Valentine’s Day Safety for Pets

Make sure a sick pet doesn’t put a damper on your Valentine’s Day this year. Follow these tips from a Hutchinson Island veterinarian to keep love in the air!

Keep Chocolate to Yourself

Most pet owners know that chocolate is very bad for animals. All kinds—dark, milk, semi-sweet, baker’s—have potentially life-threatening consequences if ingested by your cat or dog. Vomiting and diarrhea, elevated heart rate, and even seizures can result. It’s okay for you to unwrap that heart-shaped box of chocolates this Valentine’s Day, but store it where your pet can’t get to it.

Beware of Flowers and Plants

Did you know that all species of lilies are poisonous to cats? If you’re receiving or sending a romantic bouquet this year, make sure it doesn’t contain any flowers that could harm your pets or the person’s you’re sending it to. Also keep in mind that thorny plants or flowers, like roses, could present a scratching or puncturing hazard if a pet gets ahold of them. De-thorn roses or keep them far away from the furry members of your family.

Keep Candy out of Reach

Candies and gum are often sweetened with xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is toxic to pets. Put candy and gum in a sealed container inside a cabinet, not on top of a counter, exposed, where a cat or curious dog could tear into them.

Careful When Wrapping

If you’re wrapping up a few romantic gifts to send to that special someone, make sure your pet stays in another room until you’re done. Wrapping paper, string, tape, ribbon, twine, bows, balloons—all of these objects might look a plaything to your pet, but could present a hazard if swallowed. Your pet could choke, or the object could block the intestinal tract.

Call your Hutchinson Island veterinarian’s office immediately if your pet swallows a foreign object, ingests a poisonous flower or plant, or indulges in chocolate, candy, gum, or any other toxic food.


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