Can Dogs Eat Carnation Stems?

"How about roses instead?"
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Carnations are a go-to flower for bouquets because of their fresh fragrance and color options. If you share your home with a dog, there are better choices for filling your favorite vase. Carnations -- stems and all -- can make Barkley sick if he decides to graze on your greenery.


Carnations are popular additions to cut flower arrangements because they can convey so many meanings. Pink carnations symbolize a mother's love, while deep red ones mean love. A lighter, brighter red expresses admiration. White carnations symbolize pure love or a hope for good luck. Yellow aren't as happy: they mean disappointment or dejection. The blooms last a long time, whether as part of a plant or bouquet, and they're easy to grow.

Carnations: No Friend to Barkley

If you were gifted with a bunch of carnations, you should keep them out of your pup's reach because they're considered toxic to dogs. According to the ASPCA, carnations, including the stems, can be a mild irritant to Barkley, causing dermatitis or an unhappy belly. If Barkley shares his home with a cat, kitty can also get sick if she decides to graze on these posies.

Keep Out!

Carnations aren't the only flowers you need to be cautious with. Common cut flowers to look out for include daisy, peony, baby's breath, bird of paradise, iris, trumpet lily, hydrangea, and tulip. If Barkley's allowed to roam free in your garden, you'll need to keep that safe too. For his sake, it's best to avoid hibiscus, daffodil, mums, foxglove, sweet pea and periwinkle. The ASPCA has a complete list of toxic and non-toxic plants on its website.

Use Caution

If you suspect Barkley snagged a stem, call the vet. Though there are more poisonous possibilities for him, it's best not to take chances and of course, you don't want him feeling sick if he doesn't have to. Cornell University lists common symptoms of toxic plant ingestion including vomiting, salivation, diarrhea, weakness or difficulty breathing. If your pooch is prone to eating plants, try adding some bran flakes to his diet, or switch to a food with a little more vegetable fiber. Keep an eye open when he's out to make sure he doesn't snack on random items he considers treats.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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