Pet Safety Tips For Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day! This romantic holiday is marked by many cute and sweet trappings, such as chocolates, roses, and stuffed animals. You might even find something cute for your pet! Just be careful, as many of Cupid’s accessories can be dangerous to your furry best friend! Here are a few tips from a local Marietta, GA veterinarian to keep your pet safe and healthy during the lovers’ holiday.


Be Careful With Bouquets


Valentine’s Day is a classic time for flowers and bouquets. Unfortunately, there are some safety concerns when it comes to your four-legged friend.


Although roses are not toxic, their thorns can cause cuts to pets’ mouths, and they are definitely not safe to ingest. Lilies, on the other hand, are extremely toxic. In fact, they are one of the deadliest plants for cats. Kitties can go into organ failure just by nibbling a leaf or drinking a little of the water!


Other popular flowers that are toxic to pets include daffodils, foxglove, tulips, oleander, lily of the valley, hyacinth, cyclamens, irises, and hydrangeas. The ASPCA website has a complete list of safe and unsafe plants online here.


Toxicity isn’t the only problem. Playful pets can choke on the leaves or stems. Even non-toxic plants and flowers can become dangerous if treated with pesticides. Decorations, such as glitter or small ornaments, like a small plastic heart or a cute little Cupid, are also unsafe.


Keep Alcohol Away From Pets


Many couples celebrate Valentine’s Day with a romantic candlelit dinner, which often includes a bottle of wine. Don’t let your furry pal imbibe! Ingestion of alcohol can cause your pet’s blood sugar, blood pressure, and body temperature to drop. Large doses can even be fatal.


Some common signs to watch out for include drooling, vomiting, weakness, collapse, depression, lethargy, lack of coordination and trouble breathing. More serious consequences include seizures, respiratory failure, and, if enough is consumed, death. If you notice any of these issues, contact your Marietta, GA veterinarian right away.


Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t let your furry friend celebrate with you. Fido can enjoy a chew toy shaped like a wine bottle. Fluffy can even drink catnip wine made just for kitties. Just don’t let your pet drink the real thing.


Don’t Let Your Pet Play With Stuffed Animals


Stuffed animals are another popular holiday gift. Unfortunately, these can also be dangerous to playful pets.


Small pieces, such as the plastic eyes or buttons on the vest of a teddy bear, can present serious choking hazards. Fido is also at risk of choking and/or internal injuries if he were to consume the stuffing or squeaker. Some pups can’t resist going after those squeakers. This is cute, but it’s better to err on the side of caution. Get your pup something made to hold up to his gnawing.


Anything with a battery, such as stuffies that sing, move, or light up, should be handled with extra care.


Don’t Let Pets Have Chocolate


It’s no secret that chocolate is one of the most dangerous foods for pets. In fact, it can be fatal at just one pound per ounce of your pet’s weight. It’s also one of the only things that are toxic to pretty much all of our animal companions, with the exception of rats and mice.


The culprit here is a substance known as theobromine. Theobromine is similar to caffeine, which is found in chocolate as well. Pets can’t properly process it, so ingestion can cause a variety of symptoms. In fact, iit can be fatal at just one ounce per pound of a pet’s weight.


Some of the things to watch for here include vomiting, panting, restlessness, diarrhea, increased thirst, excessive urination, and a racing heart rate.


It’s important to note that not all types of chocolate are equal. For instance, baker’s chocolate and unsweetened chocolate are more dangerous than milk chocolate. Dark, bitter chocolate is the most dangerous, because it has the highest concentration of cocoa. However, even a little bit of chocolate is dangerous.


Also, sweets can contain a lot of fat and sugar, which can make pets sick. In severe cases, they can even cause pancreatitis. Ask your Marietta, GA veterinary clinic for more information.


Only Give Pets Safe Foods


Romantic dinners are a key part to many Valentine’s Day celebrations. Our furry companions often want to sample our food. There’s nothing wrong with giving your pet something special, but be careful what you offer them. Many popular foods are toxic to them.


The list includes:


  • Meat On The Bone
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Avocados
  • Raw Dough Or Yeast
  • Anything Containing Xylitol, Salt, Sugar, Or Fat


Ask your veterinary clinic for more information.


Put Candies In Secure Spots


While candies may not be the most dangerous thing in your household, pet owners should be aware of a few potential hazards. Smaller candies can pose a choking risk for your four-legged pal. For one thing, the wrappers can be choking hazards, and can cause intestinal blockages if ingested. Moreover, certain ingredients found in these sweets can be harmful to your furry companions. Xylitol, which is sometimes listed as birch sugar, is toxic to both dogs and cats. Chocolate is also unsafe. Plus, the high levels of fat and sugar are not suitable for Fluffy and Fido’s diets.


Display Cards Out Of Paws’ Reach


If your dog tends to chew anything and everything in sight, you’ll want to be careful with cards as well. Paper isn’t a huge risk in and of itself: the concerns here are mostly with cards that play music or light up. Those contain small batteries, so you definitely don’t want to feed your pet.


Put Candles In Safe Places


Pets and fire are always a dangerous combination. In fact, our animal companions start over a thousand fires every year! Fluffy can easily stick her tail into a candle flame. Fido can even knock one over.


If you want to add some mood lighting in a spot your pet can reach, opt for flameless candles. They offer that pretty lighting without the associated risk. If you prefer to use real ones, always keep them in high, secure spots, and use thick candle holders for added security.


General Safety


Because toxins are such a concern with Valentine’s Day, we also want our  customers to be aware of the signs of poisoning in pets. These include vomiting, drooling, pale gums, diarrhea, collapse, excessive urination, dark stools, swelling, increased thirst, lethargy, inability to urinate, trembling, and restlessness.


If you see any of these, or know or suspect that your pet has ingested something toxic, contact your vet right away. You can call us at (770) 436-2431 or the Pet Poison Hotline at 855-764-7661. (Charges may apply.)


It’s also a good idea to keep a pet first-aid kit on hand. These may include items that might be used in a poisoning situation, such as peroxide and activated charcoal. However, you should only use these if and when directed to by your veterinarian or by a pet poison hotline worker.


Pets and Valentine’s Day: It’s All About Love


Well, we’ve covered the serious stuff, so now let’s move on to the fun part. Why not include Fido and Fluffy in your Valentine’s Day celebration? Pet product companies are making a wide variety of adorable accessories. You can take some adorable photos of your pet with these. Fluffy may enjoy batting at a catnip heart, while Fido may look cute posing in a heart made of flower petals. You can also buy a cute dog jacket or blanket for your buddy.


Please feel free to contact us, your Marietta, GA  local pet hospital, if you have questions about your pet’s health or care! As your local pet hospital, we are always here to help! 

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