Valentine’s Day Pet Safety

February 2020

The most popular Valentine’s Day gifts are appreciated by people and dangerous to pets.  When celebrating the holiday keep dangerous items away from them.

Chocolate, the most popular Valentine’s Day gift, is the most dangerous for pets.  It is poison to them with the less sweet chocolate, typically used for baking, being most dangerous.  Lighter chocolate is high in fat and can lead to life-threatening pancreas inflammation.  In smaller amounts that are non-toxic chocolate can cause stomach upset, diarrhea, dehydration, vomiting, seizure and hyperactivity.

Alcoholic beverages can cause a great deal of harm to pets because of their small size and how they metabolize.  Even small amounts of alcohol can cause lack of coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, vomiting and a host of other problems.  Severe cases can lead to respiratory failure and death.

Gum and sugar-free candy contain xylitol which is toxic to pets.  Ingested it can lead to seizure, loss of coordination and vomiting.  Severe cases can lead to liver failure.

Many flowers and plants are poisonous to pets.  Rose thorns can cause infection or damage if they puncture the skin.  Internal damage can occur if ingested.  Tulips, calla lily, amaryllis, chrysanthemums, and daisies are all poisonous to pets.

Candles, if knocked over, can burn pets or cause a fire.

Small items including bows, ribbons, wrapping paper, tape and balloons can cause choking or vomiting if ingested.  They can get caught in the throat or digestive tract.

Finally, don’t leave pain relievers where pets can get them.  A single dose of acetaminophen can be fatal for cats.

Take good care of your pets and they will return your affection tenfold.


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