Floral Bouquets for Pet Owners: 3 Types of Flowers that Are Toxic to Pets

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When sending floral bouquets to the 63% of Australian households that own a pet, you need to be extra careful. Although these flowers are beautiful and may be harmless to human beings, they can be incredibly toxic for pets. It's generally best to avoid incorporating flowers that are toxic to pets in bouquets for pet owners. You never know when their pets may accidentally ingest the flowers. While there are a wide range of flowers that are toxic to pets, the following 3 are most commonly included in floral bouquets.

The Entire Color Scheme of Tulips

Tulips are not only beautiful, but also come in a wide range of colors, which is why it is an extremely popular choice for floral bouquets. Tulips can complement just about any other type of flower, and is also elegant and beautiful enough to stand alone. Unfortunately, tulips are mildly to moderately toxic to cats and dogs.

Tulips contain allergenic lactones and similar alkaloids that can irritate oral and gastrointestinal tissues when ingested. Common signs to look out for include drooling, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. When ingested in large quantities, additional signs, like increased heart rate and respiratory rate, will also begin to emerge.

The Bright Colors and Strong Fragrance of Azaleas

Azaleas are best known for their bright colors and strong fragrance. They not only stand out, but also embody femininity and softness. Azaleas are a symbol of womanhood, beauty and affection. Because of all of these reasons, azaleas are commonly found in bouquets.

Although beautiful, azaleas are a type of rhododendron plant, and all rhododendron plants are toxic to pets. The toxicity of azaleas is attributed to a substance known as grayanotoxin. If the recipient's pet has consumed azaleas, the owner should notice visible signs of poisoning within a few hours. Some common signs include excessive drooling, diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, tremors or seizures and lethargy. In extreme circumstances, the pet may even fall into a coma.

The Playful Appeal of Daffodils

Many florists will throw in some daffodils into bouquets in order to liven them up. Daffodils not only last long, but they also remind people of spring and warm weather. It's definitely a very cheery flower – especially with their trumpets. Although daffodils may look innocent enough, they also are not a good choice for pet owners.

Daffodils contain two types of toxic agents: lycorine and calcium oxalate crystals. Both are harmful to pets. Clinical signs to look out for when the daffodils are ingested include vomiting, salivation, diarrhea, low blood pressure, tremors and even cardiac arrhythmias. The bulbs are the most toxic part of the plant.


Being aware of the type of flowers that are toxic to pets is important if any of your recipients are pet owners. You want to personalize the bouquets to ensure that the flowers can be enjoyed by both the pet owners and the pets. It's not uncommon for pet owners to forget to put flowers out of reach of their pets, and many pets are nimble enough to get to the bouquets if they wanted to. Since it can be difficult to make sure the pets don't come into contact with toxic flowers, the next best option is to simply avoid including them in the bouquets to begin with. Consult with a florist like Riverside Florist & Gifts for pet-friendly options.