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Valentine’s Day Safety Tips for Pets

February 1, 2014

Planning on including your pets in the festivities this Valentine’s Day? Keep things romantic by following these safety tips from a Pelham veterinary professional.


Most pet owners already know that chocolate is bad for pets. Milk chocolate, semi-sweet, dark, and baker’s chocolate all contain theobromine and caffeine, harmful chemical compounds for pets. Of these, baker’s chocolate has the highest concentrations. Keep it and all chocolate products far out of your pet’s reach—store treats in sealed containers inside of locked cabinets.

Candies and Gum

Many candies, gum, and baked goods are sweetened with an artificial sugar substitute called xylitol. Xylitol is toxic to pets, even in small amounts—a few sticks of gum can poison a small companion pet. Make yourself aware of what products contain xylitol, and take steps to keep them far away from your pet.

Holiday Flowers

You may be receiving a romantic holiday bouquet this year. Make sure it doesn’t contain lilies, as almost all species of lily are poisonous to cats. Remove any lilies from your home to avoid accidental poisonings. Also beware of roses—they may not be toxic, but their sharp thorns can lacerate a pet’s body or throat when swallowed, or even puncture the intestines.

Alcoholic Beverages

If you plan to include adult holiday beverages in your Valentine’s Day celebration, monitor them carefully and don’t let your pet sneak a sip. Alcohol is highly poisonous to pets, and even small amounts can induce vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and worse. Clean up any spills immediately, and store all beer, liquor, and wine safely away.


Many people like to set a romantic mood with a few candles. Just be sure to keep your pet out of the room. Pets can accidently swipe a paw or a tail through the open flame, causing a burn. They could also knock a candle over, potentially into curtains or a rug, starting a fire.

Contact your Pelham veterinarian  to ask about more helpful pet tips for the holiday. Keep your pets safe and your Valentine’s Day romantic!