Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day all! I hope you enjoy today’s love-themed holiday and extend such affection to your fur people. Here are some tips to remember so that your furry companions have a safe holiday as well:

  1. Chocolate. This is very yummy for humans but HIGHLY TOXIC to pets. A typical treatment for chocolate poisoning at the vet’s office can run anywhere from $250-$3,000 or more.
  2. Candy. Around Valentine’s Day, candy dishes are everywhere. But again, many types of candy contains xylitol, a sugarless sweetener. Xylitol is highly toxic to pets. (It also can show up in peanut butter, FYI.)
  3. Flowers. Although beautiful bouquets are lovely, many types of flowers can make pets very sick. Roses, for example, may not be toxic to pets but they do have thorns, and these can scratch or puncture your pet’s paws and cause a nasty infection. Ingesting roses may cause an upset stomach too. Keep flowers away from a pet’s reach. (This includes surfaces where counter-surfing dogs or areas where cats may climb.)
  4. Decorations. The paper and ribbons discarded from a beautifully wrapped gift can cause all kinds of trouble for pets if they ingest these materials. Tape, ribbons, bows, cellophane, wrapping paper, and balloons are not for eating!
  5. Candles. A candlelit dinner can be most romantic. A curious pet knocking over a lit candle and starting a fire or becoming injured by the flame is definitely not. Don’t leave pets unattended near open flames. Watch your pets closely if you choose to light candles.
  6. Alcohol. Booze is a definite no-no for pets, so keep any cocktails, champagne, wine, or other adult beverages well away from the reach of curious paws. A pet ingesting even a small amount of alcohol can do a considerable amount of harm. A large amount can lead to potentially fatal respiratory failure.
  7. Pets as gifts. While an adorable puppy adorned with a big red bow sounds like a memorable Valentine’s Day gift, remember that bringing home a pet is a lifelong commitment. Not everyone is prepared, interested in, or able to make that kind of commitment. Having to return a pet is the opposite of romantic and unfair to the animal. Don’t get a pet as an impulse buy. Doesn’t it sound better to bring your loved one to your local animal shelter so that they can choose the pet they want and make an informed, deliberate decision about making a pet a part of their life?

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