Five Valentine's Day Safety Tips for Pet Families

Five Valentine’s Day Safety Tips for Pet Families

January 15, 2020

Every February is the chance to show that special someone in your life just how much you care about them. We’re talking about Valentine’s Day, the day of love… and, unfortunately, a day of more pet hazards than usual. Shops filled with candies and gifts get cleared out, and many of these items end up in homes with pets. The responsible thing to do is to get in the know before bringing gifts home.

Pet emergency services in Saint Francisville, LA are familiar with the potential health hazards associated with Valentine’s Day treats and decor. Do your homework and save your pets from illness and injury, or worse. Here are five Valentine’s Day pet safety tips every pet family needs to know:

  • Chocolate: Of all the candies, the most dangerous for pets to ingest is chocolate. And Valentine’s Day is packed full of chocolates in various forms—hollow chocolate hearts, solid chocolate bars, chocolate-covered nuts and more. Chocolate is potentially poisonous to many animals, especially if a large amount is ingested. Something to keep in mind is that the less sweet the chocolate, the more toxic it could be to your furry friend. Even a small dose of chocolate can cause stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, hyperactivity and seizures.
  • Sugar substitutes: You know that caffeine and white granulated sugar are both unsafe for pets to eat, but sugar-free treats also need to be off limits. Many sugar-free candies, gum and baked goods contain xylitol, a sweetener found in plants that’s often used as a sugar substitute, and which is extremely toxic to dogs. If a dog ingests a significant amount of candy or other xylitol-based treats, he or she may experience a sudden drop in blood sugar. Symptoms of xylitol poisoning come on quickly and include depression, loss of coordination, vomiting, seizure and liver failure.
  • Flowers: A long list of popular Valentine’s Day plants and flowers are poisonous or harmful to pets—baby’s breath, daffodils, lilies, chrysanthemums, ferns, tulips and hydrangeas, just to name a few. These and others can cause stomach upset, and even death. Most varieties of lilies can be deadly to cats, but not dogs, causing kidney failure when ingested. This Valentine’s Day, if you have a dog or cat, avoid bringing home these pet-unfriendly flowers.
  • Alcohol: Popular alcoholic beverages for celebrating Valentine’s Day include wine and champagne. Sharing a bottle with your sweetheart is fine, but keep alcohol away from dogs, cats and other household pets. Alcohol and pets are not a good combination. As such, don’t leave unfinished wine within reach of pets, and rinse glasses well at the end of the night.
  • Candles: Candles can set the mood for Valentine’s Day with their mesmerizing flames and pleasant aromas. Keep in mind that curious pets may be attracted to candles. Never leave burning candles unattended, especially since pets can accidentally knock them over and start a fire.

If a situation calls for pet emergency services in Saint Francisville, LA, don’t hesitate to contact St. Francisville Animal Hospital. Our team is available to help 24/7!

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