Are Carnation Flowers Toxic to Cats, Dogs, and Other Animals?

Carnations are attractive flowers, frequently grown as ornamentals in gardens worldwide. However, that doesn’t mean that carnations are safe for pets. In this article, we’ll explain whether carnation flowers are toxic to cats, dogs, and other animals.

Are Carnation Flowers Toxic to Cats, Dogs, and Other Animals?

Are Carnation Flowers Toxic to Cats, Dogs, and Other Animals?

According to the ASPCA, carnation flowers (Dianthus genus) are mildly toxic to cats, dogs, and other animals like horses. Thankfully, carnations are not fatally poisonous if consumed in small quantities. If your cat or dog consumes carnations, they will experience some gastrointestinal discomfort.

If your cat or dog eats a carnation, it likely won’t result in death. However, excessive consumption will lead to more significant amounts of stomach discomfort that could cause serious problems. Always contact your veterinarian if your cat, dog, or horse ingests carnations.

For more, see our in-depth guide to popular flowers that are toxic to cats, dogs, and other pets.

What Effects Do Carnation Flowers Have on Cats, Dogs, and Other Animals?

A black cat smelling a carnation flower in a garden

If your cat, dog, or horse consumes any part of a carnation, they will experience gastrointestinal problems. The most common symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. Carnations can also cause dermatological issues such as skin irritation and swelling if your cat or dog brushes against them.

These symptoms should pass without incident within a few hours. However, taking your cat or dog to a vet is still best if they’ve ingested carnations. If your pet only eats a small amount, the symptoms shouldn’t be too severe. However, excessive consumption can increase the risk of serious health problems.

Are Carnation Flowers Poisonous to Humans?

Carnation flowers are not poisonous to humans and are classed as edible. The flowers and petals can be used as garnishes for salads or cakes. These flowers can also be dried to make herbal tea.

However, the leaves and stems are not edible and are mildly toxic to humans. Humans who consume these parts of a carnation will experience some gastrointestinal discomfort. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, and possibly throat irritation.

What to Do if Your Cat or Dog Ingests Carnations

If your cat or dog ingests some carnations, check for symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort and call your veterinarian. You’ll likely be asked to bring your pet in for examination. While the discomfort should pass within a few hours, it’s always best to have your pet examined by your veterinarian.

How to Keep Cats, Dogs, and Other Animals Away From Your Carnation Flowers

A collection of colorful carnation flowers in bloom

Carnations are toxic to cats, dogs, and other animals like horses. Therefore it’s important to keep animals away from carnations as much as possible. This protects both your carnations and your animals.

If you can, train your dog or cat not to go near your carnations plants. While this isn’t always possible, it’s the best way to keep your pet safe. Alternatively, keep your pets away from your carnations using barriers like fences or chicken wire or planting carnations in a secluded spot. This is also an excellent way to keep horses away from carnations as long as the barrier is tall enough.

You can also use companion plants for carnations to deter animals from going near your flowers. Companion plants produce strong scents or have thorns that keep animals away. Mahonias and other thorny shrubs are one of the best ways to keep your pets away from carnations.

Strongly-scented herbs such as lavender and rosemary may also deter pets and other animals. When choosing companion plants, always ensure they aren’t toxic to your pets.


Are Carnation Flowers Toxic to Animals FAQs:

Are Carnations Safe for Dogs and Cats?

Unfortunately, carnations are toxic to both dogs and cats. If your pet ingests part of a carnation, it will likely suffer from gastrointestinal upset and skin irritation.

What Happens if a Dog Eats a Carnation Flower?

If your dog eats a carnation flower, it will probably experience some gastrointestinal discomfort. Dogs who have eaten carnations tend to suffer from diarrhea and vomiting. Carnations can also cause skin irritation if your dog brushes against them.

What if My Cat Eats a Carnation?

Carnations are mildly toxic to cats and can cause gastrointestinal discomfort. If your cat eats a carnation, they may experience diarrhea and vomiting.

What Part of the Carnation Is Poisonous?

All parts of carnations are poisonous to cats, dogs, and other animals. Carnation flowers, stems, and leaves can all cause gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea and vomiting in pets if ingested.

Are Daisies and Carnations Poisonous to Cats?

Sadly, both daisies and carnations are poisonous to cats. If your cat consumes carnations or daisies, they will experience stomach discomfort that leads to diarrhea and vomiting.


Wrapping Up

According to the ASPCA, carnations are toxic to cats, dogs, and horses. If your pet consumes carnations, it will experience gastrointestinal discomfort or skin irritation. Symptoms include diarrhea and vomiting. Contact your veterinarian immediately if your pet has ingested carnations.

Contributing Editor | edd@petalrepublic.com | Full Bio

Edd is a budding content writer and gardener living in the United Kingdom. He has a bachelor's degree in Creative and Professional Writing and has written for several gardening publications online. He is passionate about nature and sustainability with a focus on gardening and wildlife.

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