Mother’s Day Bouquets: What’s Safe for Pets?

May 6, 2020

a cat next to flowers in a vase

We’re grateful for the love and care of mothers every single day. And during these challenging times, we may not be able to reach out and embrace our moms, but there are various ways to say thank you for all that they do. One of the most popular gifts to send on Mother’s Day is a beautiful bouquet of flowers! 

If your mother is also pet parent, you should be mindful when choosing your Mother’s Day arrangement. Not all flowers are safe for our pets, but do not fear, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) has put together a handy list of pet-safe flowers you can use to make sure you’re keeping your furry friends safe, healthy and out of harm’s way. 

flower pet safety infographic

Roses (Rosa sp.), like any flower, can cause mild stomach upset but aren’t incredibly toxic to pets. However, watch out for thorns! These may potentially cause trauma to the mouth and to the paws. If your pet has been chewing on the stem of a rose and is showing signs of increased drooling or pawing at the mouth, check their mouth for signs of trauma. If they refuse to eat, a veterinary visit could be in order. Ingesting large amounts of the stem material of flowers can put them at risk for a foreign body obstruction.

Gerbera Daisies (Gebera jamesonii) are also called the African daisy, Veldt daisy and the Barberton daisy. As with any plant material there could be a concern for vomiting or gastrointestinal discomfort when ingested, but see your veterinarian if symptoms increase or appear to be more than mild.

Sunflowers (Helianthus sp.) are a sure way to brighten Mom’s day, and who does not love a flower with such a cheerful disposition? These are another delightful flower that will not be likely to cause more than mild GI signs if the plant material is ingested. All parts of the sunflower are edible for humans and are often used in salads, but our pets may not enjoy these items as much as we do.

Orchids (Cymbidum, Dendrobium, Oncidium and Phalaenopsis sp.) are another safe flower to have around our pets. With this delicate flower, it’s the plant that needs protection from the pets! Again, like any of the “safe” plants, ingesting orchids could cause mild GI upset if more than a bite or two is ingested. Keep these out of reach from your pet so that their beauty can be fully enjoyed. 

Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus) are a lovely flower that may be used as a garnish on a plate. These flowers, while edible, do not have much taste and may be a bit bitter. Cats and dogs may hypersalivate from the bitter taste. Give them something tasty to erase the flavor and everything should be fine. 

Freesias (Freesia corymbosa) are often used as filler flowers in many bouquets to add a bit of charm. As with other flowers on this list, they are non-toxic aside from the potential upset stomach if ingested by our pets.

Limonium (Limonium sp.) and Statice (Limonium leptostachyum) are safe filler flowers that could be used in your Mother’s Day bouquet too. These will spruce up any arrangement that you give your mother and are unlikely to cause any severe issues if ingested by your pet.

Madagascar Jasmine (Stephanotis sp.) has star-shaped white flowers and is a pretty houseplant as well as a lovely addition to bouquets. Again, this flower could cause mild GI signs, but should not pose any other risk to your furry friends.

Stock (Matthiola incana) is often used as a cut flower in bouquets and as an aromatic plant. These flowers are a symbol of joy, success and happiness as well as beauty. What could be a better message for your Mother’s Day bouquet?

Waxflower (Etlingera cevuga) is another flower often used as a filler to spice up a floral arrangement. Again, these flowers could cause mild stomach upset in pets but do not pose any serious risks to the health of your companion.

Lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflora) are flowers prized for their rose like blooms and are another non-toxic plant that will add to a bouquet. These blooms are often used due to their long-lasting vase life and can live for two weeks in a bouquet. These flowers are sure to be appreciated as any part of a Mother’s Day gift!

We understand curious noses and paws might be interested in Mother’s Day bouquets with either safe or toxic flowers. It’s best to keep your bouquets and arrangements up out of paws’ reach for everyone to enjoy! 

If you believe your pet has ingested anything toxic or seems to be having an adverse reaction to something, please contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.