little girl making cookies with dog.

While Valentine’s Day is a holiday dedicated to love and connection, it can pose a serious risk for our furry friends. From chocolate to flowers, there are potential pet hazards at every turn. Have no fear, however, with our pet safety tips, you can achieve peace of mind while celebrating loved ones.

Bringing Pet Safety Into Focus

If a pet poisoning occurs on or around Valentine’s Day, it is critical not to wait for symptoms to improve. Know the signs of poisoning and seek emergency help immediately. 

Valentine’s Day-themed chocolates are a big threat to pet safety. If your eager pet finds his way into a box of heart-shaped chocolates, it could lead to serious health issues. If your pet has ingested a toxic amount of chocolate, the following symptoms can develop between 6-12 hours after consumption:

  • Racing heart beat
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Excessive thirst
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • High blood pressure

Our pets cannot metabolize chocolate’s key chemical compounds: caffeine and theobromine. When absorbed by the bloodstream, caffeine and theobromine have dire side effects and can even cause death. The severity of a chocolate poisoning depends on the amount consumed, and the type of chocolate (dark chocolate is more toxic). If you think your pet has eaten chocolate, you should call your veterinarian immediately.

Flowers and More

Have you noticed that store-bought flower arrangements or bouquets usually contain at least one lily? Valentine’s Day pet safety depends on removing lilies from any arrangement before you bring them home or display them. 

Valentine’s Day signature bloom, roses, aren’t quite as toxic as lilies, but they shouldn’t necessarily be viewed as safe, either. A pet may leave a large bouquet of roses alone, but if they do eat the petals or stems, expect a little GI upset. Thorns can also cause injury to pets. 

Lastly, be sure that a pet cannot access cut flowers. Pesticides and other chemicals may be on the flower blossom, stem, or can leach into the water. 

Other Considerations

Just because you have pets doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some Valentine’s traditions, though. What all pet owners can do is safeguard their pet’s health by limiting their exposure to known toxins, like chocolate and flowers. 

Additionally, be on the lookout for any symptoms of a foreign body obstruction. Pets can inadvertently eat gift wrap, ribbon, foil wrappers, and tape. Please act quickly if you notice:

  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Appetite loss
  • Depression
  • Lethargy 

If you have any questions or concerns about Valentine’s Day pet safety, please give us a call at  (530) 673-4744. Adobe Animal Hospital & Laser Surgery Center is always happy to help!