It’s always a good idea to review holiday safety for your pets, and Valentine’s Day is no exception. Candies, certain flowers, and celebratory beverages can spell big trouble for pets. Most people are aware that chocolates can be life-threatening to pets but did you know that all species of lily are potentially fatal to cats? Every year pet poisoning cases begin to spike near Feb 14, mainly involving accidental pet ingestion of chocolate, lilies and alcohol.
All chocolate is life-threatening to pets, whether it is Baker’s chocolate, semi-sweet, milk or dark chocolate. Generally speaking, the darker the chocolate the more toxic, as darker chocolates contain methylxanthines which are stimulants that affect gastrointestinal, neurological and cardiac function. These substances can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, rapid heart-rate and seizures. Light chocolate is by no means safe however, as the high fat content can lead to an inflammation of the pancreas which is quite painful as well as life-threatening. Keep the chocolate out of reach of the pets!
Many sweets (not just the sugar-free ones) contain an artificial sweetener known as Xylitol. In addition to diarrhea, Xylitol ingestion by your pet can result in dramatic hypoglycemia, resulting in loss of balance, depression, lethargy and seizures. The sugar-free sweetener Xylitol can cause very negative reactions in humans, but it is potentially fatal in pets.
Before sending a floral arrangement to a pet owner, check the ASPCA's list of dangerous flora