Posted: February 11, 2009, 5:00 a.m. EST
© Isabelle Francais/I-5
Keep your small animals safe this Valentine’s Day.
For Valentine’s Day, give the gift of love by keeping your furry friend safe from holiday dangers. To assist owners in preventing unintended harm from occurring, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) offers the following tips:
- Chocolate Overload. Dr. Steven Hansen, veterinary toxicologist, warns that chocolate can be potentially poisonous to animals. Watch for signs of excessive ingestion of chocolate, including vomiting, diarrhea, increased urination and thirst, abnormal heart rate and rhythm as well as hyperactivity and seizures.
- Chew On This. Gum and candy often contain large amounts of the sweetener xylitol, which can be toxic to pets, especially dogs. Ingestion can produce a fairly sudden drop in blood sugar, and results in depression, loss of coordination, seizures and even liver failure.
- Every Rose Has Its Thorn. Flowers can be attractive to pets too, but your pets may decide to eat them. Some plants can be toxic to pets. Pet owners should note signs of an upset stomach, such as vomiting or diarrhea.
- Gift A Pet, Don’t Give One. An adorable animal may seem like a great gift idea, but before you bring home a new pet, remember that adopting a companion animal is a big decision. The ASPCA suggests a Gift-A-Pet certificate to adopt from the ASPCA — if you are in the Manhattan area — or from your local animal shelter. This allows the receiver to pick the pet that’s right for them, improving the chance for a more successful companionship.