Despite this very cold spell that we are having there are already daffodils coming into bloom.  It makes everyone feel that Spring is just around the corner but did you know that daffodils can be poisonous to our pets?

Why are daffodils poisonous to pets?

The toxic compounds in daffodils are called glycosides and alkaloids and they are present in all parts of the plant but are most concentrated in the bulbs – bad news for dogs who like to dig up flower beds!

Eating daffodils can cause irritation to the stomach resulting in vomiting and diarrhoea with abdominal pain and lethargy. The owner may also notice that the animal is drooling. These signs can occur very quickly after ingestion, normally within two hours. Dogs and cats usually recover within 12-48 hours but this can be longer in severe cases (although there are rare in our experience).

If skin comes into contact with the sap of the bulbs and stems this can also be a problem. It causes irritation called ‘daffodil itch’ resulting in itchiness and redness of the skin but it is much more common in people who are regular gardeners that it is in pets.

What should I do if my pet has eaten daffodils?

The severity of the signs your pet shows will depend on which part of the plant has been eaten and what quantity. If several bulbs have been ingested then this can be a problem particularly in smaller dogs and cats. In some cases veterinary treatment is not required but if you are unsure, call Animal PoisonLine and one of our team can advise you.


Animal PoisonLine’s 3 top tips about daffodils

1. Keep bulbs away from pets when you planting them

2. Make sure your dog or cat does not dig the bulbs back up again after being planted

3. If you have cut flowers in the house keep them away from your pets by placing them on a high surface