Common and Not-So-Common Valentine’s Day Toxicities

Posted by Travis Mercure on

While chocolate and flowers are traditionally considered romantic Valentine’s Day traditions, pets who nibble on their owner’s gifts definitely won’t be feeling the love.

We are sharing with you a list of common and not-so-common Valentine’s Day toxicities the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center has gathered to help you provide the best possible care to your patients.


Get ready for the next wave of chocolate cases, since Valentine’s Day is a biggie!

Often chocolates contain additional fillings which increase the risk of pancreatitis but may limit the amount of actual chocolate ingested. While not common, keep an eye out for raisins and xylitol in chocolate.


Roses are certainly the iconic flower of Valentine’s day, but mixed bouquets are also common. Unfortunately, lilies that can cause acute kidney injury in cats (Lilium or Hemerocallis) are commonly used in mixed bouquets.

Don’t trust the affected pet’s owner to identify flowers in the bouquet—instead, request a picture or have the owner call the store/company where the flowers were purchased and get a list of what was in the bouquet.

And if you’re not good at identifying flowers, there are many apps and websites with pictures of common flowers used in bouquets.

Onion & Garlic

A rich, romantic meal for two sounds like the perfect idea for Valentine’s Day, at least until a pet jumps on the counter and starts eating the diced onion.

While one bite may not be a problem, in cats 5 g/kg or more and in dogs 15 g/kg or more of onions has resultant in clinically significant hematologic changes.


What goes better with a good meal than a glass of wine? Problems can occur, however, when a glass is left accessible and the pet laps it up.

While the grapes in wine have not proven to be an issue for dogs, the alcohol certainly could cause problems for them.


Gum containing xylitol may be a good bad-breath cure, but it’s also one of the most common sources of xylitol toxicity for dogs.

To add to the confusion, the amount of xylitol in different brands of gum can vary widely—and it’s found in many other products as well.


No one wants to smell bad for the big date, but when the little Chihuahua licks her owner’s skin after a recent application, is there a reason for concern?

Perfumes are primarily composed of essential oils and alcohols which in small amounts may cause the pet to wonder what it was they just tasted, but not likely much more.


source: ASPCA


All we are saying is here is a list to be mindful during this heartfelt holiday full of love! If your fur babies are anything like ours, they get into everything and will eat anything too!


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