Keeping Your Pet Safe on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day won’t be much fun—and not at all romantic—if you have to deal with a pet emergency. Avoid the risks with these tips from a Poway veterinary professional.

Check Your Flowers

Did you know that most species of the lily flower are poisonous to cats? Ingesting the leaves or other parts of the lily can result in vomiting, diarrhea, liver failure, dehydration, and worse. Remove lilies from Valentine’s bouquets so your cat can’t nibble on them. Also beware of roses; although they’re not toxic, the sharp thorns could present a puncture or cutting hazard to pets.

Avoid Chocolate

As most pet owners know, chocolate is highly toxic to cats and dogs and should be avoided at all costs. All types of chocolate, including milk, dark, baker’s, semi-sweet, and white, will result in vomiting, diarrhea, and other serious symptoms if too much is swallowed. Store chocolates inside sealed containers where pets can’t reach them.

Avoid Candy

Many candies, gums, and certain baked goods are sweetened with xylitol, an artificial sugar substitute that has toxic properties. If your pet decides to munch on candy you’ve left out, the results could be disastrous. Keeping goodies like these stored out of your pet’s reach is the best way to avoid the risk.

Watch Your Candles

You probably haven’t thought of your romantic Valentine’s Day candles as a pet health hazard, but the truth is that candles can lead to a nightmare given the right circumstances. Pets can all too easily swipe a tail or paw through an open flame, causing a burn or startling them into knocking over one or more flaming candles. Keep your pet out of the room if you’re lighting candles.

Alcohol Awareness

Alcoholic beverages may be part of your Valentine’s Day plans, but make sure they don’t become part of your pet’s. Alcoholic beverages of all types, including beer, liquor, wine, and champagne, can poison a pet if enough is ingested. They respond to alcohol the same way we do, except that it takes much less to do serious damage.

Ask your Poway veterinarian for more helpful Valentine’s Day tips. With some simple preparation, you can keep the romance in your holiday while keeping your pet happy!

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