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My Furry Valentine: Valentines Day Pet Safety 101

Valentine’s day means different things to different people; some of us anticipate a romantic night out with our sweetie, while others look forward to some quality downtime at home. For pets, however, Valentine’s Day is not without some serious health risks.

Learning about Valentine’s Day pet safety is key in making the holiday all about love for your pet, and your team at Pet Medical Center is here to help you every step of the way.

Valentine’s Day Pet Safety

Chocolate – Besides being full of fat and sugar, chocolate contains other substances that can be harmful to our pets, including caffeine and theobromine, a dangerous stimulant. Chocolate, especially darker varieties, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, and respiratory failure in pets.

Xylitol – This artificial sweetener is increasing in popularity, and can be found in many varieties of sugar-free gum, candy, baked goods, and even some peanut butters. Special care should be taken to ensure that anything containing Xylitol is kept away from pets, as it can cause liver failure, seizures, and even death.

Flowers – Receiving flowers on Valentine’s Day is a rite of passage for many people, but it can be downright dangerous for pets. All species of lily are extremely toxic to cats, so be sure to avoid sending lilies to cat owners and discard any lilies you may receive if you have cats in your home.

Alcohol – Most pet owners would not knowingly give alcohol to their pets, but it’s easy to accidentally leave half a glass of champagne or the remains of a drink unattended for a curious pet to investigate. Even a small amount of alcohol can be harmful to pets, so be sure to dump any leftover booze immediately.

Other treats – Overly fatty or rich foods can trigger a dangerous inflammatory condition in pets known as pancreatitis, not to mention contribute to obesity and other health concerns. For safety’s sake, don’t offer your pet any cookies or people food this Valentine’s Day, or any other day of the year.

Celebrate with Your Pet

Just because you can’t share your heart-shaped chocolates with your fur baby doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to shower your pet with love on Valentine’s Day. The following ideas are wonderful ways to express your gratitude and devotion to the pet in your life:

  • A heart healthy activity, such as a walk, game of fetch, or feather chase
  • A new red collar, heart-shaped ID tag, or Valentine’s catnip mouse
  • A day of grooming and pampering at the Pet Medical Center Spa
  • Homemade, heart-shaped cat or dog treats
  • A donation to your favorite animal charity in your pet’s name
  • A wellness exam (this probably doesn’t top your pet’s list of pleasurable activities, but the long-term benefits are worth it)

As always, if you have any questions or concerns about Valentine’s Day pet safety, please give us a call!