We all love to share a walk with our four-legged friends, letting them take in all of the sights and smells of the outside world. Some of us may even bring our dogs along for the ride when traveling to other states. We typically think that we know how to keep our pets safe from any potential risks while out on a short stroll or perhaps even a big cross-country adventure, but there could be a hidden danger beneath your feet that you’re not even aware of – flowers.
Each state has its own signature flower that encapsulates the spirits of the land, the people living there, and the cultures that surround them. Unfortunately, many of these patriotic plants could be unsafe for our canine companions to come across, particularly if our pooch has a tendency to explore with its mouth or tongue. Despite being important information for the welfare of our pets, many of us sadly don’t know which popular plants pose a threat.
To find out more about which states are the most dangerous for dogs when it comes to their official state flowers, the experts at Love Your Dog have analyzed the symbolic flowers across all 50 United States to determine which could potentially cause harm to our furry friends and detail what owners should look out for if they suspect their curious pets might have come into contact with any of these flowers.
We analyzed the state flowers of all 50 states using a seed list from Teleflora. To determine whether each of these plants was a potential health risk for dogs, we used animal poison control data from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (ASPCA). Now, let’s get into the breakdown of which states are the most dangerous for dogs based on state flowers and see whether your home state is safe for your own dog.
Summary Of Findings
- Flowers that are named after states, like the Texas Bluebonnet (Texas), California Poppy (California), and Rocky Mountain Columbine (Colorado), are some of the most toxic flowers to dogs.
- More general, common flowers like Violets in the Great Lakes region (Illinois and Wisconsin) and New England (Rhode Island and New Jersey), Magnolias in the South (Louisiana and Mississippi), and Dogwoods (Virginia and North Carolina) are safe.
- Dangerous-looking (or sounding) species like Saguaro Cactus Blossom (Arizona) and Oregon Grapes (typically toxic to dogs) are safe. But other prickly plants like Sagebrush (Nevada) and Mistletoe (Oklahoma) are not.
- Except for the thorns, all varieties of Roses are safe for dogs, including the Wild Prairie Rose (Iowa and North Dakota), Cherokee Rose (Georgia), and Roses (New York).
- Plants with flowering fruits are typically not okay for animals, including Orange Blossom (Florida), Peach Blossoms (Delaware), and Apple Blossoms (Arkansas and Michigan).
- Color can play a role too. While not always true, in general, white flowers are usually less toxic than pigmented ones (with the exception of Mistletoe and Violets). Be sure to do your research before assuming this is true.
Flowers By State
|Not Toxic||Toxic||Can Be Toxic|
|Alabama: Camellia||Arkansas: Apple Blossom||Alaska: Forget-Me-Not|
|Arizona: Saguaro Cactus Blossom||California: California Poppy||Hawaii: Yellow Hibiscus|
|Georgia: Cherokee Rose||Colorado: Rocky Mountain Columbine|
|Idaho: Mock Orange||Connecticut: Mountain Laurel|
|Illinois: Purple Violet||Delaware: Peach Blossom|
|Indiana: Peony||Florida: Orange Blossom|
|Iowa: Wild Prairie Rose||Massachusetts: Mayflower|
|Kansas: Sunflower||Michigan: Apple Blossom|
|Kentucky: Goldenrod||Minnesota: Pink and White Lady Slipper|
|Louisiana: Magnolia||Montana: Bitterroot|
|Maine: White Pine Tassel and Cone||Nevada: Sagebrush|
|Maryland: Black-eyed Susan||New Mexico: Yucca|
|Mississippi: Magnolia||Ohio: Scarlet Carnation|
|Missouri: Hawthorn||Oklahoma: Mistletoe|
|Nebraska: Goldenrod||Pennsylvania: Mountain Laurel|
|New Hampshire: Purple Lilac||South Carolina: Yellow Jessamine|
|New Jersey: Violet||South Dakota: Pasque Flower|
|New York: Rose||Tennessee: Iris|
|North Carolina: Flowering Dogwood||Texas: Texas Bluebonnet|
|North Dakota: Wild Prairie Rose||Vermont: Red Clover|
|Oregon: Oregon Grape||Washington: Coast Rhododendron|
|Rhode Island: Violet||West Virginia: Rhododendron|
|Utah: Sego Lily|
|Virginia: Flowering Dogwood|
|Wyoming: Indian Paintbrush|
Alabama – Camellia
Known for their large, ornate flowers and abundance of intricate overlapping petals, Camellias are the officially-recognized state flower of Alabama. These flowers are a real show-stopping beauty, but how dangerous are they for your dog? The good news is, not at all!
All parts of the Camellia plant, from the petals to the stem and leaves, are completely dog-safe, meaning you have little to worry about if your pooch gets hold of one of these flowers. However, as with all plant matter, you may find your dog experiencing vomiting and diarrhea if too much is eaten. So, if your dog is known for being a little gluttonous, it might be a good idea to keep an eye on them, anyway.
If your dog has over-consumed Camellias and you’re concerned about their wellbeing, it’s a good idea to consult with a veterinarian for peace of mind.
Alaska – Forget-Me-Not
The hard-to-forget Forget-Me-Not is the state flower for Alaska. These vibrant cornflower blue flowers are an instant eye-catcher for any that come across them, making them instantly memorable, but could they be an unforgettable nightmare for your pup? Unfortunately, this could well be the case.
Despite their innocent appearance, some varieties of the Forget-Me-Not are actually mildly toxic to dogs. In particular, the European and Broadleaf variants have the potential to inflict some harm on your pooch. If you encounter one of these variants, you may start to see your dog show one of the following symptoms: excessively salivating, vomiting, or even experiencing tremors in more severe cases.
If any of these symptoms are observed, it’s important to bring your dog to the vet immediately for a full-body examination to determine whether the flowers are responsible and administer treatment.
Arizona – Saguaro Cactus Blossom
When you think of Arizona, the sprawling desert landscape probably comes to mind. It’s only natural, then, that this state’s official representative flower is the Saguaro Cactus Blossom. These intriguing flowers look vaguely Lily-like and are instantly recognizable, sprouting from the top of Saguaro Cacti. Fortunately, these flowers are also completely safe for your dogs to consume – should they ever manage to get hold of one amidst all of those spikes!
In fact, those spikes (or spines) are the only thing dangerous about the Saguaro Cactus in general. While eating the flowers won’t do your dog any harm, owners should always be cautious about allowing their dogs to interact with these cacti due to their prickly nature. In particular, you should always watch out for spikes protruding from your pup’s skin, especially in the areas in and around the eyes, nose, and mouth.
Should your pup, unfortunately, come into contact with these spikes, it’s important to take them to the vet as soon as possible so that they can be safely removed.
Arkansas – Apple Blossom
Representing Arkansas are the delicate blooms of an apple tree – the Apple Blossom. These flowers offer a refreshing pop of white and pale pink amongst the green leaves of apple trees and are a welcome sight to many. However, they are sadly not such a welcome sight to our four-legged friends.
Unfortunately, all members of the apple family are mildly toxic to dogs – including the fruit, flowers, leaves, bark, and roots. Should your pooch get their paws on any part of this plant, it’s important for owners to look out for the following symptoms of Apple Blossom poisoning: vomiting and diarrhea.
If your pup begins to show symptoms after being around an apple tree, they should be brought to a veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible.
California – California Poppy
What flower defines the state of California better than the California Poppy? These beautiful, bright orange flowers are instantly recognizable and have become iconic around the world. Poppies typically make us feel happy, but how do they make our dogs feel? While we may think these flowers are harmless, they are actually toxic for our pets.
All parts of the Poppy plant contain alkaloids that act as a sedative. If too much of these substances are consumed, this can result in toxic effects within our dogs’ bodies and can sadly even lead to death in smaller pups. Symptoms to look out for include: vomiting, diarrhea, and difficulty breathing or swallowing.
If your dog has eaten any part of a Poppy plant, regardless of presenting symptoms, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian as soon as possible as symptoms may not present in some animals until the toxic effects are too far developed for treatment.
Colorado – Rocky Mountain Columbine
The state flower of Colorado, the Rocky Mountain Columbine, is an unsuspecting pale-blue flower with delicate petals. These beautiful flowers are a delight to see, but could they pose a threat to our four-legged friends? The answer is, sadly, yes.
While these flowers aren’t necessarily toxic, almost all parts of the plant are poisonous to our canine companions – especially the seeds. The plant contains several compounds that produce non-fatal adverse reactions in our fur babies when consumed – including vomiting and diarrhea. Thankfully, these plants possess a bitter taste, meaning it’s unlikely for dogs to want to eat large quantities.
If your dog has eaten Rocky Mountain Columbine and is exhibiting symptoms, they should be taken to a veterinarian for treatment to help relieve symptoms.
Connecticut – Mountain Laurel
Boasting small, cup-shaped flowers in a beautiful delicate pink color, the Mountain Laurel is the official state flower of Connecticut. These intriguing flowers are truly unique in their shape and pattern, mixed in amongst intermittent buds that look similar to hot pink conkers. Sadly for our pooches, however, these flowers are also entirely toxic.
Part of the Laurel family of plants, all members of this group are unfortunately not safe for dogs. Consuming any part of the Mountain Laurel could potentially lead to abnormal functioning of your dog’s muscles and nervous system. Symptoms of Laurel poisoning include tremors, difficulty breathing and swallowing, and full-body seizures.
If your dog has eaten this plant, they should be brought to a veterinarian immediately for treatment.
Delaware – Peach Blossom
For a state filled with peach growers, there is truly no other rival flower to represent Delaware than the Peach Blossom. These delicate pink blooms sprout from peach trees, offering a delightful pop of color. Unfortunately for our pups, however, they are also mildly toxic.
All plants in the peach family are mildly toxic to dogs – including the fruit, bark, leaves, flowers, and roots. Luckily, these trees only produce mild side effects in dogs, such as vomiting and diarrhea.
If your dog has eaten any part of a peach tree and is showing symptoms, a vet should be consulted as soon as possible to determine whether treatment is necessary.
Florida – Orange Blossom
Is there more of an iconic image for the Sunshine State than the Florida Orange? This state’s representative flower, the Orange Blossom, is a sight known to all. Its bright white elongated petals are in stark contrast to the trees’ dark leaves. For our pooches, however, these flowers are definitely a no-go.
All citrus fruits, including their trees, are mildly toxic to dogs. If consumed, the Orange Blossom can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs, so it’s best to admire these beautiful blooms from a distance.
Should your dog manage to get hold of these flowers, however, their vet should be consulted to determine whether treatment is required.
Georgia – Cherokee Rose
A controversial choice for the true Peach State, Georgia’s representative flower is none other than the beautiful Cherokee Rose. This plant produces large, pure white flowers with jagged leaves. Fortunately for our canine companions, they are also entirely dog-safe.
The Cherokee Rose is a member of the Rosa family of roses, all of which are non-toxic to dogs. The only real concern when it comes to allowing your pup to play with these flowers is the sharp thorns that adorn their long stems. Owners should look out for thorns protruding from their dogs’ skin, particularly in the areas inside and around the eyes, nose, and mouth.
Should your pup, unfortunately, come into contact with these thorns as many unlucky gardeners so often do, it’s important to take them to the vet as soon as possible so that they can be safely removed.
Hawaii – Yellow Hibiscus
The Aloha State is represented by the beautiful and extravagant Yellow Hibiscus. These flowers are traditionally woven into Lei – floral wreath necklaces that represent love, friendship, and celebration. Sadly, however, they are also a plant that requires caution around our four-legged fur babies.
While the majority of Hibiscus plants are entirely harmless, there is one variant that is mildly toxic to dogs: the Rose of Sharon. Unfortunately, this variant is also the most commonly grown across the US, including within Hawaii itself. If your dog eats any part of this variety of Hibiscus, vomiting and diarrhea are likely to follow.
If your dog has eaten Hibiscus and you’re concerned about their well-being, consulting a veterinarian for peace of mind is recommended.
Idaho – Mock Orange
Idaho is officially represented by the Mock Orange, named for its resemblance to the white flowers grown on orange trees. While these flowers might look like the ones on an orange tree, they are actually an entirely different species. The good news is that, unlike Orange Blossom, the Mock Orange is entirely safe for dogs.
Although the plant itself is non-toxic, over-consumption of plant matter can lead to vomiting and diarrhea, so it’s recommended to prevent your dog from eating these flowers as much as possible.
Should your dog get hold of a few, however, it’s good to know that there’s no need for concern.
Illinois – Purple Violet
Illinois’ state flower is none other than the stunning Purple Violet. These flowers are known across the world for their striking bright purple color. Thankfully, these pretty little flowers are also non-toxic.
Despite being dog-safe, we still don’t recommend allowing your pup to munch on too many Violets, as this can lead to mild vomiting and diarrhea.
If this does happen, there’s no need to worry. However, if you are concerned about something your pet has eaten, it’s always a good idea to speak to a vet.
Indiana – Peony
The Peony is flower-filled with beauty and grace, with large elaborate petals and a variety of colors. It is also the state flower for Indiana! We might think these flowers are fantastic, but what about our pooches? The good news, they’re totally safe!
All varieties of Peony are non-toxic to dogs. However, they are still plant matter which cannot be fully digested in a dog’s stomach. This means that should your pup choose to buffet on these flowers, he or she will likely incur a sore stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea.
This is non-serious and will likely resolve itself within a few hours. If you’re concerned, however, it’s always best to consult your veterinarian.
Iowa – Wild Prairie Rose
The rose family is home to many wonderful variants that look nothing like a rose. One of which is the Wild Prairie Rose, a representative flower of Iowa! These pretty pink flowers are not only beautiful to look at, but they’re also safe for our dogs, too.
Like other species of rose within the Rosa family, Wild Prairie Roses are completely safe for dogs, with the only concern pertaining to their thorny stems. Owners should keep a close eye on their pooches around these flowers and look out for any thorns protruding from their dogs’ skin – particularly in the areas in and around the mouth, nose, and eyes.
If any thorns are detected, the dog should be brought to the vet for expert removal.
Kansas – Sunflower
Beloved by all, the Sunflower is the official state flower of Kansas. These tall, vibrant flowers are famous all over the globe for their sun-worshiping tendencies. Good news for all of you Sunflower fans, they’re also dog-safe!
Every part of the Sunflower plant is entirely safe for dogs to chew, eat, and do whatever they please with. However, as with all plant matter, eating too much can lead to vomiting and diarrhea – so we recommend limiting the amount that your dog eats anyway.
If your dog does happen to eat a Sunflower, that’s quite impressive. There is also no need for concern, and any worries can be easily reassured by a veterinarian.
Kentucky – Goldenrod
The state representative flower of Kentucky is the aptly-named Goldenrod. These long clusters of radiant yellow flowers are beautiful to look at and are also entirely safe for our fur babies to enjoy. In fact, they are actually helpful to our dogs!
Goldenrod is not only non-toxic to dogs, but it is also commonly used as an ingredient in supplements and medications designed specifically for our pooches. This is due to its natural diuretic, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. This makes it useful for maintaining our dogs’ bladder and kidney function.
However, we still recommend not allowing your dog to eat too much of this plant, as it’s likely to cause vomiting and diarrhea if consumed in excess.
Louisiana – Magnolia
The Magnolia is a truly interesting flower to behold. Its unique shape lends itself to science fiction, while its fragrance is soothing to all. The Magnolia is the official representative flower of Louisiana. While we may be enamored with the flower, is it safe for our pup to be around? The answer is yes!
Magnolias are entirely dog-safe, with all parts of the plant being safe for your pooch to chew on. However, as we’ve mentioned previously, over-consumption of plant matter in your dog’s diet is likely to lead to diarrhea and vomiting.
While this is no cause for concern, it’s always a good idea to consult a veterinarian if you’re worried about something your dog has eaten.
Maine – White Pine (Tassel & Cone)
The White Pine is the state flower for Maine, although it isn’t really a flower at all. This species of pine tree produces beautiful light-colored pines and cones, hence the name. Pine trees are always a popular choice for us around the Christmas season, but how popular are they with our pooches? Thankfully, they are dog-safe.
All varieties of pine trees are non-toxic to dogs. However, they do contain potentially thousands of needle-sharp pines that will frequently drop onto the ground below. These pines can become lodged in your dog’s skin, particularly in the areas around their paw pads and around their face – including their eyes, nose, and mouth.
If you happen to notice any pines stuck in your dog’s skin, it’s a good idea to bring them to the vet so that they can be safely removed.
Maryland – Black-Eyed Susan
The official state flower of Maryland, the Black-eyed Susan, is thankfully another safe choice for our four-legged friends. These beautiful, bright yellow flowers look fairly similar to daisies. Just by seeing one, your mood is almost guaranteed to improve, thanks to their happy appearance.
Black-eyed Susans are safe for our dogs. However, as always, we recommend caution when allowing your pet to eat large quantities of plant matter, as this may lead to vomiting and diarrhea.
If your pup does get their jowls around some Black-eyed Susans, there’s no need to worry, as they are harmless.
Massachusetts – Mayflower
The state flower of Massachusetts, the Mayflower, is sadly unfit for our fur babies to be around. These pointy, delicate flowers may look innocent enough, but they can have negative impacts on our dogs.
The Mayflower is actually a variety of Ground Laurel, a species we’ve spoken about previously. Laurels of all kinds are entirely toxic to dogs and can cause symptoms such as vomiting, excess drooling, diarrhea, tremors, heart murmurs, and even death in severe cases.
If your dog has eaten Mayflower and is showing any of the symptoms mentioned above, they require veterinary attention immediately to provide treatment.
Michigan – Apple Blossom
Representing Michigan is the sweet and delicate Apple Blossom. These fragile flowers offer an elegant contrast of white amongst the bright green leaves of apple trees. We don’t often think of apple trees as dangerous to anyone, but unfortunately, they can pose a threat to our canine companions.
Sadly, all members of the apple family are mildly toxic to dogs – meaning that the fruit, flowers, leaves, bark, and roots should all be avoided. Of course, accidents can still happen to even the most careful pet parents, and should your pup take a nibble of this plant, it’s important for owners to look out for the following symptoms of Apple Blossom poisoning: vomiting and diarrhea.
If your dog shows any symptoms after being around an apple tree, they should be taken to a veterinarian for treatment as soon as possible.
Minnesota – Pink & White Lady Slipper
The state flower of Minnesota is the beautiful and unique Pink and White Lady Slipper, a rare form of orchid. While we may consider ourselves lucky if we’re ever able to see one of these alien-like flowers, they are unfortunately not safe for our dogs.
The Pink and White Lady Slipper, also known commonly as the Showy Lady’s Slippers, is mildly toxic to both dogs and humans. Coming into contact with the flower can cause skin dermatitis, and consuming the plant can also lead to irritation of the mouth.
Thankfully, the Pink and White Lady Slipper is not toxic to the extent of doing any serious long-term harm to your dog. However, if you notice your dog experiencing any skin rashes or lesions, or you suspect they may have come into contact with this flower, they should be given a thorough examination by a vet to determine whether any treatment is required.
Mississippi – Magnolia
The beautiful and intriguing Magnolia is famed for both its soothing fragrance and otherworldly appearance. This flower is also the official state flower of Mississippi. The Magnolia is a great find when we’re out for a walk, but do they pose a threat to our dogs? The answer is, thankfully, no!
Magnolias are completely dog-safe, with every part of the plant being safe for your pooch to chew on, lick, and rub themselves against to their heart’s content. However, as we’ve previously mentioned, over-consumption of any plant matter in your dog’s diet is likely to lead to diarrhea and vomiting, as they are unable to process it properly in their stomachs.
While this is by no means a major cause for concern, it’s always a good idea to consult a veterinarian if you’re worried about something your dog has eaten or you feel they have been exhibiting symptoms for too long.
Missouri – Hawthorn
Representing the state of Missouri is the beautiful Hawthorn. The delicate white blossoms on a Hawthorn bush are a stark contrast to the vibrant red berries that replace them in the winter months. Thankfully, these plants are safe for all to enjoy – including our pooches.
Not only is this plant safe for our dogs to eat, it actually has a range of health benefits for them. The berries have traditionally been used as an ingredient in herbal medications as a tonic for heart health. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you should be directly feeding the berries to your pup. While they won’t do any real harm, eating too many can cause your dog to have a stomach ache and may lead to vomiting and diarrhea.
As always, if you’re concerned about something your dog has eaten, it’s always best to check in with your veterinarian.
Montana – Bitterroot
The beautiful pointed petals on the Bitterroot flower almost look like crystals. These desert-dwelling plants are the perfect representation of the state of Montana. Sadly, however, they are also highly toxic to our four-legged friends. The alternative name for Bitterroot is ‘Dogbane,’ which should tell you everything you need to know about introducing this flower to your pup.
Every part of this plant is toxic to dogs. The plant acts as a cardiotoxin, weakening the heart. Symptoms to look out for include: gastrointestinal discomfort, heart murmurs, seizures, temperature changes, and even death in severe cases.
Bitterroot poisoning can be very serious, so any exposure to this plant should be treated as a medical emergency for your dog.
Nebraska – Goldenrod
The state representative flower of Nebraska is the aptly-named Goldenrod. These vibrant clusters of radiant yellow flowers are not only beautiful to look at but also, thankfully, entirely safe for our fur babies to enjoy. In fact, they are actually helpful to most dogs and offer several health benefits to our furry friends!
The Goldenrod plant is not only completely non-toxic to dogs, but it is also commonly used as an ingredient in many supplements and medications designed specifically for our pups. This is thanks to its diuretic, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. This makes it a great treatment for maintaining our pups’ bladder and kidney function.
However, although the plant is safe to eat, we still recommend not allowing your dog to eat too much of this plant, as it’s likely to cause vomiting and diarrhea if consumed in excess. Further, if your dog has seasonal allergies, this might be a plant to minimize exposure to.
Nevada – Sagebrush
Another desert-dweller, Sagebrush is an interesting plant that is perfectly fitting to represent the state of Nevada. This bush grows small, popcorn-looking buds that are a bright white contrast to the greenery around them. Sadly, however, they are no friends to our dogs.
The Sagebrush is part of the Artemisia family of plants, all of which are toxic to dogs. While this toxicity is only mild, it may produce symptoms such as excessive drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea.
If your dog has eaten Sagebrush and is experiencing any of these symptoms, consult their veterinarian as soon as possible to determine whether treatment is required.
New Hampshire – Purple Lilac
Purple Lilac, the representative flower of New Hampshire, is a beautiful plant with elongated cone-like clusters of bright purple flowers. Purple Lilac comes in various shades of purple, each of which is equally stunning to look at. Thankfully, our dogs can enjoy these blossoms, too!
The Purple Lilac is non-toxic to dogs, although large quantities may cause stomach aches, vomiting, and diarrhea due to dogs’ inability to fully process plant matter in their diet.
While there is no need to be concerned about toxicity, if your dog has eaten a large amount of Purple Lilac and you’re worried about their wellbeing, it’s always recommended to consult with a veterinarian.
New Jersey – Violet
The state flower of New Jersey is the delicate and pretty Violet. These vibrant purple flowers are renowned all over the world for their aesthetically pleasing color and are often a favorite for gardeners – making them fairly common. Thankfully, these gorgeous little flowers are also non-toxic.
However, despite being completely dog-safe, we still recommend preventing your pup from getting their paws on too many of these flowers. This can lead to mild vomiting and diarrhea if any plant matter is over-consumed.
If this does happen, there’s no real need to worry – it’s completely normal, in fact. However, if you are concerned about something your pet has eaten or you feel that they might be becoming dehydrated due to excessive vomiting or diarrhea, it’s always a good idea to speak to a vet.
New Mexico – Yucca
The state flower of New Mexico is the instantly recognizable Yucca. These exotic-looking trees are popular houseplants across the U.S. but look quite different in the wild. Unfortunately, Yucca is relatively toxic to dogs, meaning they are best admired at a distance.
Yucca contains a natural steroid called steroidal saponin that poses a threat to your dog’s health and can even be fatal in extreme cases. Symptoms of Yucca Poisoning to look out for include: drooling, vomiting, weakness, and a lack of coordination.
If your dog has eaten Yucca, a veterinarian should be consulted – even if the dog is not currently showing symptoms. This is because Yucca can sometimes be a slow-releasing toxin to dogs, meaning they may not show symptoms until it is too late for treatment.
New York – Rose
The New York rose is an iconic image, so it’s no surprise that the Rose is their officially-recognized state flower. Not only is the traditional red rose a beautiful and romantic sight, but they are also safe for our pups.
Like other species of rose within the Rosa family, the common Rose is completely safe for dogs except for the thorny stems. Owners have no concern about their dogs consuming the petals or buds of a rose plant, but should still keep a close watch over their pups around these flowers.
Pet parents should look out for any thorns protruding from their dogs’ skin – particularly in the areas in and around the mouth, nose, and eyes. If any thorns are detected, the dog should be brought to the vet for expert removal.
North Carolina – Flowering Dogwood
North Carolina’s state flower, the Flowering Dogwood, is another beautifully understated tree blossom. These delicate flowers can vary in color but look equally impressive when a tree is in full bloom. Not only are these flowers lovely, but they are also safe for our canine companions to enjoy.
While the flowers are safe for dogs to consume, the tree itself can cause skin rashes if in direct contact with a dog’s skin. So we still recommend caution when allowing your dog to play with and around this tree.
These skin rashes are usually superficial and will resolve themselves without treatment. However, if you’re concerned about something your dog has eaten or rashes on your dog’s body, it’s always best to check with your veterinarian.
North Dakota – Wild Prairie Rose
The rose family is one of the biggest plant families, with many of its variants looking nothing like our traditional conception of a ‘rose.’ One of these is the beautiful Wild Prairie Rose, the official representative flower of North Dakota. These intriguing and delicate pink and white flowers are not only interesting to see, but they’re also safe for our pups!
Like all other species of rose within the Rosa family, the Wild Prairie Rose is completely safe for dogs, with all parts of the plant being dietarily safe for consumption. However, as with any roses, there is still a concern pertaining to their thorny stems.
Pet parents should be mindful of their pooches around these flowers and keep a lookout for any thorns protruding from their dogs’ skin – particularly in the delicate areas in and around the mouth, nose, and eyes. If any thorns are found, the dog should be brought to the vet for expert removal.
Ohio – Scarlet Carnation
Another instantly-recognizable flower is the bright red and extravagant Scarlet Carnation, the official state flower of Ohio. These flowers are bold and beautiful but can potentially be dangerous to our four-legged friends.
All plants in the Carnation family are sadly toxic to dogs. Symptoms of Carnation poisoning include mild dermatitis and an upset stomach, such as vomiting and diarrhea.
While these symptoms are only mild, if your dog has eaten these flowers and is showing side effects, a veterinarian should be consulted to determine whether treatment is needed.
Oklahoma – Mistletoe
Everyone’s favorite Christmas decoration, Mistletoe, is the official state flower of Oklahoma. While we’re all familiar with this plant, many are unaware of the hidden dangers it holds for our pups. Unfortunately, Mistletoe is extremely toxic to dogs.
Many of us may not be aware, but Mistletoe contains one of the most potent toxins for dogs. Mistletoe toxicity is very quick to take effect and can potentially be fatal. Symptoms of Mistletoe poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, and potentially even death.
If your dog has eaten Mistletoe, or you’re unsure, it’s crucial to bring them to the vet for an examination as quickly as possible.
Oregon – Oregon Grape
The state of Oregon is represented by none other than the Oregon Grape. This fascinating plant is not a true grape (which is indeed toxic to dogs) but rather a form of holly-leaved barberry. Recognized for its blue berries and spiky leaves, the Oregon Grape plant is actually dog-safe.
Not only is the Oregon Grape non-toxic, but it’s also frequently used as a herbal supplement for dogs due to its antifungal properties. With that being said, we don’t recommend allowing your dogs to eat large amounts of these berries or the surrounding plant, as this will likely still result in vomiting and diarrhea.
If you are concerned about something your dog has eaten, please consult with a veterinarian for peace of mind.
Pennsylvania – Mountain Laurel
With delicate cup-shaped flowers and spiky buds, the Mountain Laurel is a fascinating flower to stumble across and is most commonly found in mountainous and rocky terrain. The official state flower of Pennsylvania boasts unique blooms that almost seem to consist of folded origami mixed in amongst their buds, often a bright pink color, that look almost like radioactive conkers or whipped ice cream. Sadly for our pups, however, these stunning flowers are also completely toxic.
As part of the Laurel family, all members of this group are sadly unsafe for dogs to eat. Consuming any part of the Mountain Laurel could cause abnormal functioning of your dog’s muscles and nervous system. Symptoms of Laurel poisoning include tremors, difficulty breathing and swallowing, and full-body seizures.
If your dog has eaten any part of this plant, or they have been around a Mountain Laurel, and you’re unsure whether any has been consumed, they should be brought to a veterinarian immediately for treatment.
Rhode Island – Violet
The official state flower of Rhode Island is the stunning Violet, a delicate bright purple flower that is known all over the world. These flowers are a popular choice for gardeners due to their striking appearance and ease of growth, making them a common sight. Thankfully, these pretty little blooms are also non-toxic to our pups and to humans as well.
However, despite the Violet being entirely dog-safe, we don’t recommend allowing your pup to eat too many of these flowers, as this can lead to mild vomiting and diarrhea. This is completely normal and will happen if your pup over-consumes most anything.
If your canine eats too many violets, there’s no need to panic. However, if you feel concerned about something your dog has eaten, it’s always a good idea to speak to a vet for confirmation.
South Carolina – Yellow Jessamine
The Yellow Jessamine is a secret assassin. This state representative of South Carolina may look innocent with its yellow Daffodil-like appearance. Still, this flower is actually one of the most toxic plants for your pup to come into contact with, and extreme caution should be taken wherever these flowers are present.
Yellow Jessamine is extremely toxic, and fatal poisoning is fairly easy to incur. Symptoms to look out for include: muscle weakness, paralysis, difficulty breathing and swallowing, decreased respiratory rate, vision loss, and seizures.
If your dog has been in contact with Yellow Jessamine, even if you’re unsure as to whether any has been ingested, it’s a good idea to have them examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
South Dakota – Pasque Flower
The state flower of South Dakota, the Pasque Flower, is not really a friend to many. This flower may look beautiful with its striking purple petals, but it is actually toxic to not just our dogs but us as well!
This flower is unsafe for dogs to interact with and can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
If your dog has been in contact with the Pasque Flower and is presenting with any of the above symptoms, they should be taken to a veterinarian for medical attention.
Tennessee – Iris
Irises are the state flower of Tennessee, known for their vibrant purple petals and for being an early-blooming perennial. Unfortunately, despite their intriguing appearance, these flowers are toxic to our canine friends.
Irises contain several compounds that are toxic to our pups and can result in symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach discomfort.
If your dog has ingested Irises and is showing symptoms of Iris poisoning, you should consult with a veterinarian to determine whether treatment is necessary.
Texas – Texas Bluebonnet
The state of Texas is represented by the aptly-named Texas Bluebonnet. These clusters of rich blue flowers are a beautiful sight, taking the shape of a bonnet, but are they safe for our furry friends? Sadly, the answer is no. Texas Bluebonnets are entirely toxic to our dogs.
All parts of the plant, including the flowers and seeds, are toxic for our dogs to ingest. Symptoms of Texas Bluebonnet poisoning can be severe, including tremors, lack of coordination, agitation, collapse, and even seizures.
If you suspect that your dog may have eaten the Texas Bluebonnet, a veterinarian should be consulted as soon as possible to determine treatment options.
Utah – Sego Lily
The state flower of Utah is the Sego Lily, a three-petaled flower with striking colors and patterns. Despite its misleading name, the Sego Lily is actually not a true lily at all, which also means that it isn’t toxic to dogs.
Unlike lilies in the Lilium family, the Sego Lily – also known as the Mariposa Lily – is entirely dog-safe. However, dogs should be prevented from overeating due to the risk of vomiting and diarrhea.
If you are concerned about something your dog might have eaten, it’s always best to check with your veterinarian.
Vermont – Red Clover
Known worldwide as both the Clover and the Shamrock, Vermont’s state flower is the Red Clover – a striking crimson variant. These plants look like something you would expect to see in a science fiction movie, but are they dangerous to our dogs? Surprisingly, the answer is yes!
However, the toxicity of this plant only occurs in high concentrations, and the Red Clover is known for having a distinctively bitter taste – making it unlikely that your pooch will scoff enough to do any real damage. Symptoms of Clover poisoning include blood in urine, tremors, diarrhea, drooling, lethargy, kidney failure, difficulty breathing, frequent urination, and a lack of appetite.
If you suspect that your dog may have eaten a large amount of Clover, you should consult with a veterinarian immediately – even if your dog is not yet presenting symptoms.
Virginia – Flowering Dogwood
The official state flower of Virginia is actually not truly a flower at all. The Flowering Dogwood is actually a type of tree blossom that is truly beautiful to see in full bloom. These stunning white flowers look spectacular during the spring and early summer months when the tree’s buds are fully open. Not only are these blossoms beautiful, but they are also completely safe for our canine companions to eat.
However, while the flowers are safe for dogs to consume, the tree itself can sometimes cause skin irritation and rashes if allowed to be in direct contact with our dog’s skin. So we still recommend proceeding with caution when allowing your dog to play with or near these trees.
Should skin contact occur, these skin rashes are often superficial and resolve themselves without treatment. However, as always, if you’re concerned about something your dog has eaten or rashes on your dog’s body, it’s always best to check with your veterinarian.
Washington – Coast Rhododendron
The state flower of Washington is the Coast Rhododendron, a beautiful purple-pink variant of the standard Rhododendron. These flowers are famed for their interesting appearance and delicate petals. However, they are also sadly no good for our canines.
This is because all members of the Rhododendron family are cardiotoxins, a specific type of toxin that targets the heart and weakens the muscles surrounding it. With this being said, extreme caution should be taken when walking your dog in an area where these flowers are found. Symptoms to look out for include: seizures, tremors, and heart murmurs.
Rhododendron poisoning can be very serious, so veterinarians should be contacted immediately if your dog has come into contact with these flowers.
West Virginia – Rhododendron
The state flower of West Virginia is the beautiful and alien-like Rhododendron. This stunning flower has long been famed across the world for its unique appearance and fragile-looking petals. However, as much as we might enjoy spotting these flowers in the wild, they are sadly dangerous for our dogs.
All members of the Rhododendron family actually contain cardiotoxins, a type of poison that specifically targets the functionality of the heart and weakens the muscles surrounding it. With this in mind, extreme caution should be taken when walking your dog in an area where these flowers might be found. Symptoms to look out for include: seizures, tremors, and heart murmurs.
It’s important to act quickly if you suspect that your pet has eaten any part of this plant. Rhododendron poisoning can be very serious, and a veterinarian should be contacted immediately for a thorough examination and treatment.
Wisconsin – Violet
The state flower of Wisconsin is the delicate and vibrant purple Violet, known all over the world for its beauty and popularity with professional and amateur gardeners alike. Thankfully for our pups, these pretty petals are also entirely dog-safe.
Despite being safe for our dogs to eat, however, we would still recommend limiting the number of Violets that your pup is able to eat. Overconsumption of any plant matter is likely to cause mild vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.
If this does happen, it’s important to remember that this is a normal reaction to eating too much plant matter and isn’t a cause for panic. However, as always, if you feel worried about something your pet has eaten, it’s always a good idea to speak to a vet.
Wyoming – Indian Paintbrush
The Indian Paintbrush is a truly spectacular-looking flower, brandishing vibrant red petals that are easily recognizable. This flower is the official state flower of Wyoming and is also sadly not entirely suitable to be around our dogs.
While the Indian Paintbrush is not necessarily toxic, it contains high levels of Selenium – a mineral that is typically found in soil. Too much Selenium consumption can lead to Selenium toxicity, which may present itself in our pets as vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and even foul-smelling breath!
If your dog has eaten Indian Paintbrush and you’re concerned about side effects, it’s always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian for peace of mind.
Overall, our research into the potential dangers of each state’s representative flower has yielded interesting results. This research highlights the importance of being aware of your surroundings when spending time in nature with your fur baby to prevent them from coming to any harm – even where we least expect it. While many state flowers may not be grown across the entirety of each state, those with particular significance are likely to be found fairly often, so precautions should be taken where necessary.
We hope this study gives you insight into the types of native plants that could potentially hurt your dog and which are safe. Please consider bookmarking our site as a resource regarding your dog’s nutritional needs and how to care for your dog.