If you’re like us, we love to share Valentine’s Day with our furry friends. Spoiling them with heart-shaped doggy treats, pink and red chew toys, and Cupid outfits are our way of showing how much we love and appreciate them. It’s important to remember that there are some Valentine’s Day-associated dangers that your pet will likely come across. To avoid a trip to the ER, make sure your dog does not come into contact with the following food and plant items.
Chocolate is Not Their Friend
If your pets are loved as family members, you probably enjoy spoiling them with table foods and human snacks. While it’s okay to treat them once in a while, there are some foods that are simply off-limits, like chocolate. Since chocolate is a staple to Valentine’s Day, you should be extra cautious that all chocolate candies and baked goods stay out of your dog’s reach.
Known for having a sweet tooth, dogs are especially susceptible to chocolate poisoning. The chemical compound found in chocolate is called theobromine. It is toxic to canines and, depending on how much is consumed, may cause severe reactions. These include:
- High blood pressure and tachycardia
- Respiratory failure
- Cardiac arrest
Sugar-Free but Not Danger-Free
Sugar-free products are all the rave these days. For Valentine’s Day, we’ll be seeing plenty of sugar-free candies and gums that contain Xylitol, a naturally occurring substance used as a sugar substitute. While it’s safe for humans, it is extremely toxic for dogs. As the sugar is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream in animals, small amounts will cause insulin levels to spike in canines. This can lead to hypoglycemia, seizures, liver failure or death.
Flowers for Your Sweetheart, Not Your Pooch
If your cat or dog is the type to play with and chew new things in the house, be aware of your Valentine’s Day floral arrangements. Aromatic flowers, like lilies, can be poisonous to cats and other household pets. The scent of flowers is enough to tempt your furry friend into nibbling at the petals. Depending on the type of plant and how much is ingested, your cat or dog may suffer from an upset stomach or vomiting.
Your Very Own Bundle of Joy
Puppies and kittens are popular Valentine’s Day gifts. If you’re planning on adopting a new member into your family, make sure you are aware of the responsibilities that come with owning a pet. Unlike a pair of diamond earrings or a box of chocolates, pets cannot be returned or disposed of. Just like your relationship, pets require commitment, care and most importantly, love.
If your pet has ingested a potentially harmful food or plant item, call the Valley Animal Hospital at 956-787-2709. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Sweets and flowers can pose a serious threat to your pet’s health. Let’s be cautious about our furry friends this Valentine’s Day.