Love is in the air. Valentines’ Day approaches. For many people, this involves a lot of traditional romance. There’s the dinners, proposals, soft lighting, boxes of candy, stuffed animals, greeting cards, flowers, and fooling around. Oh yeah.
If you’re planning to partake in some sweet celebration of love, be mindful of your pets. There are plenty of potential dangers lurking in your romantic gestures.
- Chocolate and Other Sweets
We all know that chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and in high enough doses, heart failure and seizures. Chocolate isn’t the only bad candy. Those little conversation hearts, red hots, cupcakes, and any other sugary treat can all make your pets sick. Keep those goodies tucked away, out of your pet’s reach.
Who doesn’t like the ambiance of soft light dancing along the walls and filling the room with a soothing glow? It takes only an instant for a warm glow to erupt into a hot mess. A curious cat, an excited dog, a swish of the tail, or a little jump and bump can set fire to your pet and/or your home. Use flameless candles or keep the pets away from romantic mood lighting.
Fortunately, the most popular Valentine’s Day flower, the rose, is non-toxic to dogs and cats. Unfortunately, most of the other popular flowers are toxic.
The ASPCA lists carnations, lilies, tulips, hyacinths, and baby’s breath (among others) as toxic to dogs and cats. They cause a range of symptoms. These include vomiting (sometimes with blood), diarrhea, tremors, depression, lethargy, and sometimes death.
If you have a bouquet in your home, and are unsure of its toxicity, be safe rather than sorry. Remove it or shut it in a room your pet cannot enter.
- Stuffed Animals
What the heck about a sweet stuffed animal holding a plush heart is dangerous to pets? A couple of things, actually.
Pets are like small children when it comes to toys. You’ve got to be mindful about what you give them.
Eyeballs and noses are choking hazards and may cause intestinal problems and blockages. Strings and threading can cause serious gut problems if they become lodged in the intestines. Dogs can chew off and swallow ears, tails, limbs, and stuffing. It’s best to keep these tokens of love out of your pet’s grasp.
- Greeting Cards
If you’re better half got you a musical greeting card, make sure your pet doesn’t get it. The batteries that power these cards are dangerous. Aside from being choking hazards, the small lithium batteries are corrosive when paired with saliva and cause severe chemical burns to the mouth and esophagus.
If you’re a sucker for Valentine’s Day, make sure you keep a close eye on your goodies and your babes. Be safe and enjoy the love. If your dog or cat does become exposed to a Valentine’s Day danger, seek immediate veterinary help.