Valentine’s Day Pet Safety Tips
Death by chocolate
If giving or receiving or simply buying chocolate, remember that that dark stuff that we love and crave is deadly to our pets. Potentially life-threatening dangers lurk in baker’s, semi sweet, milk and dark chocolates. While all chocolate is dangerous for pets affecting gastrointestinal, neurological and cardiac functions—dark chocolate can cause vomiting/diarrhea, hyperactivity, seizures and an abnormally elevated heart rate. The high-fat content in lighter chocolates cause pancreas inflammation. Enjoy your chocolate but put in the cabinet on a high unreachable shelf.
Candy is not dandy
Most candy and frosting and some other products have xylitol, a sweetener. Xylitol can cause hypoglycemia or a drop in blood sugar which causes seizures, loss of coordination, and depression in pets.
Roses and lilies are deadly to dogs and cats. Cats, especially, can jump up on the table and help themselves to toxic flowers and plants. It only takes a nibble to cause a severe reaction like upset stomach or vomiting. You may want to remove what’s toxic from the arrangement. Here’s a helpful list.
Another problem is thorny stemmed flowers like roses. Pets can bite, step on, or swallow sharp spines which cause serious infection if a puncture happens. De-thorn the roses, please, dispose safely.
If having a romantic dinner or cocktail at home, don’t get caught up in the moment and forget to clean up half drunken cocktails or wine. A little bit of alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lack of coordination, central nervous system depression, tremors, difficulty breathing, metabolic disturbances and even coma.
Put out the candles or fireplace before leaving the room. The glow, the warmth attract pets. They can harm themselves or knock over candles causing a fire.
It’s a wrap
Fun to chew or shred stuff like wrapping, cellophane, bows, ribbons, glitter present chewing hazards and get stuck in your pet’s throat causing them to choke or vomit.
Pets as gifts
You might think that a dog or cat or pup or kitten is the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. While the sentiment is borderline thoughtful, a person should be able to pick out their own pet and prepare for vs. being ambushed or surprised. Instead offer to accompany your loved one when he or she chooses a pet, buy the pet some dog food, and a dog bed.
If you’re in Tucson, please note Pima Animal Care Center is running a $14 “Be Mine” pet adoption special at 4000 N. Silverbell Road. The special run from Feb. 11 through Feb. 17. The fee will get you a pet who is vaccinated, micro-chipped and spayed or neutered. There is an additional dog licensing fee of $15 for dogs over the age of three months.
And if you’re not ready to adopt, but want to help, animals at the shelter appreciate donated dog treats.
Source: PetMD.com and ASPCA.org