The Dangers of Valentine’s Day

valantimnesWith Valentine’s Day just around the corner, many of us may be planning or expecting some special treatment from our loved ones, be it a bunch of fresh red roses or scrumptious chocolates. But for dog owners, these romantic treats also come with a danger warning for your pooches, so make sure it’s not a toxic Valentine’s Day for your dog and read up on some of the hazards to be aware of.

Roses

Roses have long been a standard Valentine’s Day present, but these thorny beauties can have a few dangers for dogs. The most obvious one is the thorns, which can cause pain and discomfort if your dog stands on one. But also if your pooch is prone to eating flowers, this can cause pain in the mouth, as well as stomach upsets and bowel obstruction if a lot of the flower head or stem is eaten.

Lilies

A nice alternative to roses, a bunch of lilies can look great on your mantelpiece, but they contain harmful toxins on the petals, leaves, pollen and even in the vase water that if ingested by your dog can cause an upset stomach. For cat owners, it’s worth knowing these flowers are highly toxic and exposure can cause serious kidney failure, so keep them well away from felines.

Chocolates

Most dog owners will already know that you shouldn’t feed chocolate to your dog, but whilst a few morsels shouldn’t cause too much harm, larger quantities and darker chocolate can spell out problems. The darker the chocolate the higher the levels of theobromine, which is toxic to cats and dogs. If you have chocolates, it’s best to keep them stored away for you to enjoy yourself.

Chocolate Covered Raisins

Grapes, currants and sultanas also fall into the toxic category for pets and if ingested, these fruits can cause severe stomach upset and in extreme cases, kidney failure. So, as with the chocolates, it’s a good idea to keep them out of reach of all pets, especially dogs and cats.

Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans

A nice alternative for coffee and chocolate lovers, can prove a deadly concoction for pets, as these products contain high doses of caffeine and theobromine, which is poisonous for dogs and cats if ingested.

Xylitol Natural Sweetener

Whilst typically found in breathe mints, chewing gums and sweets the natural sweetener xylitol is also found in many baked goods, such as iced cup-cakes. If you’re given some colourful looking cakes or sweets, keep them out of reach from your dog as ingesting large amounts can cause a serious drop in blood-sugar and in severe cases, liver damage.

Whatever gifts you receive this Valentine’s Day and no matter how much you want to share them with your four-legged friends, you should err on the side of caution and give them healthy doggy treats or a nice long dog walk  instead and keep the flowers and chocolates out of harm’s way.