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How to Keep Your Pets Safe on Valentine's Day: This Day of Love Can be Dangerous for Dogs, Cats, and Other Pets

Did you know that the most romantic day of the year can turn into a nightmare for pets? That’s because they can get into some very common Valentine’s Day gifts, like chocolate and flowers, and they can be deadly to your pets. Here’s how to make sure the entire family has a happy and healthy Valentine’s Day!

The Candy Connection

If you receive chocolate or other candy as a Valentine’s gift, make sure you place it in a secure cupboard or closet when you’re not enjoying your treat. Chocolate can be fatal to dogs and cats if they eat too much of it, and if you leave it out, they may over indulge. If they do, it can lead to a range of symptoms from vomiting and diarrhea, to seizures, hyperactivity, and even an elevated heart rate, and the more they eat, the worse the symptoms become. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener used in many gums and candies, and it can lead to an alarming drop in blood pressure that can lead to depression, lack of coordination, and even seizures.

No Alcohol for Pets

If you enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine on Valentine’s Day, be careful not to spill any. It can ruin your carpet, but it can ruin your pet’s day, too! Even a small amount of alcohol lapped up by a pet can cause tremors, central nervous system issues, vomiting, loss of coordination, difficulty breathing, diarrhea, metabolic disturbances and even coma. If they drink enough they could die from respiratory failure. So, keep your pets away from any alcohol spills or glasses, and keep sponges and paper towels handy to mop up any spills that might happen.

Watch Those Flowers

Ask your florist not to include any type of lilies in your Valentine’s Day arrangements. Lilies can be fatal to cats and dogs, and they should never be included in arrangements going to pet-lovers. Symptoms of ingesting lilies or other plants can include vomiting, stomach upset, and diarrhea. Ask your florist to de-thorn roses, too, because pets can chew on the thorns with tragic results, or step on them.

Wrap It Up

When you open your Valentine’s Day gifts, be sure to dispose of the wrappings right away. Bows, ribbons, tapes, string, and other wrapping materials are irresistible to pets, but if they swallow them, they can lodge in their throat or digestive tract, leading to vomiting and choking.

Pet-related injuries increase around Valentine’s Day, so keep these items away from your pets. If your pet does ingest something toxic during the holiday, make sure to call your veterinarian or a poison control hotline immediately, and seek treatment as soon as possible.