Spring Bulbs and Your Pets

Spring Bulbs and Your Pets

Almost all plants that arise from bulbs or corms have the potential to be poisonous if ingested by your pet. These include daffodils, jonquils, tulips, hyacinths, iris, bluebells, crocus, amaryllis, gladiola, alliums, and lilies.

All parts of these plants, but especially the bulbs, contain toxic substances which irritate the gastrointestinal tract causing drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal cramps. These signs can lead to secondary complications such as lethargy and dehydration.

Dogs and cats tend not to chew the leaves, stems or flowers of these plants when planted outside. If they do, only very mild signs of poisoning would be expected unless large quantities are ingested. However, if your pet chews on or eats a bulb, signs could be much more severe including an irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure and seizures. Dogs in particular might play with a bulb and bite into it mistaking it for a toy. Dogs might also dig bulbs up in the garden especially if fertilisers have recently been added to the soil.

Special mention must be made of lilies of the Lilium or Hemerocallis varieties. All parts of these plants, even the pollen, are highly poisonous to cats. Kidney failure can result from merely biting into a leaf or flower.
Unless you have a very inquisitive pet, we do not think it is necessary to remove all bulb plants from your garden or home, however do be mindful of the following:

✅ If your dog is a digger, cordon off bulbs or plant them in an area your pet can not access.
✅ If digging up bulbs or storing them, keep your pet away until they have been replanted or stored securely.
✅ Do not allow pets to drink water from vases that have contained these plants.
✅ It is safest to never have Lilium or Hemerocallis lilies in a home with cats.

If your cat is solely an indoor cat, any greenery introduced might get a nibble. Ensure alternative safe greens are available at all times, such as pet grass, to reduce the temptation.

☎ If you think your pet has ingested a spring bulb, please call us on 1300 869 738 (AU) or 0800 869 738 (NZ). We can risk assess your pet’s exposure and let you know if they require urgent veterinary treatment. The Helpline service is free for all pet owners.

Thank you to our platinum sponsor Hill’s Pet Nutrition for sponsoring this important post. Their support helps to keep this service FREE for all pet owners in Australia and New Zealand.

Hill’s Pet Nutrition: Premium pet food backed by science. From their days as puppies and kittens to their years as senior dogs and cats, the Hill’s range of biology-based nutrition stays a step ahead for differences you can see, feel and trust.

Visit www.hillspet.com.au to learn more.