Valentine's No-No's for Pets
ASPCA Guide to a Pet-Friendly Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day can be as much fun for pets as it is for humans if dangerous foods, flora and
other items are kept out of paws’ reach. Each year our poison control
experts see a rise in cases around February 14, many involving chocolate
and lilies, a flower that’s potentially fatal to cats. So please heed
our experts’ advice—don’t leave the goodies lying around on Lover’s Day.
Pet-Safe Bouquets Many pet owners are still
unaware that all species of lily are potentially fatal to cats. When
sending a floral arrangement, specify that it contain no lilies if the
recipient has a cat—and when receiving an arrangement, sift through and
remove all dangerous flora If your pet is suffering from symptoms such as stomach upset, vomiting
or diarrhea, he may have ingested an offending flower or plant. Use our
online toxic and nontoxic plant libraries as visual guides of what and what not should be in your bouquets. Forbidden Chocolate
pet lovers know the potentially life-threatening dangers of chocolate,
including baker’s, semi sweet, milk and dark. In darker chocolates,
methylxanthines—caffeine-like stimulants that affect gastrointestinal,
neurologic and cardiac function—can cause vomiting/diarrhea,
hyperactivity, seizures and an abnormally elevated heart rate. The
high-fat content in lighter chocolates can potentially lead to a
life-threatening inflammation of the pancreas. Go ahead and indulge, but
don’t leave chocolate out for chowhounds to find.
Careful with Cocktails
wine, half a glass of champagne, some leftover liquor are nothing to
cry over until a curious pet laps them up. Because animals are smaller
than humans, a little bit of alcohol can do a lot of harm, causing
vomiting, diarrhea, lack of coordination, central nervous system
depression, tremors, difficulty breathing, metabolic disturbances and
even coma. Potentially fatal respiratory failure can also occur if a
large enough amount is ingested.
Life Is Sweet
don’t let pets near treats sweetened with xylitol. If ingested, gum,
candy and other treats that include this sweetener can result in a
sudden drop in blood sugar known as hypoglycemia. This can cause your
pet to suffer depression, loss of coordination and seizures.
Every Rose Has Its Thorn
let pets near roses or other thorny stemmed flowers. Biting, stepping
on or swallowing their sharp, woody spines can cause serious infection
if a puncture occurs. “It’s all too easy for pets to step on thorns that
fall to the ground as a flower arrangement is being created,” says Dr.
Louise Murray, Director of Medicine for the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial
Animal Hospital. De-thorn your roses far away from pets.
Playing with Fire
nice to set your evening a-glow with candlelight, but put out the fire
when you leave the room. Pawing kittens and nosy pooches can burn
themselves or cause a fire by knocking over unattended candles.
Wrap it Up
up tape, ribbons, bows, wrapping paper, cellophane and balloons after
presents have been opened—if swallowed, these long, stringy and
“fun-to-chew” items can get lodged in your pet’s throat or digestive
tract, causing her to choke or vomit.
The Furry Gift of Life?
a cuddly puppy or kitten may seem a fitting Valentine’s Day
gift—however, returning a pet you hadn’t planned on is anything but
romantic. Companion animals bring with them a lifelong commitment, and
choosing a pet for someone else doesn’t always turn out right.
That said, adoptable pets are looking for love this Valentine’s Day! Check your local animal care facility or take a romantic trip to the shelter together.
This is a copy of information found at the ASPCA website. Please visit them for more details.
Copyright © 2013. The American Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). All Rights Reserved.
Information courtesy of ASPCA. For more information, visit: ASPCA