Chocolate and flowers are considered lovely Valentine’s Day traditions for us humans, but they can be toxic to our pets.
The following list was compiled by the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center of common poisonous products often shared on this special day:
- Chocolate – often contains additional fillings which may increase the risk of pancreatitis; also some chocolates contain raisins and xylitol which is toxic to dogs.
- Flowers – although roses are traditionally given for Valentine’s Day, mixed bouquets are also common and may contain lilies which can cause acute kidney injury in cats if ingested. The safest thing to do is get a list of the flowers in the bouquet so you can protect your pet.
- Marijuana – with the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana, exposure to our pets is on the rise. This drug may also be found in chocolates, baked goods, or even lotions-- so be wary.
- Onions and Garlic – diced onions may be on the menu for us on this fun day, but they should not be on the menu for your pets. In cats, 5 grams per kilogram of body weight and in dogs 15 grams per kilogram or more of onions may cause a drop in red blood cell counts.
- Wine – while grapes in wine have not proven to be an issue for dogs, the alcohol content may cause problems.
- Gum – often contains xylitol which is toxic to dogs.
- Perfume – a dog who licks the owner’s skin after a recent application can become ill. These products are composed of essential oils and alcohols which in small amounts may cause the pet to wonder what he or she has just tasted, but it is not likely to make them sick.
- Personal lubricants – most of these products cause gastrointestinal distress – typically diarrhea. Some contain xylitol, so read all ingredients carefully and stop your pet from licking you.