February 14th. The one day set aside every year to show your special someone how much they mean to you. A day that is typically associated with love and happiness, can take a turn if your four-legged special someone decides to steal some of your Godivas or use your roses as a chew toy.
Valentine’s Day is often celebrated with chocolates, roses, gifts and candle-lit dinners. Sounds great, right? Well it is, but all those wonderful, celebratory traditions can also lead to danger for your pet. The busiest holidays for emergency veterinary clinics is Fourth of July (fireworks, barbecues, outdoors) and a close second comes Thanksgiving (turkey bones, deep fryers, LOTS of guests feeding Fido under the table). Valentine’s day might not be the highest on the list, but by knowing the potential dangers lurking on Valentine’s day, this day can remain a day of love and happiness for everyone involved!
Here is a list of items to watch out for this Valentine’s Day to keep your pets safe and healthy:
Roses and other flowers
The thorns on roses can lead to punctures in your pet’s mouth leading to pain and possibly infection. Some varieties of lilies can be toxic and potentially fatal- especially to cats. All flowers should be kept on a table or counter out of your pet’s reach. And if your cats can access those areas, it would probably be best for lilies to be left out of the bouquet.
Chocolate and cacao
The infamous canine poison- chocolate. No amount of any kind of chocolate should be taken lightly when it comes to your pets however chocolate candies, especially dark chocolate, can be even more dangerous. Chocolate candies are dense and have a very concentrated amount of chocolate so a small amount can do damage, especially in a small dog. If your dog ingests any amount of chocolate, you should call your vet for their recommendations.
Candies other than chocolate can also be harmful to your pets. Xylitol, an artificial sweetener often found in candy, chewing gum and liquid medications, can be toxic to your pets causing acute hypoglycemia, a sudden drop in blood sugar. Xylitol can cause a variety of symptoms in your pet including depression, seizures or loss of coordination. If you suspect your pet has ingested xylitol, call your vet for their recommendations.
We all like to partake in an occasional cocktail or glass of wine, but your pets should refrain from any amount of alcohol. Even a small amount of alcohol can cause a number of symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, tremors or difficulty breathing. Again, contact your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your pet.
For obvious reasons, candles can be a danger not only to your pet, but also your home! Keep candles in a place that your pet can’t knock it over and start a fire or get burned by the flame or wax.
Ribbon, bows, balloons- oh my! All those frilly, fancy decorations can be hazardous to your pet if swallowed. They can be a choking hazard or become entangled within the intestines. Keep a watchful eye on your dog or cat around gifts and be sure to clean up any wrapping scraps.
So on February 14th, show your love to the special dog in your life with a special treat, a new toy or some extra snuggles but keep the human Valentine’s Day celebrations to the humans.
The information provided in this blog is intended for educational purposes only and should not serve as a substitute for the professional medical advice of your veterinarian. Always consult your veterinarian with questions about your pet’s health and before initiating any treatment regimes.