Valentine's Day treats could be hazardous to your pets' health

Chocolate isn't the only human food that can do harm to your dog. Click through for a brief refresher on what could be poisonous to your pooch.

PORTLAND, Ore. – If you are planning on getting your Valentine a special treat, local veterinarians want to make sure you keep your pets safe and healthy as well.

DoveLewis’ Emergency & Specialty Hospital said they most commonly treat cases of chocolate poisoning after pets get into Valentine’s Day treats.

However, they also said there are several other gifts that could prove hazardous to your lovable furry friends.

They say any pet owner who notices their pet eating a potentially lethal item should immediately call DoveLewis or their regular veterinarian.


Cacao beans contain a chemical compound that is toxic to animals. While humans have the ability to break down the compound quickly and naturally, this chemical can last for up to 18 hours in a dog’s system. However, symptoms of toxicity usually appear within 12 hours or less. Common signs of chocolate ingestion include excitement, nervousness or trembling, vomiting and diarrhea, excessive thirst or urination, muscle spasms and seizures, or even coma or death.


Xylitol is a common sugar substitute that can be found in many sugar-free products, such as chewing gum, mints, vitamins and toothpaste. This ingredient can cause vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, ataxia, hypoglycemia, seizure and, in extreme cases, liver failure if ingested by your pet.


Most alcohol ingestion occurs as a result of animals drinking from unattended glasses, so keep a watchful eye on your glass when enjoying alcoholic beverages near your pet. Alcohol poisoning can cause vomiting, diarrhea, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors and comas.


Caution should be used when choosing and displaying flowers for your loved ones. Lilies are especially toxic to cats and should not be kept in a home with felines. Varietals such as Tiger lilies and Easter lilies may cause feline acute kidney failure if ingested. Other types, including Peace lilies and Calla lilies, cause gastric and oral irritation and vomiting. Tulips and azaleas can be toxic to both dogs and cats, and even roses can pose a hazard with their thorns.


On all gift-giving holidays, cat owners should always be cautious of leaving presents wrapped with ribbon, string or bows unattended. If ingested, these items can cause choking and severe gastrointestinal issues

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