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Valentine’s Day Safety

Valentine’s Day is the most amorous day of the year – we treat our loved ones to extra affection and confections – and that also extends to our pets.

The experts at North Shore Animal League America would like to offer a few tips on how to keep pets safe from potential Valentine’s Day hazards.


The number one danger for pets on Valentine’s Day is chocolate since it’s so readily available. Depending on the amount ingested, chocolate is potentially poisonous to many animals. A good rule of thumb to remember is the less sweet the chocolate, the more toxic it could be. These particular chocolates contain theobromine, which is a substance similar to caffeine. Even in small, non-toxic doses, chocolate can still cause stomach upset, diarrhea, vomiting, hyperactivity, dehydration and seizures.

Candy and Gum

Many sugar-free candy, gum and baked products today contain xylitol. Xylitol is a sweetener found in plants that is used as a sugar substitute and is highly toxic to dogs. Dogs ingesting significant amounts of gum or candies solely or largely sweetened with xylitol may develop a sudden drop in blood sugar, resulting in depression, vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures and even liver failure. Symptoms come on very quickly. If you suspect that your pet has ingested any amount of xylitol, call your veterinarian immediately.

Plants and Flowers

Many different varieties of flowers and plants are poisonous or harmful to pets. Different plants and flowers have varied effects. Some of the more popular varieties that may be found around Valentine’s Day are: Baby's Breath, Chrysanthemums, Daffodils, various Lilies, Ferns, Hyacinth, Hydrangea, Impatiens, Lily-of-the-Valley, Rubber plants, and Tulips. Cats, especially, find grass-like plants irresistible and have access to just about everywhere. There are many more flowers and plants that can cause upset and even death to your pet, so please be aware to keep all varieties of flora and fauna away from them.

Pamper Your Pets This Valentine’s Day

This Valentine’s Day, make sure to pamper your pets so they don’t feel left out. An extra long walk or a good brushing are perfect choices. Non-edible treats such as a new bed, toy or catnip are safe ways to show just how special our pets are to us!


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