Valentine’s Day is a time to express love, often celebrated with the gift of flowers. While the gesture is heartwarming, it’s essential to be mindful of the furry members in our families — our beloved cats and dogs. Some flowers commonly found in Valentine’s Day bouquets can be toxic to pets, posing a threat to their health and well-being if ingested. In this blog post, we’ll explore a few of these potentially harmful blooms and suggest pet-friendly alternatives. 

  1. Lilies: Lilies, with their elegant and fragrant blooms, are a popular choice for romantic bouquets. However, many varieties of lilies, such as Easter lilies, tiger lilies, and Asiatic lilies, are highly toxic to cats. Ingesting even a small amount of these flowers can lead to severe kidney damage and, in some cases, be fatal. If you have feline companions, consider opting for pet-safe alternatives like sunflowers or daisies. 
  2. Tulips: Tulips are another classic flower associated with love and romance. While the bulbs are the most toxic part of the plant, even the flowers can cause gastrointestinal upset if ingested by curious pets. To keep your home pet-friendly, consider choosing hydrangeas, violets, or orchids as non-toxic alternatives that still carry a romantic vibe. 
  3. Baby’s Breath: Often used as a filler in floral arrangements, baby’s breath (Gypsophila) can be harmful to both cats and dogs. Ingesting this delicate white flower may lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and difficulty breathing. Choose safer alternatives like ferns, snapdragons, or pet-safe herbs like catnip for a touch of greenery. 
  4. Roses: While roses are generally safe for pets, we recommend being cautious of thorns. Injuries from stepping on or ingesting thorns can cause discomfort and even lead to infections. Consider opting for rose varieties with fewer or no thorns, or choose alternatives like peonies, pansies, or marigolds. 

This Valentine’s Day, express your love thoughtfully by selecting flowers that not only warm the hearts of your human loved ones but also keep your furry friends safe. After all, nothing says “I love you” like a bouquet that brings joy without harm. 

If you are concerned that your pet has ingested any of the flowers mentioned above, it’s crucial to seek prompt veterinary assistance. Contact the veterinary team at West Delray Veterinary for further guidance and support.