Top FAQS For Valentine’s Day Pet Safety 

Cupid is here! Valentine’s Day is the most romantic holiday of the year, and it is typically marked with sweet trappings, such as chocolate, roses, and stuffed animals. You can even find some cute things for your pet! Just be careful, as many of Cupid’s accessories are dangerous to Fido and Fluffy. To ensure your pets are safe during the holidays, read on for tips from a local Marshall County, MS veterinarian.

Can I Burn Candles Around Pets?

Every year, our furry friends start more than a thousand fires. Pets and flames are always a dangerous combination. Fluffy can easily stick her tail into a candle, while Fido can knock one over with his.

Always burn candles in high, secure places. Use thick candle holders for added security. You can also use flameless candles: these are much safer, but still offer that romantic mood lighting.

What Foods Are Dangerous To Pets?

It’s traditional for many people to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a romantic candlelit dinner. Not all people foods are safe for Fido and Fluffy. Some are even toxic to them! Avocados, raw dough, yeast, meat on the bone, garlic, onions, grapes, raisins, and anything containing xylitol, salt, sugar, or fat are some of the foods that are poisonous to our furry friends. For more information, contact your Marshall County, MS veterinarian.

What Flowers Are Unsafe For Pets?

Many people get flowers for Valentine’s Day. Those beautiful bouquets add a special touch to any home. However, they can pose serious dangers to your pets.

Roses are the most popular Valentine’s Day flower. Fortunately, these pretty blooms are not toxic. However, their thorns can cut pets’ mouths and can cause internal injuries if swallowed. Lilies, however, are very toxic. In fact, they are one of the most deadly plants for cats. Simply nibbling a leaf or drinking some water is enough to cause organ damage.

A complete list of safe and unsafe plants is available on the ASPCA website here. Some of the others that are dangerous to pets include oleanders, lily of the valley, hyacinths, daffodils, foxgloves, tulips, cyclamens, irises, and hydrangeas.

Even non-toxic plants can become dangerous if they’re treated with pesticides or decorated with glitter or small ornaments, like a plastic heart or cute cupid. Pets can also choke on stems or leaves.

Are Stuffed Animals Dangerous To Pets?

It’s well known that dogs love teddy bears and other stuffed animals. Plushies remind Fido of the small animals that he would hunt in the wild. However, plushies can also be dangerous. Many stuffed animals come with small parts or pieces that can be choking hazards, such as plastic eyes or buttons on a teddy bear’s vest. If your pup swallows the stuffing and squeaker, he may also choke or suffer internal injuries. Stuffed animals that sing, move, or light up can be dangerous as well, as they contain small batteries.

There isn’t as much risk to cats from stuffed animals: Fluffy is more likely to snuggle up with that cute teddy bear for a nap than eat it. Still, erring on the side of caution is always advisable.

Why Is Chocolate Dangerous To Pets?

Chocolate is one of the few foods that is toxic to almost all pets, with the exception of rats and mice. In fact, it can even be fatal at one pound per ounce of a pet’s body weight.

Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine, which pets cannot metabolize properly. Ingestion of theobromine can cause a variety of symptoms.

Some types of chocolate are more dangerous than others. Dark, bitter chocolate is the most dangerous, since it contains the highest amount of cocoa. Baker’s chocolate and unsweetened chocolate are more dangerous than milk chocolate because they contain the most cocoa. In addition, many of those chocolate sweets contain a lot of fat and sugar. These are harmful to pets in and of themselves, and even cause pancreatitis in severe cases.

Signs to watch for include panting, vomiting, restlessness, diarrhea, increased thirst, excessive urination, and a racing heartbeat. Contact your Marshall County, MS vet right away if you notice any of these.

Can I Share Candies With My Pet?

Pets should not be allowed to eat hard candies. For one thing, they are choking hazards. The wrappers of candies can pose a choking hazard, and if swallowed, can cause intestinal blockages.

Also, many sweets contain ingredients that are harmful to pets, such as xylitol (also known as birch sugar), which is toxic to both cats and dogs. Chocolate’s high fat and sugar content is also dangerous for pets. Ask your vet for more information. 

Are Cards Dangerous For Pets? 

Do you have a heavy chewer on your hands? If so, be cautious with cards. The paper itself isn’t a big deal. However, cards that play music or light up contain small batteries, which your dog should not consume. Cards may also be decorated with things like glitter, or printed with toxic ink, paint, or dye, all of which are also unsafe.

Is Alcohol Safe For Pets?

Your Valentine’s Day plans might include a candlelit dinner, which may include a bottle of wine. Don’t share your drinks with your pet: booze definitely is not safe for Fido and Fluffy. Even a small amount of alcohol can cause serious health problems.

Symptoms include drooling, vomiting, weakness, collapse, depression, lethargy, lack of coordination, and difficulty breathing. More serious consequences include seizures, respiratory failure, and, unfortunately, even death.

You can get Fido a chew toy that looks like a wine bottle, and Fluffy can even enjoy her own catnip wine.

What Are General Signs Of Poisoning?

Poisonings are a top danger for Valentine’s Day, but the threat won’t go away when Cupid leaves. Poisonings continue to be a major cause of both pet emergency visits and, unfortunately, of death. It’s important to be aware of the signs of poisoning in pets. The symptoms include vomiting, drooling, pale gums, diarrhea, collapse, excessive urination, dark stools, swelling, increased thirst, lethargy, inability to urinate, trembling, and restlessness.

Call us at (662) 252-5454 or the Pet Poison Hotline at 855-764-7661 right away if you see any of these signs. (Charges may apply for the Hotline.)

We often suggest keeping pet first-aid kits on hand, just as a basic safety precaution. These kits can contain items that would be useful in a poisoning situation, such as peroxide or activated charcoal. However, these items should only be used according to your veterinarian’s instructions.

Show Your Pets Some Love, Too! 

That all said, there’s no reason you can’t include your pets in your Valentine’s Day celebration. Many pet product companies are creating adorable accessories to celebrate the holiday. Fido can choose from a variety of adorable heart-themed dog jackets and blankets. A catnip heart might delight Fluffy, while rose petals forming a heart could be a super cute backdrop for an adorable doggy picture.

Here’s to a paws-itively wonderful Valentine’s Day with your pets! By following some basic safety tips, you can enjoy the sweet lovers’ holiday without compromising your pet’s well-being. Chocolates, candies, candles, and small toys are potential hazards.

If you have any questions about your pet’s health or care, please contact our Marshall County, MS pet hospital. We are dedicated to providing top-notch veterinary care to all of our furry patients.


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