- Roses are beautiful, but if you puppy or kitten chews on one, they can potentially get hurt. Thorns can injure their mouths, and if they actually eat some of the flowers, obstruction is a possibility. Remember to keep vases away from curious paws as well to avoid broken glass.
- Lilies aren’t as big of a Valentine’s Day flower as roses but they are toxic to pets, especially cats. If your cat decides to chew on a lovely lily, call your veterinarian immediately. Kidney problems can develop from minimal exposure.
- Chocolate can be toxic to pets depending on the type of chocolate and the dose ingested. Check out National Geographic’s Chocolate Chart as a guide to chocolate’s dangers.
- A double dose of trouble can occur if your pet eats chocolate covered raisins. Both chocolate and raisins can be toxic, so your pet is getting two potential problems at once. Contact your veterinarian if your pet manages to sneak some of this toxic treat.
- Another double whammy comes in the form of chocolate covered espresso or coffee beans. Caffeine overdosing can lead to serious heart arrhythmias.
- Macadamia nuts can be toxic on their own – causing neurologic signs in dogs. Adding the chocolate covering, especially if it is dark chocolate, just increases the risk of ill effects. Check with your veterinarian if your pooch makes a treat raid.
- If your goal is to be careful about the calories that you consume on Valentine’s Day, you may receive food gifts that contain an artificial sweetener called xylitol. This sugar substitute can cause a dramatic drop in blood sugar in your dog and possibly lead to liver failure. Even one stick of gum with xylitol can cause problems for your dog – so call your veterinarian right away if you think he got into any food containing xylitol.
Enjoy your holiday but make sure to stick to pet safe treats or hide your treats safely away from prying paws!