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5 Mother’s Day Gift Do’s and Don’ts for Pet Moms

Mother's Day pet dangers, Mother's Day pet toxins, Mother's Day pet hazards, pet safety, pet health, pet mom, chocolate, flowers, essential oils, grapes, coffee, xylitol, Animal Emergency & Referral Center of Minnesota

If you witnessed or strongly suspect your pet ingested something toxic, this is considered an “ORANGE” – or urgent case – on our Fast Track Triage system. We recommend calling ASPCA Animal Poison Control at 888-426-4435 for help determining if your pet consumed a toxic amount and for guidance on what to do next. If veterinary care is advised, call your family veterinarian or local animal emergency hospital ahead of your arrival.


Mother’s Day is when we take a moment to appreciate the moms in our lives. If she’s a pet mom, you’ll want to choose a gift that won’t end her day with a trip to the animal ER. So, before you select that box of chocolates or that beautiful bouquet, read our list of dos and don’ts when it comes to these classic Mother’s Day gifts.

Mother's Day pet dangers, Mother's Day pet toxins, Mother's Day pet hazards, pet safety, pet health, pet mom, chocolate, flowers, essential oils, grapes, coffee, xylitol, Animal Emergency & Referral Center of Minnesota

1. Flowers 

Don’t gift her a bouquet of lilies, tulips, daffodils, or any other type of flower or plant that is toxic to her pets. Lilies can cause kidney failure in cats. Flowers that are toxic to both cats and dogs include tulips, daffodils, chrysanthemums, sago palm, azaleas, rhododendrons, and fox glove – just to name a few toxic no-no’s.  

Instead, do triple-check ASPCA’s Toxic & Non-Toxic Plant Guide before purchasing any bouquets or a plant for Mom’s garden to ensure you select a non-toxic option. Safer options include sunflowers, petunias, or moth orchids. Roses are also non-toxic, but the thorns can be hazardous to curious pets. 

Mother's Day pet dangers, Mother's Day pet toxins, Mother's Day pet hazards, pet safety, pet health, pet mom, chocolate, flowers, essential oils, grapes, coffee, xylitol, Animal Emergency & Referral Center of Minnesota

2. Chocolate & Coffee 

Don’t gift Mom chocolate (which contains theobromine and caffeine) or caffeine products – these are toxic to dogs and cats. The darker and more bitter the chocolate, the more toxic it is! And if Mom loves coffee – this also means no coffee beans or ground coffee. Chocolate and caffeine increase a pet’s blood pressure if consumed and can also cause cardiac arrythmias.  

Do tell Mom if your gift is edible so she can keep it out of pets’ reach. Better yet, skip the chocolate and coffee gifts for something that won’t endanger the pets! 

Mother's Day pet dangers, Mother's Day pet toxins, Mother's Day pet hazards, pet safety, pet health, pet mom, chocolate, flowers, essential oils, grapes, coffee, xylitol, Animal Emergency & Referral Center of Minnesota

3. Grapes 

Don’t give a fruit bouquet that contains grapes. Anything that contains grapes, raisins, Zante currants, or sultanas – including fruitcake, baked goods, trail mix, jam, or salads – is toxic to pets and can potentially cause kidney failure. 

Do purchase a fruit arrangement that does not include grapes. Strawberries, bananas, and melon are much safer alternatives. 

Mother's Day pet dangers, Mother's Day pet toxins, Mother's Day pet hazards, pet safety, pet health, pet mom, chocolate, flowers, essential oils, grapes, coffee, xylitol, Animal Emergency & Referral Center of Minnesota

4. Xylitol 

Don’t give Mom anything containing xylitol – a sugarless sweetener often found in sugar-free baked goods, candy, gum, and other household items like dental hygiene products and even skincare products. Xylitol is highly toxic to dogs and cats and can cause severely low blood sugar, as well as liver damage and liver failure.  

Do read ingredients labels carefully. If it contains xylitol, pass! 

Mother's Day pet dangers, Mother's Day pet toxins, Mother's Day pet hazards, pet safety, pet health, pet mom, chocolate, flowers, essential oils, grapes, coffee, xylitol, Animal Emergency & Referral Center of Minnesota

5. Essential Oils 

Don’t give essential oils or diffusers. There are numerous essential oils that are toxic to pets (including Pennyroyal oil and tea tree oil) which have been linked to seizures and liver failure in pets. Other common essential oils that are toxic include wintergreen, pine oil, peppermint, cinnamon, and citrus – just to name a few! Also, diffused scents can be very irritating to pets and can cause respiratory issues. Diffused scents can be especially dangerous for birds.  

Do choose non-toxic essential oils if Mom is a big fan – but remind her not to diffuse them and to use them with caution in rooms where pets reside. 

Mother's Day pet dangers, Mother's Day pet toxins, Mother's Day pet hazards, pet safety, pet health, pet mom, chocolate, flowers, essential oils, grapes, coffee, xylitol, Animal Emergency & Referral Center of Minnesota

Keep these dos and don’ts in mind as you search for the purrfect gift for the mom in your life. When in doubt, a gift certificate to her favorite store, restaurant, spa or even tickets to a local play, concert, or game are much safer ideas! You’re welcome! 😉  

Looking for some pet-mom specific ideas? Search Etsy for “Dog Pet Mom” or “Bearded Dragon Pet Mom” – they have a lot of fun options for every type of pet mom including shirts, drinkware, photo frames, custom portraits, & more!  

More Reading: 

Janine Hagen

Animal Emergency & Referral Center of Minnesota, Fast Track Triage, color-coded triage system, pet emergency, Twin Cities emergency vet, Minnesota emergency vet, Saint Paul emergency vet, Oakdale emergency vet

 


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