Our Top Pet Safety Tips For Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day! This sweet lovers’ holiday is marked by many cute and sweet trappings, such as chocolates, roses, and stuffed animals. However, pet owners should be cautious, as many of Cupid’s accessories can be dangerous to your furry friend. A Dallas, GA veterinarian offers tips on how to keep your pet safe and healthy during the holiday season.


Never Let Pets Have Alcohol


Many couples celebrate Valentine’s Day with a romantic candlelit dinner, which often includes a bottle of wine. If you want to include your pet, get Fido a bottle-shaped chew toy. Fluffy may enjoy some catnip wine, which is made just for her. Don’t let them have any of the real stuff, though. Even ingesting small amounts of alcohol can cause your pet’s blood sugar, blood pressure, and body temperature to drop. Large doses can even be fatal.


Some things to watch out for include weakness, collapse, drooling, vomiting, depression, lethargy, lack of coordination and trouble breathing. Some more serious consequences include seizures, respiratory failure, and even death. If you notice any of these issues, or suspect that your pet may have eaten something toxic, contact your Dallas, GA veterinarian right away.


Keep Those Cute Cards Out Of Paws’ Reach


Does your furry buddy chew everything in sight? If so, 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, which you definitely don’t want your canine buddy eating. 


Only Burn  Candles In Safe Places


Pets start over a thousand fires every year! Fluffy can easily stick her tail into a candle flame. Fido can even knock one over with his. If you want to add some mood lighting, opt for flameless candles. They offer that pretty lighting without the associated risk. If you prefer to use real candles, put them in high, secure spots and use thick candle holders.


Be Careful With Bouquet Placement


Valentine’s Day is a classic time for flowers and bouquets. Unfortunately, there are some safety concerns here for Fido and Fluffy.


The classic Valentine’s Day flower, the rose, is not toxic to dogs or cats. However, their thorns can cut pets’ mouths, and can cause internal injuries if swallowed. Lilies are another story: they are one of the deadliest plants for our feline pals. Kitties can go into organ failure just by nibbling a leaf or drinking a little of the water.


Some other popular flowers that are toxic to pets include hyacinth, cyclamens, irises, daffodils, foxglove, tulips, oleander, lily of the valley, and hydrangeas. You can find a full list on the ASPCA website here.


Toxicity isn’t the only potential danger here. Playful pets can choke on thick leaves or stems. Plus, even plants and flowers that aren’t poisonous 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 a concern. Play it safe, and keep the bouquet out of paw’s reach.


Don’t Give Your Pet Stuffed Animals


Stuffed animals are another popular holiday gift. Unfortunately, that cute teddy bear could be dangerous to Fido and Fluffy.


Many of these  have small parts or pieces, such as the plastic eyes or buttons, that can present serious choking hazards. Pets are also at risk of choking and/or internal injuries if he were to try to eat the toy. Some of our canine pals just can’t resist going after those squeakers. Anything that sing, move, or light up is extra dangerous, as it may contain a battery. Err on the side of caution. Get your pup something made just for him.


Don’t Let Pets Have Any Chocolate


Chocolate is one of the most dangerous foods for our four-legged pals. It can be fatal at just one pound per ounce of your pet’s body weight. It’s toxic to pretty much all of our animal companions, with the (rather odd) exception of rats and mice.


The culprit here is a substance called theobromine. Theobromine is similar to caffeine, which is also found in chocolate. Pets can’t properly process theobromine, so ingesting it can cause a variety of symptoms. These 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 example, 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. Unfortunately, even a little bit of chocolate is dangerous. Sadly, it can be fatal at just one ounce per pound of a pet’s weight. 


Ask your Dallas, GAveterinary clinic for more information.


Only Give Pets Safe Foods


Our furry companions often want to sample our food. (Fido and Fluffy are also very, very good at coaxing us to share, but that’s another topic.) There’s nothing wrong with giving your pet something special. However, you’ll need to be careful what you offer them. Many popular foods are toxic to them.


The list includes:


  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Scallions
  • Chives
  • Grapes
  • Currants
  • Raisins
  • Chocolate
  • Nuts
  • Meat On The Bone
  • Avocados
  • Raw Dough 
  • Raw Yeast
  • Anything Containing Xylitol, salt, sugar, or fat.


Ask your Dallas, GA veterinary clinic for more information.


Put The Candy Bowl In A Secure Spot


Candies may not be the biggest household hazard for pets, but there are some potential hazards to be aware of. Smaller candies can pose a choking risk. The wrappers can also be choking hazards, and can cause intestinal blockages if ingested. Plus, ingredients found in these sweets can be harmful to your furry companions. For instance, xylitol, which is sometimes listed as birch sugar, is toxic to both dogs and cats. Chocolate, as mentioned above, is also unsafe. Plus, the high levels of fat and sugar are not suitable for Fluffy and Fido’s diets.


General Safety


Because poison is always such a concern with Valentine’s day, we also want our customers to be aware of the signs of poisoning in pets. These include drooling, vomiting, pale gums, diarrhea, collapse, excessive urination, dark stools, increased thirst, swelling, 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 veterinary clinic right away. You can reach us at . You can also contact the Pet Poison Hotline at 855-764-7661. (Charges may apply.)


It’s also not a bad idea to keep a pet first-aid kit on hand. These often contain items that might be used in a poisoning situation, such as peroxide and activated charcoal. However, be careful here: you should only use these if and when directed to by your veterinarian or by a pet poison hotline worker.


Conclusion: A little precaution can go a long way when celebrating Valentine’s Day with your loved ones, including your pets. Just be aware of potential dangers, such as chocolate, candles, candies, and unsafe foods. 


Please feel free to contact us, your Dallas, GA veterinary clinic, if you have questions about your pet’s health or care! We are always here to help! 

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