As you probably already know, chocolate is a big no-no for pets. Chocolate of all types—milk, dark, white, semi-sweet, Baker’s, etc.—contains theobromine and caffeine, chemicals that aren’t good for animals. Without treatment, chocolate ingestion can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and worse. Never leave chocolate of any sort out on countertops or tables where pets could reach it.
Giving candy to that special someone? Make sure your pet doesn’t get their paws on it. Many candies and gums are sweetened with xylitol, an artificial sugar substitute that is highly toxic to animals. It can cause diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, and even coma if a pet doesn’t receive prompt treatment, and it only takes small amounts of xylitol to induce these symptoms.
If you’re going to be including alcoholic beverages in your holiday celebrations, take care to make sure your pet doesn’t imbibe. Wine, liquor, beer, champagne, and even foods cooked with alcohol can prove highly dangerous to pets—alcohol affects pets just like it does humans. The difference is, very small amounts can poison our four-legged friends. Never let your pet access alcohol, and never give an alcoholic beverage to your animal friend on purpose.
Lilies are a common flower found in holiday bouquets, and they’re highly toxic to our feline friends. Check through any bouquets you receive—or send to anyone with a cat—for lilies, and remove them if necessary. Also beware of roses; while they are not toxic per say, the sharp thorns found on rose stems can cut a pet’s mouth or puncture the intestine if swallowed.
Lighting candles to affect a romantic mood? Use caution, as pets can accidentally burn themselves by swiping a tail through an open flame. It’s also possible for pets to knock candles over, spilling hot wax onto the floor or even starting a fire! Try placing candles where pets won’t be able to gain access to them.
We hope you have a fun, happy, and safe Valentine’s Day with your loved one—and your pet! Call your Floyds Knob, IN veterinarian’s office for more helpful holiday safety tips.