Keeping Pets Safe on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is usually a time of affection, passion, and love—but that will all change if you have to deal with a pet emergency! This year, avoid the following V-Day hazards with helpful tips from your Carmel vet.


As most pet owners probably already know, chocolate is highly toxic to pets. It contains theobromine and caffeine, chemicals that react poorly with our pet’s systems. Vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, depression, and other serious health symptoms can result if chocolate is swallowed. Avoid the risks by keeping all chocolate and chocolate products out of your pet’s reach.


Many candies and gums are sweetened with an artificial sugar known as xylitol. Xylitol is fine for us, but it can cause toxic reactions in pets. Even a few sticks of gum or pieces of candy can lead to dangerous symptoms, so keep all sweets out of your pet’s paws. Lock them away in sealed containers inside cabinets or drawers.


Candles may not be the first hazard you think of on Valentine’s Day, but they’re something to be aware of. Romantic candles may set the mood well, but a pet can all too easily swipe a paw or tail through an open flame. Burns are possible, but even more likely is the chance a pet will knock one or more candles over, potentially starting a fire. Keep your pet out of any rooms with lit candles.


Many of you may include alcoholic beverages in your Valentine’s Day celebrations. Make sure they don’t get into the paws of your pets! Wine, beer, liquor, and champagne all can poison pets if they swallow it, and it won’t take much to do severe damage. Keep a watchful eye on all open beverages, store alcohol securely, and clean up any spills right away.


Did you know that lilies are toxic to cats? Check any holiday bouquets you’ve received and remove lilies. Roses, while not poisonous, may contain sharp thorns that could cut a pet’s mouth or even puncture the intestinal lining if swallowed. De-thorn roses out of your pet’s reach.

Consult your Carmel veterinarian for more helpful holiday tips to keep the romance around this Valentine’s Day!

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