Are Roses Toxic to Cats and Dogs?

Updated: Aug. 31, 2023

If you're a pet parent, you might wonder: are roses toxic to cats? What about dogs? Here's what to know about these flowers.

Are Roses Toxic to Cats?

Adorable tabby brown cat sniffing to a red rose, close upKanashi/Getty Images
Rose leaves and petals are not poisonous to cats

If you’re considering keeping roses inside your house, you’ll want to know if the plant can harm your best furry friend. Thankfully, you don’t have much to worry about with roses.

While cats are curious creatures and will usually investigate anything new, the symptoms caused from eating a rose petal or other parts of the plant usually aren’t severe beyond a slight stomach upset. To most, the biggest risk might be the thorns on roses—they can cut the inside of your cat’s mouth if the animal chews on them.

Check out the top 10 best roses for gardeners to grow.

We recommend keeping cats indoors to protect birds and backyard wildlife. With that said, if your cat chews on a rose from a DIY cut flower arrangement, pesticides can still be a concern. If they’ve been sprayed with certain chemicals, the roses could be harmful to cats.

Symptoms of pesticide poisoning can include drooling, vomiting, lethargy, seizures, and tremors. If you’re worried your cat ingested pesticide from eating a rose, contact your veterinarian.

Keep your feline healthy and happy by avoiding these poisonous plants for cats.

Are Roses Toxic to Dogs?

Dog smelling red rose. Sense of smell concept. Miniature schnauzer breed with nose close to red flower on white background.John Hewitt/Getty Images

Similarly to cats, dogs might be curious if they find something new in your yard or home. Thankfully, roses are no more toxic to dogs than they are to cats. Eating a rose petal won’t harm your dog.

Roses not blooming? Here’s what to do.

Again, the thorns are usually the biggest concern. If a dog ends up sustaining cuts from the thorns on rose bushes, those cuts could become infected. And if your canine companion takes a tumble into a rose bush, they could end up with an injury to their eyes.

Common symptoms of eye injury include squinting, eye redness, pupil size change, or rubbing the eye with paws. If you’re not sure if your dog has ingested pesticides from a rose or if they’re acting abnormally after running through a rose bush, contact your veterinarian.

Learn how to prepare and prune roses for winter.

Is Your Rose Actually a Rose?

Happy dogBuffy1982/Getty Images
Rose thorns post the greatest risk to your pets

If you’re intent on adding roses to your garden, make sure the plant you pick is truly a rose. Some species of flowers have “rose” in their name, but they’re not actually roses. Some of those not-quite roses, such as desert rose, can be harmful to your pet.

To identify a true rose, look for “Rosaceae” in the plant’s botanical name.

Next, check out our list of pet-friendly indoor houseplants you should grow.