Get Darren’s dog safety advice ahead of Valentine’s Day

January 14, 2023

Love is in the air! Valentine’s Day is coming up, a traditional time for spoiling loved ones and gift-giving – but what’s special for you might be hazardous for your pooch. So, before February 14th rolls around, read these top tips from one of our vets at Molesey Vets to understand the dangerous aspects of some traditional Valentine’s Day gifts.

We’ve also got some dog gift ideas so your beloved pooch doesn’t have to miss out!

If we’re your emergency vet, it’s also a good idea to put Molesey Vets’ number in your mobile and by your landline phone. This way you can contact us quickly if you’re worried your dog may have eaten something harmful.

We’d much rather you contact us and it turn out to be a false alarm than your dog getting ill because of late treatment.

Molesey Vets’ emergency number is 0208 979 1384.

Learn more about our emergency service

Valentine’s Day presents for dogs

We’re going to be sharing some items to steer clear of later in this article, but luckily for your dog, they don’t have to miss out on all the love this Valentine’s Day!

If you want to give your dog a Valentine’s treat, there are lots of dog-friendly options. Our Head Vet Darren Partridge suggests your dog might appreciate:

  • Dog-safe chocolate
  • A trendy collar, lead or harness
  • A shiny new ID tag
  • A new water or food bowl, maybe even a personalised one!
  • A dog chew toy (remember no raw hide)
  • Pet-friendly treats
  • A cuddly toy and a bigger than usual cuddle from you!
  • A snuggly bed or cosy blanket
  • Pet Insurance for unexpected emergency vet fees…

Looking after your dog on Valentine’s Day

Don’t let your Valentine’s Day celebration end with an emergency visit to the vet. Here’s Darren’s advice on poisons to beware of.

Harmful substances to keep away from your dog:


  • Chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic to dogs and should be kept away from them at all costs. That includes anything with chocolate in it.
  • Possible symptoms of chocolate poisoning in dogs include vomiting, diarrhoea, hyperactivity, rapid breathing, incoordination, and seizures.


  • Alcohol acts as a central nervous system depressant and dogs should not consume it.
  • Possible symptoms of alcohol poisoning in dogs include vomiting, diarrhoea, incoordination, depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, and coma.

Call us on 0208 979 1384 straight away in relation to any of the items on this list.


  • Some sweets, chewing gum, other foods, and sugar-free drinks contain xylitol, which is highly toxic to dogs. Always check labels and keep these items out of reach.
  • Possible symptoms of xylitol poisoning include vomiting, weakness, incoordination, depression or lethargy, tremors, seizures, and coma.


  • Certain flowers are toxic to dogs if eaten. These include Lilies (also poisonous to touch), Autumn crocus, Azalea/Rhododendrons, Bluebells, Cotoneaster, Crocuses, Daffodils, Dumbcane, Foxgloves… and more.
  • Try to avoid having toxic flowers and plants around your home & garden and keep your dog far away from them when you’re out walking.

Candles & essential oils

  • It’s easy for a burning candle to be knocked over by a wagging tail so keep your pets away from your romantic gestures. Also, a burning candle produces carbon monoxide so keep the room(s) well ventilated and don’t leave candles burning overnight.
  • Some essential oils in candles, diffusers, and oil burners can be toxic to dogs via inhalation, consumption, or absorption through the skin. Research the oil’s toxicity to pets before using it in your home.

Darren advises what to do if you think your dog has eaten something poisonous:

1.Contact your emergency vet – if that’s us, call 0208 979 1384

2.Note the time your dog ate the poison (or drank or touched it if relevant)

3.Try to estimate how much of the substance your dog has eaten

4.Keep any relevant packaging to give to the vet

Remember to pop our emergency number in your phone just in case.

Molesey Vets’ emergency number is 0208 979 1384.

Learn more about our emergency service

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