Each year our ER clinic sees a rise in pet emergencies around Valentine’s Day and it’s mainly due to the gifts! Yakima Pet Emergency Service wants to help keep your pet safe during this holiday! 

Here are our TOP Valentine’s Day Safety Tips: 

Any type of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and especially cocoa powder is very toxic to dogs. Cats are also susceptible but seem to be less curious about chocolate and cocoa.
Blame chocolate’s toxicity on theobromine, a chemical related to caffeine. When pets get into chocolate, they can experience everything from hyperactivity to signs of stomach upset to cardiac conduction disturbances (problems with the electrical impulses of the heart). White chocolate is not toxic since it contains only sugar and no theobromine, but we still do not recommend giving to pets.

Keep pets away from the bottles of alcohol! We see the same clinical symptoms in pets after they consume alcohol that we would in humans: lack of coordination, vomiting, diarrhea, and depression of the central nervous system that can lead to a decreased rate of breathing and heart rate, and loss of consciousness.

This artificial sweetener is found in a wide range of foods, like peanut butter, and non-foods, like chewing gum or sugar-free candy. Xylitol causes increased insulin release in dogs, which can cause low blood sugar. It can also cause liver toxicity.

When sending or giving gifts ensure the flowers are safe for your pet! Many flowers and plants are poisonous to pets. Use this online library of toxic and non-toxic plants by the ASPCA to help guide you when giving or receiving plants. If your pet is experiencing symptoms of lethargy, vomiting, or diarrhea – an offending flower may have been ingested and your pet will need to seek immediate medical attention. Important to note – lilies are very dangerous to cats and can cause fatalities. 

Gift Wrapping
Ensure to clean up after wrapping any presents especially if using take, wrapping paper, cellophane, balloons, string or ribbon. If swallowed, items can get lodged in your pet’s throat or digestive tract causing choking and vomiting. 

Yakima Pet Emergency Service wishes you and your loved ones a happy and safe Valentine’s Day! We are here for you when you need us!