Don't sniff that: flowers that are poisonous to pets

These beautiful spring flowers should be avoided by dogs and cats due to their extreme toxicity levels.

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Mar 23, 2023

It’s finally spring—which can only mean one thing: time for you and your pet to explore the great outdoors. But before you and your furry best friend stop and smell the spring flowers, make sure they are not toxic. If you suspect your pet has ingested or been in contact with the plants below, call Pet Poison Helpline ASAP and then contact your Parker & Ace veterinary team to keep them updated on the situation.

These are the top three flowers to avoid:


Important note: Extremely dangerous for cats.

We hate to break this to you but the entire lily family should be avoided by your pet. They contain toxic alkaloids that are extremely dangerous if ingested, especially for cats. 

True lilies and daylilies are particularly harmful—just a small amount of ingested pollen can cause deadly toxicity in cats. Dogs are slightly more resistant to the toxicity of lilies, but they can become itchy if exposed to these flowers or have some GI upset if they ingest them.


Avoid: Begonia grandis, wax begonias, double begonias, fimbriata begonias.

These flowers thrive in the springtime, and their stems—particularly the part rooted underground—can cause acute toxicity if ingested by dogs and cats. Similar to our version of hot sauce, if eaten, begonias can result in an extreme burning in your pet’s mouth, swollen tongue or lips, and even difficulty swallowing.

If you suspect your pet has swallowed a begonia stem or bulb, contact Parker & Ace ASAP and/or take them to an emergency veterinary office for immediate treatment.


Important note: Just a few ounces of azalea flowers are enough to cause severe toxicity in a large-sized dog.

These shrub plants come in a variety of sizes and colors and give off a lovely smell. But, when it comes to azaleas, their beauty should be appreciated from afar as they are toxic to all pets, including horses.

These flowers can disrupt the cells in an animal's body, which can cause symptoms from blindness and vomiting, to abnormal heart rate or even death. Make sure to avoid: Formosa azaleas, spider azaleas, Gumpbo pink azaleas, rhododendrons.

Remember: help is always just a call or tap away

If you suspect your pet requires urgent care, contact Parker & Ace ASAP and our team will provide expert guidance and next steps. If your pet is in an emergency situation, go to the closest veterinary emergency room—and, update your Parker & Ace vet once things are in control.