Valentine Day Pet Safety by Claire Pethick, Animal Care Assistant

Will You Be My Valentine?

With Valentine’s Day soon approaching, it’s important to remember a few pet safety tips. With all the extra candies, chocolate, and beautiful flowers also brings an added risk to your pet if they happen to get their paws on them! Not to worry! Coxwell Animal Clinic will still be open, ready to help! Here’s a few helpful tips to avoid your fur-baby from getting into some trouble.

Candies. Many candies include a substance called Xylitol. Xylitol is commonly found in nature in foods such as berries, mushrooms, and plums, but is now also being used in the production of sugar free gums, toothpaste, and candies. Xylitol is safe for human consumption but is very toxic to our puppies. Even low levels of Xylitol to a dog can result in low blood sugar, liver failure, or seizures. Some studies show that Xylitol is even more toxic than chocolate to our canine-companions, so be sure to keep it far away from their sniffing noses!

Chocolate. I think it’s safe to say that everyone who owns a dog knows chocolate isn’t safe for them to snack on, but did you know it can also be toxic to our feline friends too? Chocolate contains roasted cocoa seeds which contains caffeine and theobromine. The caffeine and theobromine are actually what is most toxic to both cats and dogs! Try storing any chocolate away from your pets reach. If your fuzz ball steals a snack, look out for any vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, increased breathing rates or an increased temperature.

Flowers. They say the most flowers are sold on mother’s day with Valentine’s Day in second place! That means there are many opportunities for our fuzzies to chomp on an unsafe petal or leaf. Flowers such as lilies, tulips, irises, and daffodils can prove to upset our pets’ bellies and immune systems. There are many flowers and plants that are unsafe to have in a home with pets, so be sure to look into which types are safe before setting them up in easy-to-reach places! Also be careful of dropping petals and leaves which can also harm your fur-baby if ingested. Common signs of a toxic reaction are vomiting, excessive salivation, or seizures.

Keep these tips in mind this Valentine’s Day to ensure everyone has a lovely day! Don’t hesitate to contact Coxwell if you have any concerns! We will be more than happy to help.

References: PetMD, Grower Direct, VCA Pet Hospitals