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Celebrating Valentine's Day with your pet

Updated on February 13, 2012
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What love is purer than the love we share with our pets? They love us unconditionally, no matter what we look like, our pasts, or how much money we make. They are our workout partners, snuggle buddies, therapists, and best friends. Although it's important to express to our loved ones, pets included, that we care for them on a daily bases, why not do something special for your furry Valentine this Valentine's Day? Also, remember while you're celebrating with your loved ones, that some of the most common Valentine's Day gifts and decorations can be dangerous to our pets. Here are some tips to help you keep Valentine's Day fun and safe for your furry friends!

  1. Keep chocolate and sweets away from pets: Most pet owners already know that chocolate can be dangerous to some types of pets. However, even non-chocolate candies and sweets should be kept away from animals. Treats sweetened with Xylitol can cause dangerous hypoglycemia in our pets. Candy that doesn't contain Xylitol or chocolate may not be toxic to our pets, but they commonly cause issues such as upset stomachs and digestion problems. So keep human treats away from your pets, you don't want them to have to spend their Valentine's Day with an upset tummy!
  2. Flower safety: Flowers are a beautiful gift, but make sure that that bouquet from your secret admirer doesn't put your pet in danger. Some species of flowers, such as lilies and morning glories, can be dangerous or even fatal to certain types of pets. Do research to determine what types of plants are unsafe for the particular type of pet(s) you own. When giving flowers as a gift, be careful not to send dangerous types of plants to pet owners. If you receive roses, don't allow your pets to step on or chew the stem of the flowers. The thorns can cause injuries to your unsuspecting pets. De-thorn roses if you are afraid your pet might get to them. If in doubt, keep plants and flowers away from pets. Put the flowers up out of their reach and make sure that if the plants drop leaves or petals that they don't fall onto the floor where your pet(s) could get to them.
  3. No alcohol for Fido: Keep alcoholic beverages away from pets. Even a small amount of alcohol can be dangerous, and sometimes fatal, to pets.
  4. Decoration safety: Be extra careful with decorations, especially things like candles and present wrapping supplies. A playful pet could easily knock over an unattended candle, and things like ribbons and wrapping paper may look like a fun toy, but can be dangerous is swallowed.
  5. Don't give pets for gifts: A fuzzy puppy or kitten may look adorable with a red ribbon around it's neck on Valentine's Day, but for many reasons pets should never be given as gifts. Instead consider other options such as stuffed animals, chocolate, or pet supplies for a potential future pet owner.
  6. Be smart when picking pet presents: Most pets would love a new treat or toy on Valentine's Day. Be smart about what you choose for your furry friends. Some commercial pet treats are unhealthy, or contain potentially dangerous ingredients. Toys should be sturdy and able to stand up to your pet. If your pet needs some new supplies, such as a new collar, tank, etc, than things like that can make good gifts. On a budget? Why not try making your pet some homemade treats? And keep in mind that...
  7. The best give you can give your pet is your time: Pets don't need expensive gifts to know that their owners love them. Just spending some extra time with your pet can be the greatest gift of all. Consider taking your dog on an extra long walk, or playing ball for a few extra minutes. Snuggle up with your pet and watch tv together, or spend some extra time grooming them. Think of what your pet likes to do with you most, and spend some extra time with them doing it on Valentine's Day. There's nothing most pets love more than spending time with their loved ones, and the time spent together will be fun for you too!

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