If you’re thinking about spoiling your partner with a bouquet of flowers this Valentine’s Day, spare a thought for their precious pet before you do so.
This is according to Dave Leicester, an expert at UK-based vet emergency company, Vets Now.
Last February, Vets Now saw a 60 per cent increase in flower-related cases and this year the company has issued a warning to pet owners detailing which blooms to avoid and which are safe for their furry friends.
Iconic and oh so pretty, tulips represent joy, new beginnings, love and hope but for your pets they could mean sickness.
“As one of the most popular flowers for Valentine’s Day bouquets, tulips are in the lily family, and are poisonous to both cats and dogs,” Leicester tells Yahoo News.
“The bulbs are the most toxic part,” Leicester adds, “but any part of the plant can be harmful to your cat, so all tulips should be kept well away.”
Signifying purity, remembrance and femininity, lilies have various symbolic meanings but according to Leicester, some types of lilies are very dangerous for cats.
“They contain highly toxic substances and ingestion of any part of the plant, or even just grooming the pollen from their coat, or drinking water from the vase, can be potentially fatal, causing acute kidney failure. While lilies don’t pose quite as severe a risk to dogs, they are still toxic,” he adds.
“The calla lily, peace lily, lily of the valley, and palm lily, are all deemed dangerous to dogs.”
Chrysanthemums and daisies
Leicester says these flowers are less toxic but should be kept out of reach.
“Although only mildly toxic, chrysanthemums contain pyrethrins, which are used in dog flea and tick medications, and are particularly poisonous to cats. If your cat has eaten chrysanthemums look out for vomiting, diarrhoea and lack of appetite and seek advice from your vet.”
Symbolising spring and new beginnings, daffodils will no doubt put a smile on your partner’s face but Leicester explains daffodils will make your pet ill if ingested.
“The yellow flowers contain a poisonous alkaloid that triggers vomiting while crystals in the bulbs are severely toxic and can cause serious conditions such as cardiac arrhythmias or respiratory depression. These signs can be seen between 15 minutes and one day following ingestion.”
Vibrant with an enchanting scent, hyacinths are a wonderful Valentine’s Day choice but they could wreak havoc with your pet’s stomach.
“Belonging to the liliaceae family, the highest concentration of poison in hyacinths is in the bulbs, making them harmful to both cats and dogs,” Leicester says.
“Ingesting a hyacinth bulb can lead to drooling, vomiting, or diarrhoea, depending on the number consumed.”
Which flowers are safe for pets?
Leicester advises to stick with pet safe roses, lavender, sunflowers, and orchids.
“We’d urge pet owners to be vigilant and extra cautious during times when you are likely to have more flowers on display at home than usual,” he says.
“Pets can be notoriously curious, so be sure to keep vases of bouquets and potted indoor plants well out of reach if you do have cats and dogs in your home.”
If your inquisitive fuzzy companion happens to indulge in your beautiful blooms this Valentine’s Day and seems to be a bit under the weather be sure to contact your local vet.