can cause deadly kidney failure in cats. Multiple species of lilies are toxic to cats, so it’s best to avoid lilies altogether.

Whilst 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.

Lilies are also a popular plant around Easter, so pet owners are strongly encouraged to stay away from them.

The second-most dangerous flower are daffodils, which can cause vomiting and other serious health concerns if consumed by a cat or dog. The bulb is the most toxic part, so pet owners are strongly advised to keep their pets away if they choose to plant them in their garden.

Third worst is the hydrangea, which contains the toxin amygdalin. If consumed by a dog, the animal can start vomiting, run a fever, and experience a rapid heart rate.

Tulips came in fourth-most dangerous overall because of what they can do to both cats and dogs. Signs your animal might have consumed tulip include excessive drooling, loss of appetite, vomiting, cardiac abnormalities, and central nervous system depression.

Last on the list were carnations, which cause gastrointestinal distress and dermatitis.

If Your Pet Consumes a Toxic Plant

Herb & Flower Festival
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Angela Laws, Head of Community, warned pet owners to act quickly if their cat or dog ingests a dangerous plant.

She said:

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.

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.

Pets can be saved if they are treated in time. However, the cost to save your cat or dog's life can be costly as extreme measures may need to be taken.

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However, most pet owners would agree they'd rather pay up than face the alternative option, which is to euthanize the animal to prevent further suffering.

For those who'd rather avoid this situation entirely, veterinarians encourage pet owners to beware of dangerous plants and, should they receive them, keep them out of reach of your fuzzy best friend - such as keeping them at work or in a room that isn't accessible to pets

Pet-Friendly Alternatives

China's Guide Dog Training Center
Photo Credit - Wang He / Getty Images

Veterinarians say just because some plants are bad for pets, that doesn't mean all should be shunned. There are several flowers that are safe for naughty pets to chew on that can be used for decorative purposes instead.

These plants are:

  1. Sunflowers
  2. Petunias
  3. Pansies
  4. Marigolds
  5. Snapdragons
  6. Violas
  7. Freesia
  8. Orchids

Happy Valentine's Day!

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