How to keep your garden safe for pets – FIVE dangerous spring flowers

Poisonous plants: Vets4Pets reveal which plants can harm pets

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Gardening has emerged as one of Brits’ favourite hobbies during the pandemic, with people spending increasing amounts of time outside. Activities associated with the hobby promote mental and physical health, as well as providing a welcome distraction. Unfortunately, there are some inherent risks at this time of year as flowers bloom, namely for pets.


Most cat owners should already know this, but lilies are highly toxic to their feline friends.

If ingested, any part of the plant could cause complete kidney failure in 36 to 72 hours.

Symptoms of lily poisoning include:

  • Vomiting
  • Disinterest in food
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Urinary retention


Daffodils will appear in clusters around now as one of the enduring symbols of spring.

Their bulbs are particularly harmful to dogs whether they ingest them or their water.

Symptoms aren’t usually fatal and include:

  • Vomiting
  • Sleepiness
  • Fits


Carnations, like daffodils, cause unpleasant but generally not deadly symptoms in cats.

They tend to cause signs of gastrointestinal upset and potentially dermatological issues, but vets recommend people take this kind of poisoning seriously.

Symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dermatitis (from sap)

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Another spring staple, bluebells, may look beautiful, but they contain chemicals named scillarens that can lower the heart rate.

Again, they’re not usually fatal but cause a range of concerning symptoms that should compel owners to visit a vet.

Symptoms of bluebell poisoning include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Lethargy
  • Disorientation


Bi-annual and perennial foxgloves debut around late spring and early summer and tend to attract honey bees.

The bright purple blooms conceal chemicals named cardiac glycosides dangerous to humans and most pets.

Symptoms of foxglove poisoning in pets include:

  • Severe nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle weakness
  • Heart failure

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