Keeping Your Pet Safe on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a mere two weeks away. If you’re planning a romantic gathering with your special someone, it’s important to keep your animal friend’s safety in mind. Here, your London, ON vet warns you about several Valentine’s Day pet hazards to be aware of.


If you’re sending or receiving a holiday bouquet of flowers, make sure to check it for lilies. Lily flowers of various types are very dangerous for our feline friends, and can poison dogs as well. Remove lilies from bouquets or vases, or put these items in areas where pets can’t reach. Also beware of roses; while these flowers aren’t necessarily toxic, the sharp thorns on the rose stem can harm a pet who manages to get their paws on them.


Chocolate, of course, is a big no-no for pets. Chocolate of all types—dark, milk, semi-sweet, white, powdered versions, even baking chocolate—contains theobromine and caffeine, chemicals that aren’t good for our animal friends. Valentine’s Day is a time when plenty of chocolate treats will be floating around—store all chocolate and products that contain it inside closed cabinets or the refrigerator so that your cat or dog can’t gain access.


Many varieties of candies, gums, and baked pastries are sweetened with xylitol, a sugar substitute with toxic properties for animals. Xylitol can cause lethargy, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and even seizures and death if a pet isn’t treated promptly. Never leave sweet treats of any sort out on countertops or the kitchen table, where crafty pets may be able to swipe them down.


Will your romantic holiday gathering include alcoholic beverages? Remember that alcohol—wine, liquor, beer, and champagne included—is very bad for pets. It turns out that pets respond to alcohol just like we do. The difference is that only small amounts can cause poisoning! Keep a close eye on all drinks, and never feed your pet alcohol of any sort on purpose.


If you plan on lighting candles to ignite that special holiday atmosphere, make sure they’re set up in a place where your pet can’t go. It’s all too easy for pets to knock over candles or swipe their paws or tails through an open flame or hot wax, potentially causing burns.

Don’t allow your Valentine’s Day to be ruined with a pet emergency—call your London, ON veterinarian’s office for even more great safety tips.

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