Happy Valentine’s Day!

As we approach Valentine’s Day, it’s important to be aware of the potential dangers of candy, but it isn’t the only danger that exists for your pets this time of year. Check out these tips to keep your furry Valentine safe.

Keep candy and gum out of reach: Animals have a very acute sense of smell, and have an easy time hunting out and indulging in your treats.

Xylitol is dangerous for pets: Sugar-free candies and gum contain the sugar substitute xylitol. When ingested by animals, xylitol can cause a range of problems depending on how much was ingested. These include vomiting, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), liver failure, seizures, or death. If your pet ingests this type of product, it is important to know how much was eaten, and have the product information available because some types have higher concentrations of xylitol than others.

Chocolate is toxic to pets: Chocolate is well-known for being problematic in animals. Chocolate contains toxic compounds called methylxanthines that can cause everything from mild gastrointestinal upset (vomiting, diarrhea) to cardiotoxicity (rapid heart rate, arrhythmias), seizures, and death. Baking chocolate and dark chocolate are especially toxic. Treatment can vary from decontamination by inducing vomiting to hospitalization with intravenous fluids.

Smell the roses, but don’t let your pet eat them: Floral arrangements may be enticing for your dog or cat too, and it may only take a nibble to cause a severe reaction. Even small amounts can lead to cases of upset stomachs or vomiting, particularly if the plant or flower is toxic. All lilies are dangerous—and potentially fatal—to cats. Certain varieties of lilies are toxic to dogs, too. Roses can cause punctures to the mouth and paws, and possible bowel obstruction if swallowed.
Seek immediate veterinary care if your pet has ingested anything hazardous.

The Pet Poison Helpline has more helpful information.

The above information was provided by VCA Animal Hospitals