Valentine’s Day Tips

By: Melanie Jackson
Certified Veterinary Technician at Pet Poison Helpline®

Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
Chocolate can be toxic,
And lilies are too!

Holiday Valentines Day Dog with Chocolate and Flowers

Valentine’s Day is a holiday of love and romance, generally expressed as gifts of flowers and chocolates.  While these gifts can be perfect for those receiving them, some of them can be harmful or even deadly to pets with a small exposure.

Asiatic lilies are a popular and beautiful flower commonly included in bouquets.  Exposure to any part of a lily, including the petals, stem, leaves and even the water they are in can lead to acute kidney failure in cats.  No potential exposure to Asiatic lilies should be considered safe or ok in cats.  Keep bouquets out of reach of your feline friends and if you suspect an exposure, contact your local veterinarian right away for care.

Dogs have exceptional senses of smell and are capable of identifying gift-wrapped sweets with amazing accuracy and efficiency.  Some sweets like chocolate and sugar-free candies containing xylitol pose a more serious risk to our four legged furry friends than just the risk of an upset stomach.  Chocolate contains theobromine, a chemical similar to caffeine that is not well tolerated by dogs.  Depending on the type and amount ingested, dogs can experience clinical signs of stomach upset, agitation, high heart rates, tremors or worse if left untreated.  If your dog or other pet has gotten into something, call Pet Poison Helpline® for an assessment of the situation and further medical advise for your pet.