According to the ASPCA, its Animal Poison Control Center sees an increase in poisoning cases around Valentine’s Day! Theobromine, a caffeine-like substance found in cocoa, can affect your pet’s cardiac, neurological, and gastrointestinal systems. Once swallowed, there is no specific antidote for chocolate poisoning, so call your veterinarian at once!
Chocolate, however, is not the only thing that can turn Valentine's Day doggie disastrous! To ensure a happy holiday, practice these Top 5 Valentine’s Pet Safety Tips:
1) Artificial Sweeteners
If a friend or loved one is counting calories, oblige with low-calorie treats, but make double dog sure that nothing with xylitol (aka birch bark extract, birch sugar or sugar alcohol) touches canine lips! This artificial sweetener can cause a sudden drop in a dog’s blood sugar, resulting in seizures, coma, and liver failure.
2) Yummy Smells Whether it be plant life or cologne, keep out of paws reach. Sift through bouquets to remove any dangerous flora. Remove thorns from roses, and HOLD THE LILIES when gifting cat lovers! Ingesting two leaves or petals from a true lily (Asiatic lilies, Peace lilies, Daylilies and Lily of the Valley) can be fatal to cats. As for making yourself smell dreamy, perfume is made from essential oils. Pets may sample a taste off your wrist but just a lick could make a small animal queasy. Anytime your pet isn’t quite right, call your veterinary professional at once!
3) Candles and fireplaces can be romantic, but not around pets. Table tops and shelves are not safe from high vaulting felines or counter surfing pooches. Use with caution.
4) Gift Giving
Quick clean-up of ribbons and bows is your best bet to prevent a choking incident or intestinal blockage. If the gift giving includes an actual puppy or kitten, please, please make sure it is a gift the recipient is prepared for. Adding a fur friend to the family is a life-long commitment and should be chosen by the caregiver, so a gift certificate to adopt from your local animal shelter on your friend’s time schedule might be a better option.
5) Toast Your Sweetheart, NOT Your Pet
Keep paws and tongues OFF adult beverages! Lapping up a small spill, or even licking out a wine glass could spell trouble for your furry best friend. This includes marijuana which can be found in brownies, chocolates, gummies and even lotions. Although CBD, which does not contain psychoactive THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), is showing positive health benefits for pets, marijuana is dangerous and even deadly.
Put these tips into practice this Valentine season and you are sure to keep your furry friends safe and loved!