Provides Five Tips for a Pet-Safe Valentine's Day

Feb 10, 2012, 13:55 ET from petMD

MIAMI, Feb. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- It's fairly common knowledge that cats and dogs make the perfect valentines. They give unconditional love, are always up for cuddling, and don't care if you've put on a few pounds over the holidays. The only setback to having a four-legged valentine is that many of the more traditional Valentine's Day gifts can be harmful to them. has put together the following tips to help keep your dog or cat safe this Valentine's Day:

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  1. Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Theirs: Everyone knows that chocolate causes a rapid heart rate in dogs, among other problems. But not everyone is aware that baking chocolate is especially toxic. While an M&M or two may not do any harm, a dog or cat that snatches a large chunk of baking chocolate from the counter may end up in the ER. It is essential to keep all chocolates out of your pet's reach. Yes, even that last raspberry-filled nugget from the assorted box of chocolates no one ever seems to want.
  2. Skip the Candygram: Sugar-free candies and gums often contain large amounts of xylitol, a sweetener that is toxic to pets, especially dogs. If ingested, it may cause vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures, and in severe cases, liver failure in dogs.
  3. Restart the Heart: If your dog or cat should ingest large amounts of chocolate, gum, or candy, it may go into cardiac arrest. Be prepared by learning the proper methods of CPR for dogs and cats.
  4. A Rose is Just a Rose: But then again, it may also be something that causes harm to your pet. The aroma of floral arrangements can be enticing, and it only takes a nibble to cause a severe allergic reaction in dogs and cats. Even small amounts could lead to upset stomachs or vomiting, particularly if the plant or flower is toxic. Be extremely cautious of lilies, as these lovely flowers are fatally poisonous to cats.
  5. To Give or Not to Give: Are you planning to gift a new puppy or kitten to a loved one for Valentine's Day? You may want to think again. Mull it over and do your homework -- animals are not disposable, nor can they easily be repackaged, re-gifted, or returned if the recipient is not pleased.

About petMD
petMD is a leading online resource focused solely on the health and well-being of pets. The site maintains the world's largest pet health library, written and approved by a network of trusted veterinarians. petMD was founded to inspire pet owners to provide an ever-increasing quality of life for their pets and to connect pet owners with pet experts and other animal lovers. petMD is a subsidiary of the Pet360 family of brands, which also includes – the most complete pet food and supply retailer online, and– a fully certified, full-service pet pharmacy delivering pet meds, vitamins and comprehensive pet health and wellness products.

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