Mother’s Day will be celebrated on Sunday, March 19 across the UK and as many will show their appreciation for the loved ones in their life with flowers, it’s important to know how these can affect the furry friends at home.

Catrin George, dog insurance expert and Animal Wellbeing Specialist at Animal Friends Pet Insurance, has given advice on which flowers are toxic for cats and dogs.

Here are 5 of the flowers you should avoid if you’re thinking of gifting flowers to a pet owner.

5 flowers that are toxic for cats and dogs


Bournemouth Echo: Pet owners should avoid lilies in their home, expert says Pet owners should avoid lilies in their home, expert says (Image: Canva)

While lilies can add beauty to a bouquet, they can be incredibly dangerous to our furry friends.

Catrin explains that lilies can “cause nausea, vomiting and other serious long-term health issues.”

As a result, Catrin would “strongly advise against gifting this flower to a dog owner this Mother’s Day.”

If you do receive lilies, you’ll need to do more than put them on a high shelf.

Catrin added: “Cats can certainly get into those hard to reach places and although they may not actively eat the plant, if they brush up against it, getting pollen on their fur and then wash themselves, this can make them very ill.

“If you think that your pet may have accidentally ingested any part of a lily, please seek medical advice from your vet immediately.”


Bournemouth Echo: Tulips are also poisonous to petsTulips are also poisonous to pets (Image: Canva)

While tulips can be a pleasant reminder that Spring is on its way, this flower is not suitable for pet owners to have at home.

Catrin explains that these flowers “contain molecules known as glycosides which can lead to several health issues in dogs and cats. It is not widely known but they are part of the lily family.”

The expert added: “The bulb is where the highest levels of toxin exist but the stem, leaves and flowers also contain these glycosides. Even ingesting small amounts can cause vomiting, change in respiratory rate or even result in death. If you suspect that your pet has ingested any part of a tulip, please seek immediate advice from your vet.”


Bournemouth Echo: Those gifting flowers to pet owners should be aware of the flowers that are harmful, expert saysThose gifting flowers to pet owners should be aware of the flowers that are harmful, expert says (Image: Canva)

If you’re thinking of gifting flowers to a dog owner, you should avoid peonies.

This is because the plant “contains paenol, a type of compound which is toxic to dogs and cats”, Catrin advises.

The expert added: “If accidentally ingested, dogs can become seriously ill. The paenol tends to be concentrated in the bark and when ingested can cause gastrointestinal distress. If you suspect that your fur family have accidently ingested any part of this plant, please speak to your vet.”

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Bournemouth Echo: Daffodils are harmful to petsDaffodils are harmful to pets (Image: Canva)

More spring flowers you’ve probably started to see again are daffodils and while they’re bright and a sign of a new season starting, they aren’t without their dangers.

Dogs and cats need to be kept well away from daffodils and pet owners should be extra vigilant when out walking their dogs as daffodils are often planted along walk routes.

Catrin warns pet owners about this flower, saying: “With at least 25 different species of daffodils and thousands of hybrids, you’re bound to see plenty of these flowers around Mother’s Day and general springtime.

“Daffodils, however, contain alkaloids and glycosides (similarly to tulips) which are highly toxic to both dogs and cats.

“Please be aware that the whole plant is toxic, especially the bulb. If you have daffodils in your garden, please take care especially if your dog likes to dig, as ingestion can quickly cause severe stomach irritation with vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and excessive drooling.

“Again, if you think that your pet has ingested any part of a daffodil, please seek advice from your veterinarian.”


Bournemouth Echo: Hyacinths are also harmful to petsHyacinths are also harmful to pets (Image: Canva)

These flowers should also be avoided for pet owners, Catrin has warned.

Hyacinths are a flower that “should be kept well away from dogs and cats as they contain toxic calcium oxalate crystals”.

Serious health issues can be caused by hyacinths whether they’re planted in the garden or potted inside.

For more information on dog insurance or to learn more about pet tips or tricks, you can visit the Animal Friends Pet Insurance website.

Catrin said: “Ingestion of hyacinths (or hyacinth bulbs) can cause serious health issues, but also even cause symptoms if inhaled too. 

“Typical signs include excessive drooling, vomiting and diarrhoea. More severe cases when larger amounts have been ingested could see increased heart and respiratory rates or difficulty breathing. It is important to contact your vet if you suspect your pet has eaten any part of a hyacinth.”

While these are five dangerous plants for pets, Catrin explains “this is not a comprehensive list” and if you are thinking of buying flowers for a cat or dog owner, “you should do your research.”

The expert adds: “There are many other plants which are more suitable, such as orchids, sunflowers and violets. If you are unsure or suspect your pet has ingested one of these listed toxic flowers you should contact your vet immediately.”