Pet-Friendly Valentine’s Day

Next week we celebrate Valentine’s Day, and flowers and chocolate are typical ways of showing our affection; however, they are not healthy for our pets.  According to ASPCA pet poison prevention expert Dana Farbman, CVT, “We do see an increase in calls regarding traditional holiday gifts, particularly in the few days leading up to and after Valentine’s Day–right when those bouquets and lovely boxes of chocolate arrive.” Here are some helpful tips from the ASPCA Guide to a Pet-Friendly Valentine’s Day:

Chocolate: Everyone knows that chocolate causes abnormally high heart rhythms in dogs, among other problems. But not everyone is aware that baking chocolate is especially toxic. While an M&M or two may not do any harm, a dog or cat that snatches a large chunk of baking chocolate from the counter may end up in the ER. It is essential to keep all chocolates out of your pet’s reach.

Flowers: Flowers can be a problem too. The aroma from your floral arrangement may be too enticing for your dog or cat, and it only takes a nibble to cause a severe reaction. Even small amounts may lead to cases of upset stomachs or vomiting, particularly if the plant or flower is toxic. Be extremely careful if your arrangement contains lilies, as these lovely flowers can be fatal to cats.

Cocktails:  Spilled wine, half a glass of champagne, or some leftover liquor are nothing to cry over until a curious pet laps it up. Because animals are smaller than humans, a little bit of alcohol can do a lot of harm, causing vomiting, diarrhea, lack of coordination, central nervous system depression, tremors, difficulty breathing, metabolic disturbances and even coma. Potentially fatal respiratory failure can also occur if a large enough amount is ingested.

It’s nice to set your evening a-glow with candlelight, but put out the fire when you leave the room. Pawing kittens and nosy pooches can burn themselves or cause a fire by knocking over unattended candles.

So go ahead, celebrate Valentine’s Day with your love but take precautions to keep your furry friend safe.  And don’t forget to show special affection for your pet too. Click here for simple suggestions that your pet will love.

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