Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate all things love and romance and often involves giving and receiving gifts from your loved one such as chocolate, alcohol and flowers.
Unfortunately, a lot of the traditional food and gifts associated with Valentine’s Day are not pet friendly, so it’s important to be aware of things that could be harmful to your dog and other household pets to ensure you and your pets have a safe Valentine’s Day.
Below are some potential hazards for pet owners to be mindful of:
Flowers can make a beautiful Valentine’s present for your loved one but some flowers and plants can be extremely harmful to your cat or dog. When choosing bouquets, stay away from flowers such as Lilies, Tulips, Chrysanthemums, Primrose, Carnations, Daffodils and Oleander. There are quite a few others too, and you can find a more comprehensive list here.
Depending on the type of flower or plant ingested, reactions can range from a rash to diarrhoea and vomiting, to convulsions and sadly, even death.
Some types of Lilies are highly toxic to dogs, but even the types that are non-toxic can still cause an upset tummy and unpleasant reactions in dogs. Roses can cause harm to pets’ paws if they step on a thorny stem or damage to their throats if they ingest it.
Even if you aren’t expecting a queue of delivery drivers eager to deliver their bouquet to you this Valentine’s Day, the above link provides a useful guide for balcony and garden plants to avoid when you have pets.
Let’s face it, even if you are enjoying singledom this Valentine’s Day, the day will probably still involve chocolate, and that is something you absolutely cannot share with your dog.
Chocolate can kill dogs and cats within hours of consumption, so this Valentine’s Day make absolutely sure there is no chocolate left around. The theobromine and xanthine found in chocolate is toxic to dogs as it damages their hearts and can cause neurological damage too. Symptoms can include:
- Hyper excitability
- Hyper irritability
- Increased heart rate
- Increased urination
- Muscle tremors
It is very clear that the best way to proceed is to eat all the chocolate yourself and not share it with anyone, but if your dog does consume chocolate, please consult your veterinarian immediately.
Alcohol can also cause your animal to become intoxicated if ingested, but the aftermath is a little more than a horrible hangover in the morning. Any alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of coordination, tremors, difficulty breathing, metabolic disturbances, and even coma – large amounts consumed can cause fatal respiratory failure. Be sure to keep any alcoholic beverages far out of reach of your dog.
Sweets and Lollies
Sweet treats, or anything sweetened with Xylitol, can cause your animal’s blood sugar to drop suddenly, which is known as hypoglycaemia. Your pet could suffer depression, loss of coordination and seizure if xylitol is consumed.
If your dog does decide to help themselves to your Valentine’s Day gifts, please contact your veterinarian immediately. Be aware of the signs and symptoms of toxic reactions and poisoning and make sure that you have your vet’s number and poison info (13 11 26) stored in your phone.
Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at Paddington Pups, because we love you!