8 Favorite Valentine Treats Can Kill Pets
Chocolates Are Harmful to Dogs, Cats
Valentine’s Day is known for romantic greeting cards, elaborate floral bouquets and decorated boxes filled with gourmet chocolate treats.
It isn’t just a time to recognize our love to a significant other, it’s also a celebration of our love for chocolate. Lots of chocolate—the National Retail Federation's Valentine's Day Consumer Spending Survey predicts Americans will spend $1.7 billion on Valentine’s Day candies this year.
Recent research has revealed the nation’s favorite chocolates. Guess what? Our pets like them, too. Unfortunately, chocolate can be deadly to dogs and cats. You can prevent this from happening by keeping chocolates out of reach.
Top 8 Favorite Chocolates
Research firm NetBase recently conducted a survey on the nation’s favorite chocolate confections. They narrowed the list to the top eight chocolates:
- Ferrero Rocher
- Dove Chocolate
Retail analysts expect Americans to spend more on Valentine’s Day chocolates in 2014. That means a potential increase in chocolate toxicity in our pets.
Chocolate Toxicity and Pets
Chocolate toxicity is no laughing matter when it comes to our pets. It’s a life threatening condition that can cause pancreatitis, epileptic seizures, heart arrhythmia, severe vomiting and death.
Chocolate contains methylxanthine theobromine and caffeine. Also found in tea, soda beverages and acai berries, to name a few, it can be lethal to dogs and cats. Our pets metabolize methylxanthine theobromine much more slowly than we do, which is the leading culprit of toxicity. The fat and sugar in chocolate can cause pancreatitis, which is also life threatening.
The darker the chocolate, the higher the toxicity. Dark chocolate has 130-450 mg of theobromine per ounce as compared to 44-58 mg of theobromine per ounce in milk chocolate.
Chocolate Toxicity Symptoms
Symptoms of chocolate toxicity in pets includes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, increased urination, cardiac arrhythmia, epileptic seizures, internal bleeding and cardiac arrest.
Dogs are more likely to eat chocolate; cats can’t taste sweetness so they are less likely but a curious cat may still indulge.
Chocolate toxicity in pets can persist for 72 hours. Veterinary treatment is strongly recommended within the first two hours if you suspect your pet has consumed chocolate. Induced vomiting under your veterinarian’s care can help save your pet’s life.
Prevent Pet Toxicity
In addition to these eight favorite chocolates, other chocolate brands pose the same poisonous threat to pets.
Make sure your Valentine’s Day stays sweet—and safe. Keep any type of chocolate out of reach where dogs and cats can counter surf or graze at nose level. Tuck away chocolates in the microwave or the refrigerator, where pets don’t have a chance to access them.
1 National Retail Federation