Love is in the air ahead of Valentine’s Day, but with romantic gestures and heartfelt celebrations come more opportunities for furry friends to get into trouble.
The festive day poses potential hazards for pets, with a rise in veterinary visits reported at this time of year, according to Pet Insurance Australia.
Pet Insurance Australia’s Nadia Crighton urged pet owners to be aware of the dangers certain foods and flowers can pose.
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“This time of year often sees a rise in veterinary visits due to accidental poisoning from chocolate and other Valentine’s Day-related substances,” she said.
“It’s crucial for pet owners to remain vigilant during this celebration to avoid any mishaps.
“This includes fancy underwear, chocolate, and certain love medications.”
Pet owners should be aware of which plants are toxic to their furry companions, such as daffodils for cats and dogs.
“If you’re gifting flowers to your loved one who is also a cat owner, it’s important to steer clear of lilies as they are highly toxic to cats and can result in poisoning,” Crighton said.
Chocolate also remains a significant concern, particularly for dogs, she added.
“Theobromine, a compound found in chocolate, is toxic to dogs and can lead to various symptoms ranging from mild stomach upset to severe illness or even death,” Crighton warned.
While humans metabolise theobromine and caffeine easily, dogs do not.
The animals process the compound slowly, allowing for it to build up in their systems.
Toxicity levels vary depending on the type of chocolate and the dog’s weight, but even small amounts can cause harm.
The most common clinical signs of chocolate poisoning are vomiting, diarrhoea, increased thirst, panting or restlessness, excessive urination and increased heart rate.
“Owners need to take extra precautions during any celebrations,” Crighton said.