Valentine's Day Presents Unique Dangers for Your Pet


When winter gets to be long and dreary, Valentine's Day brings a welcome relief. The day devoted to love gives people the chance to expressappreciation for the important people in their life. Gifts of chocolate and flowers are fun to give and receive, but unfortunately these can harm your pet. Being that dogs and cats are naturally curious, it's important to take extra precautions this Valentine's Day to ensure their safety.

Common Valentine's Day Dangers for Pets
A heart-shaped box of chocolate may make you smile, but eating its contents could make your pet sick in a hurry. Even a small amount could have a toxic effect. Some of the symptoms that indicate chocolate poisoning include hyperactivity, vomiting, seizures, restlessness, and an elevated body temperature. In severe cases, eating chocolate could even cause a pet's death. The refrigerator or a cupboard that your pet can't reach is a better place to store your uneaten chocolate than the kitchen table.

Lilies and roses are two of the most common types of flowers given as Valentine's Day gifts. Cats are especially interested in chewing on flowers and may not be able to contain their desire to munch on something new . The Asiatic, Stargazer, and Tiger lilies all contain toxins in their petals that can cause acute kidney failure in cats that can lead to death within 48 hours. A dog that eats a lily plant usually only ends up with an upset stomach.

With roses, the risk of injury comes from swallowing the thorns and not the flower itself. Your pet may drool excessively, paw at her mouth, vomit, or have a decreased appetite if she swallows a rose thorn. If you receive any type of flower for Valentine's Day, place the vase in a high place while continuing to supervise your pet. A curious cat or dog may be determined to get at it no matter what.

If you plan to have a candlelit dinner at home, make sure that your pet is nowhere in sight. He may jump up on the table and burn himself or even start a fire by knocking the candle to the ground. An electric candle is a better alternative to a live flame for people who have pets or small children in the house.

Pets are attracted to anything that sparkles, such as the new diamond ring, bracelet, or necklace that you received as a Valentine's Day gift. Anytime you remove your jewelry, be sure to place it in a box that your pet can't open or a room that is off-limits to her. Nothing spoils the romance of this day more than a pet who needs immediate treatment because she swallowed a piece of jewelry.

Despite your vigilance, your dog or cat may still get into your Valentine’s gifts and become sick or injured. Please contact Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo or the Pet Poison Helpline for immediate help. Even if you don’t think the situation is an emergency, it’s better to err on the side of caution and speak to an experienced veterinarian right away.


Image credit:  LilunLi | iStock Photo

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