Spread the Love — Not the Chocolate and Candy — to Your Pets!

Central Veterinary Associates Provides Valentine’s Day Safety Tips for Your Pets.

Valentine’s Day is almost upon us and you know what that means — giant, red, heart-shaped boxes of chocolate! Sweets are fine for your sweetie, but not for your pet. Central Veterinary Associates urges pet owners to keep their dogs and cats safe and healthy this Valentine’s Day by following these tips:

• Keep all candy, especially chocolate, away from your pet. Chocolate contains theobromine, which can be toxic to pets. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea or a rapid heartbeat, and possibly death.
• Keep lollipops and any candy with sticks out of your pet’s reach. These sticks, if swallowed, can potentially block or cut through an area from the stomach to the intestines.
• Dispose of empty candy wrappers. These materials cannot be digested and may cause a blockage or inflammation of the stomach and intestines.
• Be careful of sugar-free candy, as it can be toxic to your pet if it contains the ingredient xylitol.

“I’m always surprised how many pets get sick from candy during Valentine’s Day,” says Dr. Aaron Vine, DVM, Vice President, Central Veterinary Associates. “In some rare instances, ingestion of chocolate or xylitol-containing candy can even lead to death.”

It is extremely important that, if your pet ingests chocolate, candy containing xylitol, or is acting sick, they be brought to your veterinarian immediately.

Central Veterinary Associates’ Valley Stream office is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including Valentine’s Day. For more information or to make an appointment, call (516) 825-3066 or visit www.centralvets.com.

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