valentine puppies

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.  If you are sharing sweets with your sweetheart here are some things to remember.  Chocolate can sicken and even kill dogs and cats.  It is one of the most common causes of canine poisoning.

Chocolate contains two substances that are toxic to dogs and cats; theobromine and caffeine.  Dogs and cats metabolize these substances much slower than people do.  Both theobromine and caffeine are stimulants to the central nervous system.  If too much chocolate is ingested then the increased stimulus to the central nervous system can cause increase in blood pressure, irregular heart rhythms and possibly even death.

Dark and baker’s chocolate are the most dangerous.  Milk chocolate and white chocolate pose a much less serious risk.  Mild symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea.  More severe symptoms include hyper-excitability, hyper-irritability, restlessness, increased heart rate and muscle tremors.

Also, Macadamia nuts are commonly used in many cookies and candies.  However, they can cause problems for your canine companion.  These nuts have caused weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs.  Signs usually appear within 12 hours of ingestion and last approximately 12 to 24 hours.

Alcoholic beverages can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death.

If you think your pet has ingested any of these common Valentine treats contact your veterinarian immediately.  They can help you determine the proper treatment for your pet.