Are Petunias Poisonous To Dogs or Cats?

Written by Jennifer Gaeng
Published: February 22, 2022
Image Credit nadia_if/Shutterstock.com
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There’s a reason petunia is so popular in gardens around the world: they have a reputation among gardeners as one of the most resilient flowers around. They are also notable for their long-lasting flowers. Not to mention, they are extremely easy to care for and come in a wide range of vibrant colors. Having a pet such as a dog or a cat, however, raises the question of whether these plants are poisonous to our furry friends. Are petunias poisonous to dogs or cats? Keep reading to find out!

Are Petunias Poisonous To Dogs or Cats?

Are Petunias Poisonous to Dogs or Cats - Petunia
Petunias are safe plants to have around dogs and cats.

Yui Yuize/Shutterstock.com

For pet-friendly gardeners, petunias are an excellent choice of flower. The petunia plant is not toxic to cats or dogs, making it a safe option for households with several pets. But this doesn’t make them a food option for your pets. Discourage your dogs and cat from eating houseplants whether they are toxic or not. So if your pet accidentally eats petunias, you have nothing to worry about. Non-toxic species of petunias include Grandiflora, Multiflora, Milli flora, and so on.

Should You Let Your Pet Eat Petunias?

Are Petunias Poisonous to Dogs or Cats - Petunia
The appropriate diet for dogs and cat is meat, not plants.

Yui Yuize/Shutterstock.com

You shouldn’t let your cat or dog eat petunias. Although petunias are safe for dogs to eat, overeating them can lead to stomach upset. Dogs and cats are not herbivores, so it’s inappropriate for them to eat plants. We recommend growing petunias in hanging baskets or window boxes if you have a dog that likes to dig in the garden or chew on plants.

Poisonous plants are known to many dogs because of their instincts; however, the lure of flowers can be too much for certain dogs! Petunias aren’t hazardous to dogs, cats, or other animals, but many other plants are. Training your dog to avoid all flowers reduces the risk of your dog devouring a hazardous plant in the future. Too much foraging is also bad for a dog’s digestive system.

What Happens If Your Pet Overeats Petunias?

While petunias are not inherently poisonous to dogs or cats, eating a little too much can cause your pet to vomit. Apart from vomiting, some other symptoms that your pet has eaten too much of these flowering plants are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Excessive urination
  • Excessive hunger

You should keep an eye on your pet if they vomit after going out in the garden and you notice some flower heads missing. If your dog continues to be sick for an extended period, you should seek the advice of a veterinarian.

Why Do Cats and Dogs Eat Petunias?

Are Petunias Poisonous to Dogs or Cats - Purple Petunia

nadia_if/Shutterstock.com

Dogs generally eat petunias because they’re bored or because they don’t know better. If your dog eats just one or two petunia blooms, you shouldn’t have to nurse them from any nasty side effects. Six blooms, however, are considered a little too much. Additionally, there are several reports of dogs eating plants and medical reports show that these cases are peculiar to pets who lack fiber in their diet or suffer from pica.

Likewise, cats with a deficiency in fiber can pick up a habit of eating plants like petunias. Besides, If a cat can’t pass a hairball, the first thing it does is eat grass to assist in the process of expulsion, as any cat owner knows. The biologically appropriate diet for cats and dogs is meat, so eating petunias is not ideal for your pets.

In Conclusion

Some plants are not only toxic but also lethal to pets. Toxic symptoms can include anything from vomiting and diarrhea to organ failure and convulsions. Dog and cat owners who plant petunias need not be concerned about their pet nibbling on the plant, but excessive chewing can cause some side effects for your pet, not to mention destroy the beauty of a nice garden.

We know petunias aren’t toxic to dogs or cats. However, if your dog is a renowned digger and plant-eater, or your cat ventures outside in the garden, use a window box or hanging basket instead. Thankfully, petunia flowers bloom beautifully in baskets, boxes, and patio urns!

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About the Author

A substantial part of my life has been spent as a writer and artist, with great respect to observing nature with an analytical and metaphysical eye. Upon close investigation, the natural world exposes truths far beyond the obvious. For me, the source of all that we are is embodied in our planet; and the process of writing and creating art around this topic is an attempt to communicate its wonders.