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Valentine’s Day dangers for pets

Chocolate and flowers are both toxic

information provided by North Central Veterinary Emergency Center

HIGHLAND, Ind. (February 8, 2018) – As Valentine’s Day approaches, veterinarians and other pet specialists are reminding pet owners about the dangers to pets that accompany the holiday.


Chocolate is toxic to both cats and dogs, although cats will seldom eat it. Chocolate can cause the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Hyperactivity
  • Increased heart rate
  • Seizures
  • Tremors
  • Serious cases can even lead to death.

The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is. Baking chocolate is the most dangerous. It is best to keep all chocolate out of reach of pets.


Lilies are toxic to cats. All types of lilies are dangerous to cats, including Asiatic, Day, Calla, Easter, and Tiger. Ingestion of even a small part of a lily plant, including the pollen or even the water the flower is stored in, can lead to acute kidney failure and death in cats.

Symptoms of lily poisoning include:

  • Dehydration
  • Drooling
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting

If a cat does not receive veterinary medical attention within 18 hours of consuming a lily plant, chances of recovery are poor. Lilies are so dangerous that veterinarians recommend that lilies not be kept in homes with cats.

Other popular flowers are also toxic to cats and dogs. Buttercups, carnations, daffodils, daisies, hyacinths, irises, peonies, and tulips are all mildly to moderately toxic to pets. It is best to keep any flowers and plants out of reach of pets.


Xylitol is a sweetener found in sugar-free gum, sugar-free baked goods, and sugar-free candies. It is toxic to dogs. Xylitol can cause dangerously low blood sugar or even liver failure. Symptoms of xylitol poisoning including lack of coordination, lethargy, seizures, tremors, and vomiting. Keep all candy and baked goods out of reach of pets.

If your pet should suffer an emergency, North Central Veterinary Emergency Center—a practice accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association—is open 24/7, every day of the year. Their Highland, Indiana, location is at 2427 Ridge Road. Call 219-881-1600 for more information.


Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.