Spring, if it ever arrives in this year of endless winter, is a great time for gardeners. But some of the most common blossoms this time of year can actually be harmful — and in some cases, lethal — for pets.
Tulips, which bloom from March through May, are arguably the most dangerous springtime plants for pups. Because of this, it’s important to make sure any tulips are kept behind chicken wire and far away from pets.
“(Tulips) are deadly, especially the bulbs. The bulbs are super deadly,” Linda Septon, an adoption counselor with Chula Vista Animal Care Facility, tells NBC 7 San Diego. “Even a cat eating one petal or even some of the pollen from the stamens here, it can lead to kidney failure and death in four to seven days.”
Lilies are another popular plant pet owners should steer clear of this season, or at the very least, keep well-protected.
“Members of the true lily (Lilium) and day lily (Hemerocallis) families have been shown to cause acute kidney failure in felines,” Dr. Tina Wismer, a veterinary toxicologist for the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, writes in Vetstreet. “Some examples of true lilies include Easter lilies (L. longiflorum), tiger lilies (L. tigrinum) and Japanese Show lilies (L. speciosum). Even a small amount of exposure (a few bites on a leaf, ingestion of pollen, etc.) may result in kidney failure. Cats often vomit within a few hours of exposure and become lethargic.”
Daffodils are also dangerous for both cats and dogs, according to Wismer. Their bulbs contain a toxic alkaloid called lycorine, which can lead to vomiting, nausea, and at worst, irregular heartbeats if consumed. Hyacinths, another springtime staple, contain similar alkaloids that can cause diarrhea in cats and dogs as well.
If your pet ingests one of these plants, it’s important to call the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680 immediately. The Banfield Pet Hospital has a [more extensive list](https://www.banfield.com/pet-owners/pet-health/pet-health-articles/beware-some-spring-plants-and-flowers-can-be-(1)) of toxic spring flowers so you know which plants to be aware of. Read up and keep those tulips away from your pup!