Ah…. L’Amore – Valentine’s Day. It’s a special day that holds much meaning for many. Are there dangers for your dog? A few – so let’s get on with the discussion so you can go back to planning your special activities.
Chocolate – Make no mistake about it. Chocolate IS toxic to dogs. The darker the chocolate, the more danger it poses to your pet. Visit petmd.com for a great interactive toxicity meter. Be careful with those pretty, heart-shaped boxes full of delicious treats – they can be deadly! Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine – two substances that can be toxic to dogs. Seizures, vomiting and death can occur within 24 hours from chocolate toxicity.
Candies – Some candies can also pose a threat. Be especially careful with sugar-free varieties and candies that contain raisins or nuts. Xylitol, a common sugar substitute is toxic when ingested by dogs. It can cause hypoglycaemia and liver damage. Watch for signs of lethargy and vomiting. Symptoms can occur between a half hour and several hours.
Alcohol – Most people know not to give their dogs alcohol, but there are some common things you may not think about that can make dogs susceptible to alcohol poisoning: alcohol-soaked cakes, unbaked bread and alcohol filled chocolates. Look for drooling, retching, vomiting, bloat, elevated heart rate, weakness and collapse.
Candles – Be aware of the romantic candles when a dog is about. Tails or even curious noses can cause a spill, burn or even house fire. If you want to burn candles, make sure they are elevated well above the dog’s reach.
Roses and thorns – Many plants can be toxic to dogs. Roses which are a common sight on Valentine’s Day pose a unique threat because of their protective thorns. Dogs who are intrigued by the lovely smell of a rose may try to eat them. Thorns can be painful if bitten, but a larger concern is if a piece of the thorn breaks off it can become embedded like a splinter. From there, an infection can ensue. Watch for swelling and itching. If your dog stops eating or seems lethargic, you may want to check their mouths and see if there is any puffiness or discolouration.
Keep a close eye on your dog this Valentine’s Day – Be sure to include them in your love festivities and be sure to keep them safe!