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St. Valentine's Day Pet Safety Tips
Who shows you love everyday of the year? Your pet, of course! Your animal family members don't care what you wear and they don't complain about bad habits. They show you affection every chance they get. Don't be afraid to return the favour on Valentine's day! Lots of safe and healthy dog and kitty products are available to help spoil your pet. Some human Valentine's Day "treats", like FLOWERS, CHOCOLATE, and CANDY, can be dangerous to pets. Please read the guidelines below to make sure your furry loved one has a happy February 14th.
Common flower arrangements often contain one or more plants that could be potentially toxic to your pet. Lily leaf, stem, or flower ingestion can be extremely dangerous to cats, causing stomach upset, kidney disease and possibly death. Dogs are less susceptible to the effects of lilies but can still be poisoned by the bulbs. Tulip, daffodil, and iris bulbs can also be poisonous. Roses are a common Valentine's day flower. Although roses are not toxic, dogs and cats have been known to eat and chew on rose bouquets, causing stomach upset and sore mouths. Most flower bouquets do not come with labels and warning attached to each flower. The best idea is to keep unknown flowers, plants, strings and wrappings away from your pet.
Chocolate is loved by people and pets, especially dogs. In fact, dogs develop a "chocolate-seeking behaviour", seeking this delicacy wherever it can be found. Chocolates contain stimulants including theobromine and caffeine. These are present at especially high concentrations in unsweetened bakers' chocolate. One ounce of unsweetened baking chocolate is enough to cause chocolate toxicity in a small dog. Milk chocolate contains about 1/7th to 1/10th the amount of toxic compounds of baking chocolate, but can easily be a source of toxic levels especially in smaller dogs. Symptoms of chocolate toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, shaking, and heart irregularities. Therefore, DO NOT leave chocolate unsupervised or within easy reach of your pet. Even a "safe dose" of chocolate can cause digestive upset or pancreatitis due to the fat and other ingredients found in chocolate.
Recent reports indicate XYLITOL as a cause of low blood sugar, vomiting, and liver failure in dogs. Xylitol is a common sweetener in many human foods like sugar-free gum, mints, chewable vitamins and baked goods. Large dogs have died from eating as few as 5 cookies, 8 muffins, or 30 pieces of gum sweetened with xylitol. Although no human baked good is recommended as a treat for dogs, be especially careful with products containing xylitol.
Heart shaped dog biscuits or cat treats are a perfect choice to show any pet how much you care, just keep the "human treats" far, far away!!
Happy Valentine's Day!