Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to show your loved ones how much you care. As pet parents, it’s in our instincts to shower our furry friends with love and affection too. However, as you indulge in the Valentine’s Day spirit, there are some items your dog should avoid to keep them happy and healthy. Here are five Valentine’s Day pet safety tips that you can follow to ensure your v-day is a sweet success.
Keep These Valentine’s Day Treats Away From Pets
- Chocolate – While it may be tempting to slip Fido a bite from your box of chocolates, cocoa products are a definite no-no for your dog. Not only does chocolate contain harmful caffeine, but it also includes theobromine and theophylline. Both are toxic and can be deadly. Signs of toxicity include panting, vomiting, diarrhea, and potential damage to your dog’s heart and nervous systems. So do yourself a favor and keep this treat to yourself!
- Candy – Candy contains mostly sugar which is not suitable for dogs (see below), but confection-filled treats like conversation hearts and jelly beans can sometimes contain Xylitol as well. Small amounts of Xylitol can be deadly and lead to the over-release of insulin, kidney failure, or worse. In general, gelatin, food dye and other artificial ingredients are not suitable for humans or dogs alike.
- Sugar – This applies to any foods containing sugar, in addition to candy, like cookies, icing, ice cream, etc. Corn syrup is another culprit, which is more or less another form of sugar and is found in most commercially produced foods these days. Additionally, if your dog overdoes it with sugar regularly, it can lead to dental issues, obesity, and even diabetes.
- Macadamia Nuts & Raisins – These can be found in many different baked goods, such as cookies or sweet breads. While yummy, they can be very bad for dogs. Macadamia nuts, in particular, contain a toxin that inhibits locomotory activities. This can result in weakness, panting, swollen limbs, and tremors. Other possible damaging effects include damage to your dog’s digestive, nervous, and muscular systems. Raisins contain a toxin that can cause severe liver damage and kidney failure. This Valentine’s Day it might be best just to keep the cookies in the cookie jar (or your own belly).
- Alcohol & Milk – Just like in humans, alcohol causes lack of coordination, poor breathing, and abnormal stomach acidity. In larger quantities, alcohol may even result in coma or death. Beer also contains hops which lead to panting, increased heart rate, fever, seizures, and could lead to death. While small doses of milk aren’t going to kill your dog, some pups are lactose intolerant meaning they don’t have enough of the lactase enzyme to digest dairy-rich foods properly. This means you could get some smelly farts and some nasty cases of diarrhea, which won’t set a very loving mood for you or your dog! You might also wonder if soy or almond milk is safe for your pet. While these dairy alternatives don’t contain lactose, they should only be served in small amounts for other pet safety reasons.
Pet Safe Valentine’s Day Treats
Try treating your pup this Valentine’s Day to one of these delicious homemade organic dog treat recipes from Canine Journal. Choose from several recipes that are delicious, easy to make, and safe for your dog to enjoy.
By guest author, Sadie Cornelius, Director of Marketing for CanineJournal.com, on behalf of Pets Best. When not working you can find Sadie admiring other people’s dogs, pet sitting and taking photographs for her friends and family’s furry friends.