Show Your Love by Keeping Your Pets Safe on Valentine’s Day
We’ve written before about sharing the joys of Valentine’s Day with your canine friend. This holiday can be an awesome time to show your love by giving your pet more cuddles, a new toy or treat, or an extra long walk. But many of the trappings of a great Valentine’s Day for humans aren’t fun for dogs and cats. Here’s how you can make sure yours stays safe through the season of love.
Keep an Eye on the Alcohol
Champagne and cocktails are festive Valentine’s drinks, but just like too much alcohol can cause issues for humans, it can do the same for pets. And they’re much smaller! Even a tiny amount of alcohol can quickly lead to intoxication in cats and dogs. If you’re not sure your pet ingested alcohol, but she’s acting strange, keep an eye out for:
- Difficulty breathing
These and other symptoms can be signs of intoxication in animals.
Don’t Treat with Sweets
That beautiful box of chocolate should be kept out of reach of all your furry friends. Chocolate contains theobromine, which is easy for humans to digest but takes dogs and cats much longer, meaning it can build up to toxic levels in their bodies. Besides that, the high fat content in many chocolates can lead to an upset stomach.
You may be thrilled to get sugar-free candy for Valentine’s Day. (Your loved one finally remembered you’re on a diet!) But your pet won’t be so thrilled if she gets ahold of a piece. Xylitol is a common ingredient in sugar-free candy, and it’s extremely dangerous for dogs—and not good for cats either! It can cause vomiting, tremors, seizures, and even death.
Avoid Toxic Plants in That Beautiful Bouquet
Everyone loves getting a romantic bouquet of flowers, but if you have pets at home, check the ASPCA’s list of toxic plants before you display your gift somewhere your pet might get it. Several flowers that are wonderful in bouquets also happen to be toxic!
Common flowers that are toxic to dogs include:
- Birds of paradise
- Many varieties of lilies
Common flowers that are toxic to cats include:
- Many varieties of lilies
- Birds of paradise
- Butterfly irises
- Maidens breath
If your dog or cat has ingested a poisonous plant, you’ll likely notice them becoming lethargic and vomiting and/or experiencing diarrhea.
Don’t Gift Flowers with Thorns
Roses with thorns are another flower to keep out of your Valentine’s bouquet. Roses without thorns are just as beautiful, so avoid the risk of a pet gnawing or stepping on them altogether.
If you buy roses with thorns, plan to de-thorn them yourself, do so away from your pet, and make sure you clean up thoroughly. A thorn that’s swallowed can be dangerous to dogs and cats.
Roses aren’t the only spiky plants that are best avoided in festive bouquets. Thistles and plants with pointy stems can also pose a risk.
Monitor Open Flames
You’ve cooked an amazing meal, laid out your best china on the table, and found the candlesticks to complete the romantic setup. All that’s left to set the mood is to dim the lights and light those candles!
This sounds like a beautiful scene; just be sure to blow the candles out again if they’re out of your eyesight. Whether you’re in the kitchen preparing dessert or you and your partner retire to the living room for a movie, open flames should never be left unattended with pets in the house. A curious pup or kitty could get too close or even knock them over, posing a hazard to themselves and your house.
Store Wrapping Materials Safely Away
Ribbons and bows make Valentine’s presents look festive, but they can pose a risk of choking to pets that see them as tempting items to taste. Whether you’re wrapping for someone else or opening a gift from your loved one, securely store or trash wrapping materials once you’re done with them. That includes:
- Anything else you think your pet is likely to get curious about
Ribbons and balloon strings are especially tempting playthings, but if they’re ingested by pets can lead to choking or getting wrapped dangerously around the digestive tract.
The holiday of love can be tons of fun for your pet as well as you! She doesn’t need chocolate, roses, or fancy Valentine’s Day gifts. Treat your pets this Valentine’s Day with your time: A day at the dog park, a trip to the pet store, even some quality cuddles on the couch can make her Valentine’s Day—and yours—extra special. Get even more ideas here.
If you have questions about the safety of common household items for your pet, don’t hesitate to give us a call at Cinco Ranch Veterinary Hospital. We’re happy to give you advice anytime!
The Team @ Cinco Ranch Veterinary Hospital
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