Chocs away on Valentine’s Day!

Valentine's Day can be dangerous to your pets

We’re urging pet owners to be aware of the dangers of leaving Valentine’s Day gifts within reach of animals.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen an increase of food and alcohol poisoning cases around the romantic period, as traditional treats can present potential issues for pets.

The most common poisonous food is chocolate, which contains the toxic substance theobromine. This is extremely harmful to pets as they struggle to metabolise it, so it builds up in their bodies to toxic levels.

Among other items, alcohol presents a high risk, particularly cream-based drinks such as Baileys Irish Cream.

Mark Harrison, clinical director and veterinary surgeon at Calder Vets, said: “Although many of us enjoy the odd chocolate and drop of alcohol on Valentine’s Day, it is important to consider where you are leaving the gifts in case they are within reach of your pet.

“The signs of theobromine intoxication are usually marked by severe inactivity and other symptoms, including diarrhoea, excessive thirst, drooling and vomiting blood.

“The symptoms of alcohol poisoning are vomiting, depression, disorientation and drowsiness. If you are concerned your pet may be affected, it is important to seek urgent veterinary advice.”

Mark’s advice to pet-owners is:

  • Keep all chocolate and alcohol products safely out of reach from your pet at all times
  • Do not feed your pet any products that may contain chocolate or alcohol
  • Make sure your bins are sturdy so no pets can go scavenging through
  • Supervise your pet when outside the house to ensure they do not find any traces of theobromine or alcohol in other foods
  • Ensure all family members and visitors are aware of these rules and understand why they are in place
  • Contact your vet immediately if you think your pet has ingested alcohol

For more information, search for Calder Vets on Facebook.