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Keeping Pets Safe from Valentine’s Day Dangers (chocolate, candles, flowers, etc.)

February 5, 2020

Protect Your Pet from Valentine’s Dangers
Valentine’s Day is the most romantic day of the year — flowers, candy and warm fuzzies are abundant. Why shouldn’t our pets get to join in? While spoiling our pets with a special treat or new toy is a great idea, keeping them safe is, too. Learn how to spread the love while keeping pets safe from potential Valentine’s Day hazards.

Don’t Share Your Sweets
Most pet owners know that chocolate is dangerous for pets but other candies can pose a risk, too. While you may be ready to indulge in chocolates and candy hearts, keep them away from your furry friends.

Even in small, nontoxic doses, chocolate can still cause stomach upset, diarrhea, vomiting, hyperactivity, dehydration and seizures.

While avoiding chocolate may be common knowledge, other candies and even gum can pose a major threat to your pet. Sugar-free candy and gum, in particular, can contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is extremely toxic to pets. Ingesting large amounts of xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, resulting in vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures and even liver failure.

If you suspect that your pet has ingested any amount of Valentine’s Day candy, monitor them closely and call your veterinarian immediately.

No Playing with Fire
Candles may set the mood, but they also attract curious pets. A candle can cause burns quickly if your pet gets too close and an unattended flame can set your Valentine’s on fire if your pet knocks it over. Keep open flames out of reach of pets and make sure you don’t leave them unattended. Better yet, use artificial candles or even string lights to light up your night and protect your pet.

If your pet does fly a little too close to the “sun,” getting them to a veterinarian should be your first priority but there are some ways you can give them relief in the meantime.

For treating burns on dogs, the American Kennel Club (AKC) suggests immersing the burn in cool water or saline solution. You can also spray cool water on the area to help alleviate the burn. Get your dog to the veterinarian as soon as you can to be sure that the burn is properly treated.

Treating burns on cats, and other small animals, is a little different. Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University recommends taking your cat to the veterinarian immediately. Don’t use ice or direct moisture on the burn, as those can cause tissue damage or potentially shock in smaller animals.

Pet fire safety is a good thing to know for any occasion, so always ask your veterinary care provider what they recommend for treatment, prevention and preparation.

Forbidden Flora
While flower bouquets and plants are classic Valentine’s Day gifts, they can be problematic for your pets. Many varieties of plants and flowers are harmful or poisonous to pets, but lilies are especially harmful to cats and can cause serious health problems or even death.

You should also be mindful of roses or other thorny plants. If your pet bites, steps on or tries to eat them, they can cause an injury or lead to an infection.

Flowers and plants can also cause an issue because it can be difficult to tell if your pet ate one if you don’t see them do it. Vomiting, lethargy and diarrhea can be signs that your pet ingested something dangerous. Familiarize yourself with this list of toxic and nontoxic plants for pets from the ASPCA and call your veterinarian if you notice any signs of ingestion.

Love is in the Air
By educating yourself on the potential hazards of the holiday, you can ensure a safe and fun Valentine’s Day for you and your furry companion. Treat your pet to a new toy or snack or donate some time at a local shelter to spread the love.

We at Covetrus North America wish you and your beloved pets a happy Valentine’s Day! Covetrus is dedicated to the health of animals every day. Visit us online or contact your Covetrus representative at 855.724.3461.


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