By Charlotte Flint, DVM
Staff Veterinarian at Pet Poison Helpline®
Do find safe gifts to show your pet Valentine’s Day love!
A new collar, treats, or toys can all be great gifts for your pet on Valentine’s day. Valentine’s Day can also be a great time to try a new dog or cat treat recipe or make a new toy. If your pet is already swimming in toys and treats, consider giving toys, bedding, food, or a donation to an animal shelter or rescue group in your pet’s name.
Don’t forget that many pets appreciate the gift of time and love more than anything!
An extra walk and some extra time cuddling or playing cost nothing and will be greatly appreciated by your cat or dog. The extra exercise and snuggle time is a healthy, happy choice for you as well.
Do be careful to keep Valentine’s gifts, foods, flowers, and drinks away from your pet’s reach!
Chocolate, flowers, candy, rich foods, and alcoholic drinks are common in our homes as we celebrate Valentine’s Day. Dogs will readily ingest toxic amounts of chocolate, and keep us busy here at Pet Poison Helpline® at this time of year. If you have cats, please watch out for flower bouquets that include lilies, as lilies are very toxic to cats. Rich foods can cause stomach upset and possibly pancreatitis when ingested by pets. Pets can be sensitive to alcohol, so be certain to keep alcoholic drinks out of reach. Also be careful with sugar-free foods that might contain xylitol, which can cause a dangerous drop in blood sugar when ingested by pets.
Don’t forget to share the love!
Valentine’s Day can be a lonely holiday for many people. This could be a great time to visit an animal shelter and donate your time and attention to rescued pets. While I do not recommend giving pets as gifts, if you are thinking about adding a furry friend to your household, Valentine’s Day could be a great time to adopt. Maybe a visit with your pet could help brighten the day of someone you know who is unable to have their own dog or cat. This could also be a great time to look into getting your dog certified as a Canine Good Citizen or therapy dog to help others.
Happy Valentine’s Day from Pet Poison Helpline®!