Fresh Flowers and Pet Safety

Fresh Flowers and Pet Safety

It’s safe to say we’re pretty obsessed with our two senior Chihuahua ladies. This picture is of Gwen, sporting her post surgery cone and standing on my slippers. 😂 

What do flowers have to do with pet safety? 

Our families are big pet people, and I grew up around cats and dogs. My brothers and parents love cats, and I remember cats jumping up on tables and counters and pretty much anywhere in the house, meaning they could also get into arrangements. April of 2020 was the first Easter that I remember not getting together with my immediate family, due to the unfolding COVID pandemic.

My mom, wanting to do a nice gesture, dropped off Easter Lily flowers to my household as well as both of my brothers. We didn’t know at the time that those lilies are very toxic to cats. My brother’s cat ate a piece of the plant and became very sick. She needed expensive medical treatment, and thankfully recovered, but it was a shocking experience for all of us.

That led me to start researching toxicity of plants for animals and I was surprised to learn that many commonly sold flowers and greenery as well as “filler” stems are toxic to cats and dogs. 

Toxicity Ranges 

Some flowers will cause mild digestive upset and some are considered to be extremely toxic with severe consequences, up to death. I use the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) website as a guideline. Based on their determination of toxicity, my offerings have evolved to where now I focus on rose varieties and gerbera daisies in my fresh flower “Jar of Rosas” arrangements. 

I pair these flowers with faux greenery (including silks and plastic flowers and greens) to avoid identified toxic plants for pets, with the added bonus of avoiding aggravating my seasonal allergies (which in Austin, TX feels year round). 

I hope this background is helpful. Check out the ASPCA’s list of toxic and non-toxic plants as a guide: 

*Remember, even if your pets won’t jump on counters, many typical arrangements have pieces that may fall on the floor, such as shedding petals and pollen. 

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1 comment

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