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Pet safety tips: Valentine's Day edition

Cat_020312_optTampa, FL -- Valentine’s Day can be a whirlwind of romance and reverie, but even the most promising partnership can go to the dogs if something bad happens to your heart throbs’s pampered pet. To ensure your magical evening ends on a rosy note, BluePearl Veterinary Partners board-certified specialists and veterinarians offer five red-hot tips to keep pet’s safe and healthy.

Red-Hot Tip #1: A Dog’s Life is Not Like a Box of Chocolates

Chocolate may elevate people’s moods when they’re feeling blue, but it’s actually dangerously toxic to some dogs and cats, say the veterinarians at BluePearl Veterinary Partners. As one of the most popular gifts on Valentine’s Day, chocolate-related pet concerns peak at this time of year. A dog or cat who absconds with a large chunk of baking chocolate off the kitchen counter could wind up in cardiac arrest. Even a small amount can have dire — and perhaps even fatal — consequences. Chocolate contains methylxanthine alkaloids in the form of theobromine and caffeine. Certain types of chocolate contain higher amounts of this alkaloid, with baking chocolate being the most toxic. If you dog or cat begins experiencing vomiting, diarrhea, increased urination or starts acting restless or excitable, seek veterinary treatment immediately.

Red-Hot Tip #2: Blooming Consequences

If your amour has a pet, be sure to inform the florist and do some online research yourself before selecting that special bouquet. If you receive an arrangement, sift through and remove all dangerous flora. Frequently flora is toxic to pets, say the specialists at BluePearl. And your cat and dog may find the aroma as appealing as you do. It only takes a nibble to cause a severe reaction. If your pet is suffering from symptoms such as an upset stomach, vomiting or diarrhea, he may have eaten an offending flower or plant. And remember, all species of lily are potentially fatal to cats.

Red-Hot Tip #3: Stick with the Stuffed Versions this Holiday

Sometimes with the best intent, and sometimes in last minute desperation, many decide the gift of an irresistible kitten or puppy adorned with a big red bow will magically make him irresistible by association. But the board-certified veterinarians at BluePearl warn this is a bad idea. The purchase of a puppy or kitten should be part of a well-researched, thorough and forward-looking plan, they say. There are many things a potential pet owner needs to consider before taking the plunge. A new pet brings with him a life-long commitment, both of time and money. And a pet’s personality and breed need to match an owner’s particular lifestyle — something a new suitor may not know everything about. Remember, pets can’t be re-gifted or returned if the recipient is not ready for the responsibility.


Red-Hot Tip #4: The Hair of the Dog is Doggone Dangerous

Most pet owners know better than to give alcoholic drinks to their pets, say the emergency veterinarians at BluePearl. Yet alcohol poisoning in pets is more common than you may think. A half a glass of wine deserted on the coffee table. A rum-soaked cake left on the counter as you rush off for dinner reservations. These small oversights can be surprisingly dangerous when pets are involved. Because animals are so much smaller than people, a little bit of alcohol can do a great deal of harm, say the specialists at BluePearl Veterinary Partners. Alcohol can cause the pets to experience vomiting, depression, diarrhea, uncoordinated movements and irregular breathing patterns. Sometimes, a pet may slip into coma or even die. Alcohol is particularly toxic for birds, who may experience organ failure when they ingest even a tiny bit of liquor.

Red-Hot Tip #5: A Case of Burning, Burning Love

Sharing a glass of wine by the warm glow of candlelight is undeniably romantic, but remember to put out the fire before leaving the room. Curious kittens and high-strung hounds can burn themselves or even start a fire by knocking over unattended candles, BluePearl emergency veterinarians warn. This Valentine’s Day, don’t let carelessness kill the cat!

If you find yourself in any of these emergency situations this Valentine’s Day, take your pet to your family veterinarian immediately for evaluation. If it’s after hours, 24-hour emergency care is available for your pets in most parts of the country, just like emergency rooms for people. If you’d like more information, visit our website: www.bluepearlvet.com.

 

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