Five spring flowers that are dangerous for your dog

Thinking about buying plants to brighten up your garden? Here are five spring flowers to avoid if you have a pet dog.

Spring is almost upon us and with it comes flowers and plants galore. But while they are beautiful to look at, many common spring novelties found in gardens across the country have toxic elements that could prove dangerous to your four-legged friend.  

Most dogs are somewhat careful about what they eat, but young puppies and curious canines are notorious for getting their snouts into things they shouldn’t. That’s why the team at have compiled a list of pet-safe plants for your spring garden and some to avoid.

Five types of spring flowers to avoid

If you want to keep your pet dog safe, here are five types of spring flowers to avoid when heading to the garden centre.

1) Daffodils 

While daffodils can make a lovely decorating piece, they are toxic to dogs and can lead to vomiting, diarrhoea and drooling. Some dogs love digging holes, whether that’s in your own garden or on a walk, and this is when they can come in contact with a daffodil bulb. If you love the plant, consider fencing them off to keep them safely out of reach from your dog. 

2) Azaleas

Although adding a pop of colour to your spring garden can be tempting, it’s best to leave azaleas out of the mix. These plants can be toxic to dogs if ingested and cause mild problems such as vomiting, diarrhoea and weakness. Keeping these out of reach of curious paws may be sufficient to protect your canine companion. 

3) Bluebells

The bluebell may be a beautiful addition to your flower beds but this springtime favourite is dangerous to have around if you have a nosey puppy. When ingested they can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy and disorientation in dogs as they contain glycosides. 

4) Lilies

The Prairie Lily, Lily of the Valley, Peace Lily, and Calla Lily may look beautiful, but they’re not pet-friendly. The consumption of lily tubers is known to be toxic for both dogs and cats, so it’s safe to keep these out of your pets’ reach and be extra cautious when out walking.

While not all lilies are toxic to pets, the majority can cause an upset tummy and other uncomfortable reactions. If your dog consumes a lily plant, it may cause gastrointestinal upset including vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain.

If your dog has got its paws on a lily and seems unwell, it’s important to contact your vet for further advice. 

5) Tulips and hyacinths 

While tulips and hyacinths are two of the world’s most popular spring flowers, they are considered toxic to most animals, including dogs, cats and horses, so if you have any pets it’s important to keep them out of reach inside your home or garden. When ingested the plant can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and drooling. 

If your dog eats a large amount of the plant bulb, they may experience changes in heart rate and respiration, which then you will need to seek veterinary attention. 

Four alternative plants for your spring garden

That doesn’t mean you need to avoid any type of plant! Here are four alternative, pet-friendly plants for your spring garden.

1) Roses

Roses are an all-time classic and can add a pop of romantic drama to any spring garden. Equipped with super-soft petals and with so many varieties to choose from, roses are the spring garden addition that just keeps giving. 

Nurture them with sunlight, regular water and pruning and they are guaranteed to remain colourful and luscious throughout spring – while posing no threat to your furry friends. 

2) Sunflowers 

Sunflowers require a lot of water, as they become very unhappy when left to dry out. To encourage strength and vitality, we recommended adding tomato feed to their soil. 

If you are lucky enough to witness your sunflower stem grow tall, it could be wise to invest in some kind of bamboo pole, in order to support it. 

3) Camellias 

Camellias are always a beautiful and safe addition to any garden and come in many varieties and colours. Another benefit is that they can survive through the colder months, as long as they are watered regularly and not left to dry out. 

They do not enjoy too much sun exposure, so plant them somewhere that is sunny in the morning but shady in the afternoon. 

4) Snapdragons

Despite their fiery-sounding name, the humble snapdragon is guaranteed to offer a sweet and delicate touch to any flowerbed. 

These flowers need to be dead-headed regularly, but fed only weekly, making them pleasantly low-maintenance. The best thing about snapdragons? They pose no threat to dogs at all! 

Photo by R Gray