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No chocolates or lilies: Valentine's Day safety tips for pets

As Valentine's Day approaches, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) recently released guidelines to ensure pet safety amidst the holiday chocolate, flowers and cocktails.

According to the ASPCA website, cases of poison control involving pets often increase around Valentine's Day. Owners sometimes leave gifts and candies in their homes, unaware that certain foods are toxic to animals.

The common culprits that cause illness in animals include flower bouquets that feature lilies. All varieties are fatal to cats, and the ASPCA recommends sending non-lily floral bouquets if the recipient is a cat-owner.

Other potential hazards include chocolates, which are harmful to dogs, alcohol that can cause animal vomiting, thorny roses which can be stepped on or swallowed, fire hazard from candles and gift wrappers and balloons which can cause choking if swallowed.

According to the Human Society, there are about 77.5 million household dogs in the U.S. and 93.6 million household cats. 39 percent of U.S. households are dog-owners, while 33 percent of households have at least one cat.
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