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  • Writer's pictureThe Veterinary Clinic

Valentine's Day Safety Tips

french bulldog on red heart pillow

Valentine's day is the most romantic day of the year with gift-giving, flowers, and candy to our loved ones. We should always keep in mind some of the dangers our gifts can cause to our pets. Here are some tips that can help keep your pets safe this holiday.


Many of us love receiving and giving flowers to show our loved ones how much we care for them. Certain flowers can also be very fatal to our pets. Lilies are frequently used in bouquets because of their fragrance, long-lasting bloom, and inexpensive cost. But, they are the most dangerous to cats! Lilies can cause acute kidney failure in cats when ingested. To learn more about plants that are toxic to pets, here is a list of fatal flowers from the ASPCA.

If your pet shows signs of lethargy, heavy salivation, vomiting, stumbling, or diarrhea, he may have ingested a toxic flower or plant and needs to see immediate medical care. It'll also be a good idea to bring the plant in question to your vet visit for further evaluation.

Rose are not toxic, but the thorns can cause harm to pets if swallowed, stepped on, or bitten. These prickly spines can cause a serious infection if a puncture occurs.

When sending a floral arrangement to someone with a cat, make sure to tell the florist no lilies—and when receiving an arrangement, sort through and remove all dangerous flowers.


Dark chocolate can potentially be life-threatening when ingested by pets. Our general rule, the darker and bitter the chocolate, the more dangerous it is. Baker's chocolate, gourmet dark chocolate, and semi-sweet chocolate are the most dangerous. Chocolate and cocoa contain chemicals called theobromine and caffeine. These stimulants can cause severe issues to the gastrointestinal tract, cardiovascular system, and neurological system.

Symptoms of chocolate toxicity :

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Increased heart rate

  • Increased blood pressure

  • Heart Arrhythmias.

  • Anxiety

  • Tremors

  • Seizures

Chocolates containing raisins, macadamia nuts, and espresso beans are also extremely toxic. If you suspect your pet has ingested chocolate or the additional treats baked into them, seek immediate medical care.


Some treats contain xylitol, which is used as a sugar substitute. Products that contain xylitol are sugar-free gum, breath mints, baked goods, candies, cough syrup, children's chewable or gummy vitamins, mouthwash, and toothpaste. Xylitol can also be found in some over-the-counter medications such as nasal sprays, laxatives, allergy medicines, to name a few. Xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), liver failure, seizures, or death in dogs.

Symptoms of xylitol toxicity:

  • Seizures

  • Tremors

  • Lack of coordination

  • difficulty walking or standing

  • Weakness

  • Depression or lethargy

  • Vomiting

  • Coma

Balloons with ribbons

Gifts are a great valentines day surprise. Unfortunately, pets love to play with and eat ribbons, tape, bows, wrapping paper, and balloons. If your pet manages to swallow any of these stringy items, it can become a choking hazard or become lodged in their digestive tract. Make sure to discard all ribbons, bows, tape, and other leftover materials that can cause choking if swallowed.

We hope you have a safe and romantic Valentine's day. Just be mindful of all the potential dangerous treats and gifts that can harm your pet.


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