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 48% of American will give candy for Valentine’s Day 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 SymphonyIRI conducted a survey on the nation’s favorite chocolate confections. They narrowed the list to the top ten chocolates:

Chocolates
  1. M&Ms
  2. Reeses Peanut Butter Cup
  3. Snickers
  4. Hersheys Milk Chocolate Bar
  5. KitKat
  6. Twix
  7. 3 Musketeers
  8. Hersheys Cookies rsquo;snrsquo;s Creme
  9. Milky Way
  10. Almond Joy

Retail analysts expect Americans to spend more than $20 billion on Valentine’s Day in 2019. 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, seizures, heart arrhythmias, severe vomiting and death.

Chocolate contains the methylxanthine compounds theobromine and caffeine which can be lethal to dogs and cats. Our pets metabolize methylxanthines differently 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

Valentine's Day chocolates

Symptoms of chocolate toxicity in pets includes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, increased urination, cardiac arrhythmias, seizures, and cardiac arrest.

According to Pet Poison Helpline, a 24/7 animal poison control center, dogs are more likely to eat chocolate and make up a majority of their poisoning cases. While cats can’t taste sweetness they are still know to occasionally indulge and can also suffer the same symptoms as dogs.

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