Valentine's day is around the corner! With love in the air, fragrant flower bouquets being given, and decadent chocolates for all, we just wanted to remind everyone about a few precautions to take for those of us with pets around.
1) Chocolate! - As delicious as it is, chocolate is not good for our furry friends. A compound in chocolate called 'Theobromine' is toxic to dogs and cats. Since it is derived from the Cocoa bean, dark chocolate is more potent compared to milk chocolate. White chocolate is safe, although the sugar is unnecessary. In low doses, chocolate ingestion can cause hyperactivity, hyper-responsiveness, vomiting, and diarrhea. At higher doses, it can cause panting, tremors, seizures, and death. If your pet has ingested some chocolate, call your veterinarian to determine if it is a concerning amount or not. If it is a concern, there are steps we can take to minimize the toxic effects. If it was ingested recently, vomiting and activated charcoal to avoid absorption of the chocolate. Fluid therapy and supportive care is offered in cases where absorption has already occurred.
2) Candy - Many candies nowadays contain the artificial sweetener xylitol. Chocolate isn't the only sweet that is handed out around Valentine's day. Xylitol is extremely toxic to our furry friends. It triggers insulin to be released in the body, and can cause severe hypoglycemia and seizures. At higher doses, it can also cause liver failure. Ensure to keep your sweets away from your pets. If they've gotten into something that you're not sure about, call your veterinarian to see if it's concerning.
3) Lilies - I know what you're thinking, roses are what people give for Valentine's day, not lilies. Lilies are a popular flower and are often included in many bouquets and floral arrangements. These are extremely toxic to cats and cause acute kidney failure. If you suspect your cat has ingested part of the lily, immediate veterinary attention should be sought to induce emesis and provide fluid and supportive care to minimize any damage to the kidney. There are many other flowers and plants that can cause gastrointestinal upset or other issues, so if you see that half eaten bouquet, consider calling your veterinarian about it.
Ensuring your pet(s) avoid ingesting these substances is one way to make sure that your Valentine's is a relaxing and enjoyable day. You can always pamper them with a pet friendly Valentine's day treat!
Happy Valentine's Day!