Which Gifts Should I Keep Out of My Pet’s Reach?

Getting a Valentine’s Day gift can be so great…until one of the four-legged kiddos in the house decides they want to indulge in your present!  Then their “gift” may be a trip to the veterinarian.  Some gifts that you need to watch include:

  • Flowers
  • Treats (Chocolate and other combinations) or sugar-free goodies.
  • Alcohol
  • Medications popular on or after Valentine’s Day (aspirin, anyone?)

There’s so much out there that can cause trouble!  And pets are pretty clever at sneaking goodies.

What’s OK, What’s Not, and What To Do?

Of course, most of us know chocolate isn’t good for our pets, but some chocolate is more toxic to our pets.  The same is true for flowers, medications, and other treats.  It’s scary when we know our pet has ingested something that’s likely bad for them…we panic…turn to sources like Google but aren’t sure which advice is legitimate…and we know time is ticking by while we try to figure out what to do.

An extremely reliable source, available 24/7, is the Pet Poison Helpline.  For general articles you can search their website at http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com, but if your pet is in danger, you need to call 800-213-6680.  There is a $49 fee for consultation and management throughout your pet’s case…this fee funds the hotline so they can be available around the clock to help pets in need.

Your veterinarian is available to help!  Don’t hesitate to call and find out if a substance is toxic and get his or her advice.  If the item isn’t toxic or it it’s just potentially irritating to the pet’s stomach, the doctor may suggest waiting and watching for signs he or she will describe.  If not, and you’re advised to bring your pet in…do it right away.

Emergency clinics also exist in most cities and are open to help pets when the emergency is after hours.  It’s a good idea to know where the nearest emergency clinic is located in the event your pet is ever in need.  Most of these clinics are prepared for you to walk right in with your pet and get to work immediately to help them get better.

What Can You Do To Help Your Vet and Pet?

There are several things you can do to help the Pet Poison Helpline folks or your vet give the best and quickest care to your pet.

  1. If he or she ate flowers, take a picture of what might be left of the bouquet or ask, if you can, what and where the flowers were ordered from.
  2. Is it possible your pet might have eaten a ribbon or decoration? Let the professionals helping you know this so they can watch for possible obstructions.
  3. Bring the wrapper of the chocolate or dessert treat if available, the recipe of a baked item if you have it, or the bottle from medications your pet has gotten into..this will help the doctor know which treatments will be most effective for your pet.

It May Not Be Fun, But It Will Be Ok!

Recently, an Arvada West client called, panicking because their toddler had fed part of a chocolate bar to their puppy.  Quickly, the pet parents called the clinic and rushed their puppy in for treatment.  Since they acted fast, the pup hadn’t had time to digest much of the bar and the owners brought the remainder of the chocolate bar and wrapper with them.  The doctor knew exactly what type of chocolate she was dealing with.  The little guy came through just fine.

Plan Ahead, and Don’t Hesitate!

Knowing what can be toxic ahead of time from a reliable source, like the Pet Poison Hotline, can help you know which items are safe for your pets or to send to friends with pets.  And don’t hesitate to call us, even if you might feel silly about the question.  We’re here to assure and advise.  And to let you know to come in right away if your pet needs our help!