Valentines chocolate_iStock_000000406874_MediumEveryone knows that the top destination on Valentine’s Day is a pet emergency clinic. It’s just so romantic and cozy; you’ll want to freeze time…or NOT!

While we love seeing you and your pet, we would prefer it not be in an emergency situation! With this in mind, we offer some Valentine’s Day safety tips so you (and Cupid) can remain on track.

The Elephant in the Room

We hate to call out chocolate, but it really is the most common cause of pet poisonings on Valentine’s Day (not to mention Easter, Halloween, and Christmas!). Sure, nothing says “I love you” like decadent chocolates in a red, heart-shaped box. However, your pet is better off without these sweet treats.

Caffeine and theobromine, the two toxic ingredients in chocolate, cannot be properly metabolized by animals. While dark chocolate, baker’s chocolate, and cocoa powder are considered the most toxic, all chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, elevated heart rate, and hyperactivity.

Please call us immediately or seek pet emergency care if you know (or even suspect) your pet has eaten chocolate.

Candies and Pet Poisoning

Valentine’s Day candies are cute, but they can also be poisonous to pets if they’re made with the artificial sweetener Xylitol. Please do not leave any candy out for your pet to sample. Like chocolate, if you think your pet ate a treat containing Xylitol, please let us know right away.

Cheers! (or Not)

Even a small spill of champagne, liquor, wine, or beer this Valentine’s Day can lead to a pet emergency. Vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and damage to the central nervous system present the risk of alcohol poisoning. Please clean up any spills or drips, and never allow your pet to lap up a taste from your cup.

I Love Flowers

Roses are the ultimate Valentine’s Day offering, but if the petals are eaten, your pet’s tummy could be in trouble. Also, thorns can present hazards of their own to the inside of your pet’s mouth or worse.

Lilies have earned their place as a flower to be strictly avoided. Poisonous to cats, lilies are responsible for kidney failure, vomiting, and diarrhea, and should not be brought inside the home.

GI Obstructions

Remember that gift wrap, bubble wrap, ribbons, bows, and balloons can lead to choking, entanglement, or serious GI obstructions. These items should never be left out for your pet to nibble on or eat.

The Mood

Have you seen those flameless LED candles? They’re such an excellent alternative to real candles, and we’re sure your cat’s whiskers, nose, and eyes agree! Plus, open flames can be easily knocked over, presenting a major fire hazard.

Fast Action in a Pet Emergency

While it’s best to know how to prevent a pet emergency, it’s just as crucial to have a handle on one that’s unfolding. We’re equipped to help your pet during our regular hours, but may recommend another community emergency clinic to assist you after hours.

Our veterinarians and staff wish you a happy, safe Valentine’s Day. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns!