Valentine’s Day and Your Pets!

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Whether you’ve got a home full of people celebrating this weekend, or if your sweet pup and you are each other’s Valentine this year, there are things to keep in mind when bringing Valentine’s Day products into your home!

Flowers and Candy
Flowers and Candy are amongst the most common Valentine’s Day gifts. Thorny roses are not only dangerous for you to touch, but your curious pets may get pricked by any thorns that have not been trimmed. They may also chew on the petals, eat the rose head, or part of the stem which can cause a bowel obstruction. Not only Roses pose danger to your pets. Lilies are also pretty toxic for your pets, especially cats. The exact toxin hasn’t been identified, but is believed to be dangerous when ingested, whether it be the petals, leaves, or pollen licked off paws and fur after they’ve rubbed against them. Try to keep these out of the home if you have curious cats.

If I were allergic to chocolate (as some humans are) I’d be devastated. While it is normal for us humans to enjoy lots and lots of chocolate on a Hallmark Holiday such as Valentines, we must be careful that we don’t leave anything laying around for Fido to get into. If your dog manages to get a hold of one or two M&Ms, he probably won’t suffer chocolate poisoning, as it is poisonous by dosage. For milk chocolate, if a healthy dog ingests more than 0.5 ounces per pound of body weight, they may be at risk for chocolate toxicity, however for dark or semisweet chocolate, it only takes 0.13 ounces per pound of body weight to cause the same toxicity. Almost all ingestions of bakers chocolate should be treated as an emergency. Symptoms to watch for are vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, hyperactivity. More severe symptoms can include tremors, seizures, elevated heart rate, collapse. Please make an appointment immediately if you think your pet has ingested any amount of chocolate and you concerned.

Xylitol
Xylitol is a sweetener used in sugar free chocolate, candies, gum, mints, and other baked goods. The ingestion of too much Xylitol can result in a drastic drop in blood sugar levels and can cause liver damage in dogs. So if you’re a “sugar free” type person, don’t forget to keep those sweets put away.

Children
If you have children, chances are your home will be getting a drastic influx of candy this weekend as they trade candies in their classrooms. Talk to your child about their responsibility in keeping your dog safe by keeping the candy out of their reach. Remind them to not leave any candy or empty wrappers around to help ensure Fido stays healthy.

Stuffed Animals
Stuffed Animals are pretty common during the Valentine’s Day season as well. Be careful if your pup is prone to chewing up things that aren’t designated toys. Bringing in a new toy to your home – even if it belongs to you (or your kids) – can make Fido think that it is actually for him! Toys that aren’t designed for use by a dog can pose as a choking hazard if they have small parts such as buttons, plastic eyes, and noses.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day is all about love, whether it is for your best fur friend, or your family and loved ones. If you’d like to treat your special furry companion this Valentine’s Day, stop by your local pet store for an array of toys and treats designed for your furry Valentine!

 

~ Kristen W –

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valleypetsitting