Are Daffodils Poisonous to Dogs?

Dr. Jason Gagné, DVM, DACVIM
By Dr. Jason Gagné, DVM, DACVIM
Updated: 7/11/20242-4 minutes
black and white dog sitting amongst daffodils

Spring knows how to make an entrance. Blue skies, green gardens, colorful flowers and longer days entice all of us, owners and dogs, out of the house. But all this fun outdoor exploration might make owners nervous about the potential risks that spring plants pose to dogs. In particular, daffodils are a toxic spring flower that can cause your dog to become very sick. So, if you’re wondering, Are daffodils poisonous to dogs?, yes, they are. And because daffodils are common in many places and spaces that are accessible to dogs, the answer to, Do dogs eat daffodils? is also yes. They may find interest in them for any number of reasons which can pose a serious risk to our canine friends.

In this article, you’ll gain a thorough understanding of why daffodils are toxic to dogs. Keep reading to learn answers to questions like: 

  • Are daffodils toxic to dogs? 
  • How toxic are daffodils to dogs? 
  • How long does daffodil poisoning last in dogs? 
  • What signs should I look for if my dog ingests a daffodil?

How to Identify Daffodils

Can dogs eat daffodils? They most definitely shouldn’t. The first piece of advice is to be on the lookout for daffodils during spring season. You will see these bright flowers in full bloom between March and late April, so pay particular attention on your dog walks during that time of year.  

You’ll have no trouble identifying these lovely flowers. Daffodils are trumpet-shaped flowers, with usually white or yellow petals, that come with an orange central corona. The leaves are long and flat. They’re also commonly found in parks and home gardens.

Are Daffodils Poisonous to Dogs?

Whether your dog nibbled a daffodil or your dog ate a daffodil bulb, yes, all parts of daffodils are poisonous to dogs. A dog eating daffodils is a situation to avoid, and you should keep them away from your dog. These plants contain a toxic component called lycorine which can cause digestive upset when ingested. There are other substances in a daffodil flower that might also cause irritation to the skin and to the mouth and throat if ingested. It’s best for your dog to avoid close contact with this flower.

When it comes to how much daffodil is poisonous to dogs, the obvious answer is that the more of a daffodil your dog ingests, the more at risk they are in getting sick. But it’s important to know that in general, daffodils are toxic to dogs, so if you suspect your dog has ingested a lot or even a little bit of daffodils, contact the vet immediately.

Are Daffodil Bulbs Poisonous to Dogs?

If your dog ate a daffodil bulb, call the vet immediately. They can give specific instructions for what to do if your dog eats a daffodil bulb. Not only are daffodils dangerous to dogs when fully bloomed, but they are highly toxic in bulb form. The bulbs also contain the substance lycorine which is the toxic component leading to health problems when ingested. In fact, the daffodil bulbs have a higher concentration of this compound than the flower itself, so if your dog is a relentless digger, keep this in mind.

Signs of Daffodil Poisoning in Dogs

Your next question may be, What happens if a dog eats a daffodil? Symptoms are likely to develop. If you suspect your dog has consumed parts of daffodil flowers, don’t hesitate to contact the vet. Here are some of the symptoms you might notice: 

In severe cases, your dog may experience:

  • Tremors 
  • Convulsions

What to Do if Your Dog Has Eaten Daffodils

Your dog ate a daffodil. Be sure not to panic but do act immediately. Because regardless of whether you’re asking yourself, Are daffodil flowers poisonous to dogs? Are daffodil stems poisonous to dogs? Are daffodil leaves poisonous to dogs?, all parts of the daffodil plant can cause sickness.

The first thing to do is remove any flowers from your dog’s mouth and call the vet immediately. Let them know if you’ve seen any symptoms of daffodil poisoning in dogs from the list above. Sometimes the vet might advise a simple solution such as giving your dog a bowl of milk or water. But in more severe situations, you will be asked to bring the dog to the vet immediately where they might administer medication to induce vomiting. Unless instructed by your vet, you should not try at-home techniques to cause your dog to vomit. This could cause serious harm.

When it comes to daffodil poisoning, dogs’ treatment options should come from a trained veterinarian. Avoid any sort of at-home treatments or remedies. Your vet is your number one resource for addressing what could be serious daffodil poisoning in dogs.

Don’t forget to take a picture of the plant your dog has eaten and show it to the vet. This will help them identify the toxic component that might be in your dog’s system and recommend the best treatment. Better yet, take a few samples and bring them to your vet so they can determine the level of risk they pose for the dog. 

Can Daffodils Kill Dogs?

While stomach upset is common with daffodil ingestion, the toxicity is rarely fatal. However, the more your dog consumes, the more likely they are to have more serious clinical signs.

How to Keep Dogs Away From Daffodils

It might seem impossible to eliminate any interaction your dog may have with these spring flowers considering they are such popular additions to gardens and parks. But it’s safe to say that no daffodils are safe for dogs. Here are a few things you can do to prevent daffodil poisoning from affecting your dog:  

  • Always keep your dog in sight during their walk, so you can pay attention to the plants they’re interacting with.  
  • Train your dog so they have a good response to the ‘leave it’ command.  
  • A leash can be helpful in keeping an overly excited dog away from toxic plants such as daffodils.  
  • If you have daffodils in your garden, consider replacing them or installing a fence around them so they’re out of reach for your dog. 
  • If you have daffodils in your home, move the vase to a higher shelf so the dog doesn’t have access to them. 

While daffodils have various hybrids that come in a variety of colors and sizes, unfortunately, there’s no true daffodil that’s dog-friendly. Because daffodil bulbs are poisonous to dogs, as well as their flowers and stems, the bottom line is to keep your dog away from every kind of daffodil, including its hybrids. 

For more expert tips for your dog, explore our other dog routine care articles.  

 

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