Pet lovers may want to spoil their beloved critters on Valentine's Day, but they should think twice before letting Fido anywhere near the chocolate -- among other things.
With all the chocolate and other sweet goodies that will flow around on Feb. 14 -- and Feb. 15, when leftovers are taken to work -- pet owners should remember that certain human treats are poisonous to animals.
Unfortunately, some well-intentioned gifts of love can be toxic to your pets, Pet Poison Helpline Assistant Director Ahna Brutlag said on the helpline's Web site. Certain flowers, candy and sweeteners can be hazardous, so keeping those things out of their reach is one of the most loving things you can do for your pets this Valentine's Day.
The PPH points out that ingesting lily petals and leaves can cause kidney failure in cats and that rose thorns can also be harmful.
Then there's the food.
Hershey's lists a bunch of its own products that should be kept away from one's pets, citing the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
Chocolate can be dangerous for many animals, but especially dogs, because it contains theobromine, a stimulant naturally occurring in the cacao bean, company officials wrote on the Hershey Web site. Theobromine is chemically similar to caffeine. While safe for humans, other species, such as dogs, lack a specific enzyme and can't metabolize theobromine. Consumption of theobromine by animals can lead to seizures, convulsions, toxicity and even death in some animals.
Valentine's Day-type treats that should be kept away from pets include alcohol, chocolate, coffee, fatty foods, macadamia nuts, raisins and grapes, according to the ASPCA.
Pet owners should not despair if they want to spoil their pets on Feb. 14. Options include heading over to a local pet bakery and picking up a holiday-decorated treat. Pet companies such as Petco and PetSmart are also selling holiday-themed pet items.
So keep the chocolates and other goodies stashed away in a safe, out of reach spot. And don't fall for the puppy face!