For us, Valentine’s Day is a day full of love, flowers, and chocolates. For our pets, it’s a day full of hazards! That’s why we are sharing our safety tips to keep your pet safe during this Valentine’s Day.
1Pet’s are not a gift
Giving a pet as a gift for Valentine’s Day is a big gamble and responsibility. A pet is not an item that can be easily disposed of, repacked, regifted or returned. Only gift a pet when the recipient is aware and has agreed to it. Otherwise, the pet will most likely be rejected and abandoned.
2Chocolate is a NO-NO for pets
We tend to gift or be gifted chocolate during Valentine’s Day. This yummy treat for humans is deadly to pets if consumed. Keep everything chocolate related away and out of reach from your pets. Chocolate contains toxic components like Theobromine and Methylxanthines. Theobromine metabolizes slowly by our pets. If consumed the side effects are muscle tremors, seizures, an irregular heartbeat, internal bleeding or a heart attack. Methylxanthines are caffeine-like stimulants that affect gastrointestinal, neurologic and cardiac function. If consumed they can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, seizures and an abnormally elevated heart rate. Chocolate can have a high content of fat which can lead to a life-threatening inflammation of the pancreas.
So go ahead and indulge and satisfy the chocoholic in you, but keep it away from your pets. If you suspect your dog ate some chocolate you need to induce vomiting within the first two hours of ingestion. If your pet ingested large amounts of chocolate, call your vet right away.
3No lollies for your puppies or kitties
Take the same precautions and treat every candy as chocolate. Keep it away and out of reach of your pets. Most of these candies contain Xylitol which is toxic and fatal to dogs. If ingested, it may cause vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures and in severe cases, liver failure. Xylitol is used as an artificial sweetener and can be found in gums, candies, etc.
4Roses are red, violets are blue, flowers are beautiful but deadly too
Pet’s are curious by default, while roses are not poisonous their thorns posses a great threat to our pets paws and mouth. If ingested in large quantities it may result in an intestinal blockage.
Lillies are a beautiful flower, but deadly for our pets, more specifically cats. Lilies can cause acute kidney failure within a day or two of exposure. If untreated, the exposure will likely result in death. The ingestion of just one or two leaves or petals can cause sudden kidney failure. Even ingesting small amounts of pollen from a cat’s fur is considered poisonous. Thankfully, these plants don’t cause serious harm to dogs, only in cats. When ingested by dogs, they will result with only a mild upset stomach. If possible just avoid having them in your home.
Check out ASPCA plant library to learn more about plants/flowers that are toxic to pets.
Beware of any spillage or leftover alcohol, with pets being much smaller than us they can get easily intoxicated. Even a small amount of alcohol can do a lot of harm to our pets; some side effects are vomiting, diarrhea, lack of coordination, central nervous system depression, tremors, difficulty breathing, metabolic disturbances and even coma. It can even cause a potentially fatal respiratory failure if a large amount is ingested.
6Playing with fire
There’s nothing more romantic than setting the ambiance with low lights and candles. While this is great for romance do not leave your pet’s unattended in a room filled with burning candles. They can get extra curious and risk getting burned or start a fire if the candle is knocked down.
Clean up after you open your Valentine’s Day gifts. Make sure to pick up all the wrapping paper, ribbons, tape, balloons. Your pet might be inclined to reach out to these “fun-to-chew” items and can get stuck in your pet’s throat or digestive tract, causing your pet to choke or vomit.
Remember to show your pet some love during this Valentine’s Day by protecting them from harm. If you suspect your pet might have ingested something that it shouldn’t have you must seek help immediately.
Happy Valentine’s Day!