Leave the lilies: Veterinarian warns about toxic flowers for pets ahead of Valentine's Day

Leave the lilies: Veterinarian warns about toxic flowers for pets ahead of Valentine’s Day

MILWAUKEE COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) – Florists are busy preparing for Valentine's Day.

Flowers are a staple, and while you're planning your arrangement, veterinarians recommend keeping your pets in mind as some flowers can be toxic to cats and dogs.

"It's not uncommon for animals, cats or dogs, to kind of sniff things out, and taste or lick, or even chew on some of these plants," said Dr. Pete Gaveras, a veterinarian at Silver Spring Animal Wellness Center.

When building a bouquet, Dr. Gaveras recommends keeping pets away from carnations, hydrangeas, and lilies.

"Lilies are really a problem. For cats, they can cause kidney disease, kidney failure, so they can be toxic," Dr. Gaveras said. "They can cause GI disturbances in dogs as well."

Also toxic for four legged friends: any flowers with bulbs.

"Daffodils, for example, tulips, they are potentially risky for dogs or cats," Dr. Gaveras said.

In late winter, it's common for people to pot bulbed flowers to eventually put outside.

"So, if you have bulbs in storage, that would be something that you would want to be careful about," said Erica Rice, a floral designer at The Flower Lady in Wauwatosa.

Luckily, a safe bet for both your valentine and your pet is to keep it classic.

"Roses tend to be safe," Dr. Gaveras said. "As well as some of the other plants that are available this time of year; marigolds, snapdragons, pansies."

If you're worried, your florist typically can help you pick the right plants.

"We want to make sure that it's safe," Rice said.

Dr. Gaveras says if you notice excessive drooling or stomach issues, give your vet a call.

"Cats seem to be a little more sensitive to plants, but it can affect any pet," he explained.

Click here to view the ASPCA's list of toxic and non-toxic plants for pets.

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