Valentine’s Day is a special day for many people. It’s a time to celebrate love and affection with those we care about most. For Shih Tzu owners, that often includes our furry friends!
I’m sure plenty of belly rubs and even some special Valentine’s Day gifts are on the agenda, but as with all holidays, Valentine’s Day can also be a dangerous time for our pets.
With that said, we need to keep in mind some the hazards that can arise and how we can keep our beloved pups safe on this special day.
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6 Valentine’s Day Safety Tips for Your Shih Tzu:
1. Keep Chocolate Away
As Valentine’s Day approaches, it’s important to be aware of the dangers that chocolate and other sweets can pose to your Shih Tzu. Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine, which can be toxic to dogs in large (and even small) quantities.
If your Shih Tzu ingests chocolate, they may experience vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, tremors, seizures, and even death.
Be sure to keep any chocolate out of reach of your Shih Tzu, and if you think they may have ingested chocolate, call your veterinarian immediately.
2. Be Careful with Flowers
While flowers are often given as a Valentine’s Day gift, some of them can be harmful to dogs if ingested. Lilies, for example, are known to be unsafe.
While some species are more toxic than others, it’s safe to assume that all types of lilies could be harmful to our pets. Other common Valentine’s Day flowers such as roses are not considered poisonous, but can still cause stomach upset if ingested.
It’s best to just keep all flowers out of reach of your Shih Tzu, or maybe consider a cute durable stuffed animal instead.
3. Watch Out for Valentine’s Day Decorations
From Valentine’s Day cards to candy hearts, there are many decorations that can be dangerous for dogs if ingested. For example, Valentine’s Day cards often have shiny metallic accents that can be swallowed and cause an intestinal blockage.
Candy hearts can also be dangerous if ingested, as they may contain xylitol. Xylitol is an artificial sugar substitute often associated with “sugar free” products such as candy, mints and chewing gum. Xylitol is very toxic to dogs and even a small amount can be fatal, especially to small breeds like Shih Tzus.
If you suspect your dog has eaten anything containing xylitol, contact your vet or emergency vet immediately.
4. Ribbons, Bows and Wrapping Paper
Ribbons, bows and wrapping paper are often used to decorate Valentine’s Day gifts. However, these items can be dangerous if swallowed by dogs.
Ribbons and bows can cause intestinal blockages, while wrapping paper can cause gastrointestinal upset.
Consider using a nice gift bag instead of wrapping paper or getting a gift that doesn’t need to be wrapped at all.
5. Alcoholic Beverages
Valentine’s Day is often associated with alcohol, but it’s important to keep it away from your Shih Tzu.
While dogs tend to not be drawn to alcohol by nature, they can be more attracted to fruity drinks, cocktails and punches. Alcohol can be harmful to dogs and can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, tremors, and drooling.
If you are planning on celebrating Valentine’s Day with alcoholic beverages, be sure to keep them out of reach of your Shih Tzu.
Candles are often used to set the mood on Valentine’s Day. However, they can be dangerous if left unattended around dogs which could pose curiosity.
If your Shih Tzu touches or knocks over a candle, they could burn themselves or worse start a fire. Be careful with candles on Valentine’s Day, and make sure they are out of reach of your Shih Tzu.
Better yet, give flameless candles a try. Many look just like the real thing and are a much safer alternative all around.
All in all, Valentine’s Day is a fun time to celebrate love and affection with those we care about most. But it’s important to be aware of the dangers that can pose a threat to our furry friends. By following the safety tips above, you can help ensure that your Shih Tzu has a safe and happy Valentine’s Day.