Valentines_iStock_000011197177_MediumValentine’s Day is all about love, and if you’re like most pet owners, chances are you love your pets as much (if not more!) than most of the humans you know. Many pet owners even report preferring to spend the evening at home, snuggled up on the couch with their furry loved-ones, than out on the town with a significant other… and we don’t blame them one bit!

The romantic goodies associated with Valentine’s Day can be wonderful for humans, but many of them pose serious risks to our four-legged friends. Our Valentine’s Day pet safety tips will help you keep your pet safe and at home with you, where he or she belongs.

Keeping Valentine’s Day Pet Safety in Mind

Each year, pet poison control hotlines see a spike in calls around February 14, many of them involving the ingestion of chocolate, lilies, or other popular Valentine’s treats that are toxic to pets.

Chocolate

Caffeine and theobromine are the ingredients that make chocolate bad for pets. These dangerous stimulants can cause a host of problems if ingested, including vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, seizures, and abnormal heart rate. The high fat content of most chocolate can also lead to a life-threatening condition known as pancreatitis.

Make sure you store those heart-shaped chocolates where your pets can’t reach them, or better yet, don’t leave any leftovers!

Xylitol

Sugar-free goodies containing Xylitol are a big no-no for pets, and should be kept away from them at all times. Even small amounts of Xylitol can cause liver failure in dogs. Xylitol is commonly used in sugar-free candy, gum, baked goods, peanut butter, toothpaste, and other products.

Alcohol

Many pets are surprisingly curious about alcohol and will drink the leftovers in our glasses if they get the chance. It doesn’t take much alcohol to cause an adverse reaction in a pet, including vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination, tremors, difficulty breathing, metabolic disturbances, and even coma.

Don’t leave open containers unattended, clean up any spills, and dump out leftover alcohol immediately.

Flowers

If your sweetie is a cat owner, make sure not to send a flower arrangement that contains lilies, as even a tiny amount is potentially fatal if ingested by a cat. Similarly, cat owners who receive flowers should always look through and remove any lilies they find.

We’re Here for You

If you have any questions or concerns about Valentine’s Day pet safety, please give The Pet Experts at Naperville Animal Hospital a call. If you know or suspect that your pet has ingested something he or she shouldn’t have, please don’t wait to bring your pet in. We are open and ready to assist your pet in case of emergency, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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