If you have a dog or a cat, one of your top priorities is to keep this pet safe. You take time to feed your pet and take them to the vet in the midst of a veterinary emergency. You also take steps to ensure that your pet is comfortable and feels loved.

Unfortunately, plants and flowers have other motives. Many of our favorite plants actually can prove fatal for dogs and cats if ingested. Flowers are no exception, so sending flowers to somebody you care about should require deep thought.

This guide seeks to demonstrate which types of flowers are unsafe to send to somebody who has a cat or dog. Sending the right flowers also delivers a message that you care about the entire family.

What Makes a Flower Dangerous?

Each of the types of flowers described in this guide is dangerous for a reason. Some flowers have poisonous bulbs whereas for others simply ingesting the petals can be dangerous. Assessing what makes a flower dangerous requires some understanding of where the toxic parts of a flower may be.

Oxalate crystals are one reason flowers are so dangerous. These components can cause irritation to the throat and mouth. This is where the excessive drooling comes in, but the crystals may also lead to other issues.

Other flowers contain properties like lycorine, which induces vomiting and nausea. This is found in many bulbs and flowers, leading to issues linked to the heart, respiratory system, and digestive system. These flowers can cause serious injuries that may even be fatal.

Flowers like oleanders include cardiac glycoside toxins, which are urgently dangerous. They are often fatal if ingested. Other flowers containing cardiac glycoside toxins include dogbane, foxglove, milkweed, and lily of the valley.

Veterinarians will treat poisoning caused by flowers with decontamination. This means that the vet will induce vomiting. The veterinarian will also use intravenous fluid and monitor the kidneys. When treatment is sought right away, it can save a pet from facing the most serious effects.

Dangerous Flowers for Cats and Dogs

Steering clear of certain flowers is a great way to keep your pets safe. If you are buying flowers for yourself or are sending blooms to somebody special, you have a few things to think about. Just make sure you do not send these flowers to somebody you know has a beloved cat or dog.

Azaleas & Rhododendrons

Azaleas and rhododendrons, two related flowers, are both seriously damaging to pets. An animal that eats even a few leaves of this type of plant will soon begin vomiting, drooling, and experiencing diarrhea. Eating these flowers could even cause muscle weakness.

While veterinary action may be able to save the animal’s life, cats and dogs could slip into a coma or even die if they ingest even a small amount of these flowers. Symptoms that the animal has been poisoned tend to begin forming within a few hours of ingestion.


Lilies are another dangerous flower, but not all lilies are culprits. Determining the difference between safe and dangerous lilies can be difficult though. It is sometimes better to just consider not sending lilies unless you know for sure that they are not toxic.

Peace lilies, Peruvian lilies, and calla lilies are toxic to a minor degree, often causing noticeable drooling. The more dangerous lilies are the tiger lily, day lily, Asiatic lily, Easter lily, and Japanese show lily. Each of these lilies are toxic, especially for cats.

Lilies are especially dangerous because even eating a couple petals or leaves can result in kidney failure. If you suspect that your cat has ingested any part of a lily plant, bring your cat and the plant to the veterinarian immediately. This is an emergency situation.


While beautiful, the oleander is poisonous even for humans. This flower grows on a shrub, making it the perfect flower for a front yard. Still, ingesting the flower can cause vomiting and potentially even death.

Tremors and seizures are commonplace among animals who ingest oleanders, and they could lead to coma or death. Immediate veterinary care is essential for preventing serious consequences.


Tulips, while beautiful, also pose a danger to your furry friends. The danger resides in the bulb of the plant, so it tends to strike dogs more than cats because it must be dug out of the ground and consumed.

Eating the bulb of the tulip has serious consequences including irritation of the mouth and throat, resulting in serious drooling and vomiting. Eating larger quantities of the bulb could lead to changes in breathing and heart rate, and this will require quick veterinary action.


Animals are attracted to strange smells, so the chrysanthemum may appeal to cats and dogs. While most pets do not die from ingesting this flower, it does come with side effects that can be physically and even emotionally detrimental.

Some animals may even become depressed and lethargic after ingesting chrysanthemums. They also tend to lose coordination, appearing as if they are off-balance. Additional symptoms include drooling, skin itching, and vomiting.

Pet-Friendly Flowers

Selecting pet-friendly flowers is one way to show that you care about somebody who has cats and dogs. While so many toxic flowers are gorgeous and commonly found in holiday arrangements, you can still find flowers that don’t cause these issues.

Many of our top-rated gifts are safe for cats and dogs. These include our boxed flower products. Boxed flowers can be easily protected from the roving eyes of a dog or cat. Additionally, they can be stored somewhere a pet does not necessarily have access to.

We also recommend gerbera daisies. Gerbera daisies are safe to be around pets, even if your cat or dog becomes curious about tasting one. Plus, the gerbera daisy is gorgeous in presentation, making it a fantastic choice on its own.

Selecting the perfect flower always takes time and consideration. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to find flowers that are non-toxic for pets while also still visually appealing.