Valentine’s Day Chocolates Are Toxic to Pets

chocolates are toxic to pets Tulsa OKValentine’s Day is known for romantic greeting cards, elaborate floral bouquets and decorated boxes filled with gourmet chocolate treats.

It isn’t just a time to recognize our love to a significant other, it’s also a celebration of our love for chocolate. Lots of chocolate—the National Retail Federation’s Valentine’s Day Consumer Spending Survey predicts Americans will spend $1.7 billion on Valentine’s Day candies this year.

Recent research has revealed the nation’s favorite chocolates. Guess what? Our pets like them, too. Unfortunately, chocolate can be deadly to dogs and cats. You can prevent this from happening by keeping chocolates out of reach.

Top 8 Favorite Chocolates

Research firm NetBase recently conducted a survey on the nation’s favorite chocolate confections. They narrowed the list to the top eight chocolates:

  1. Hershey’s
  2. Godiva
  3. Ghirardelli
  4. Ferrero Rocher
  5. Neuhaus
  6. Cadbury
  7. Lindt
  8. Dove Chocolate

Retail analysts expect Americans to spend more on Valentine’s Day chocolates in 2014. That means a potential increase in chocolate toxicity in our pets.

Why Chocolates Are Toxic to Pets

Chocolate toxicity is no laughing matter when it comes to our pets. It’s a life threatening condition that can cause pancreatitis, epileptic seizures, heart arrhythmia, severe vomiting and death.

Chocolate contains methylxanthine theobromine and caffeine. Also found in tea, soda beverages and acai berries, to name a few, it can be lethal to dogs and cats. Our pets metabolize methylxanthine theobromine much more slowly than we do, which is the leading culprit of toxicity. The fat and sugar in chocolate can cause pancreatitis, which is also life threatening.

The darker the chocolate, the higher the toxicity. Dark chocolate has 130-450 mg of theobromine per ounce as compared to 44-58 mg of theobromine per ounce in milk chocolate.

Prevent Pet Toxicity

In addition to these eight favorite chocolates, other chocolate brands pose the same poisonous threat to pets.

Make sure your Valentine’s Day stays sweet—and safe. Keep any type of chocolate out of reach where dogs and cats can counter surf or graze at nose level. Tuck away chocolates in the microwave or the refrigerator, where pets don’t have a chance to access them.