It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and love is in the air! On this special day, you’ll want to show your loved one just how much they mean to you—and that includes your furry friends. Most Valentine’s Day traditions for humans aren’t safe for pets, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have an extra-special holiday with the dog or cat who has your heart.
Keep your pets safe this Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is one of the many holidays where dangers await cats and dogs. Human celebrations might pose problems for your pet, including accidental poisoning, choking and other harm!
If you’re celebrating with your human loved ones, be mindful of the following things and keep them away from your pet:
- Chocolates: Big boxes of chocolates don’t only look like a tasty treat to you—they also look yummy to your pet. Chocolate is toxic to both cats and dogs, and if they eat enough, the resulting illness could be fatal. Pets who eat chocolate might experience vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, heart troubles and even pancreatitis. Make sure to keep all boxes covered and out of reach.
- Flowers: You might love a big, beautiful bouquet, but some flowers are quite dangerous for pets. Traditional roses are not toxic if you pets get a nibble, but if they come with thorns, your pet might end up with a nasty scratch! Other types of flowers, like lilies, are extremely toxic to cats—so much so that even having them in the house is a big risk! Make sure you double-check which plants are pet-safe before ordering.
- Candles: Lighting some candles might help create a romantic atmosphere, but they’re not nearly as nice for our furry friends. Pets have a habit of getting too close to candles and burning their noses, paws or tails. Any candles you light should be put up and out of reach where your pets can’t touch or knock them over accidentally.
One last thing to keep in mind is that gifting pets to your human loved ones might seem like a lovely gesture, but it’s not always the best choice. Think carefully about whether your loved one can care for an animal and which pet might be best for their lifestyle before you adopt!
How to celebrate safely with your beloved pets
Valentine’s Day is a wonderful holiday to share with your furry friend, too! If you want to make your pet feel extra loved, enjoy some of these fun activities together.
- Go on an adventure: Most dogs and some cats are excited by a trip to somewhere new where they can explore and have fun. Take a family trip with your pet to the beach, on a hike, to a new area of town or somewhere else that’s exciting! There, you can play your pet’s favorite game or just spend some quality time.
- Make pet-safe treats: Human Valentine’s Day sweets are largely unsafe for pets, but that doesn’t mean you can’t share some tasty treats with your cat or dog! Try making heart-shaped biscuits for your pet and you to nibble on. Or, make pet-safe popsicles out of frozen fruits and veggies. Before you get baking, make sure you double-check that the ingredients you use are safe for cats or dogs, and don’t go overboard! Too many treats can make your furry friend feel sick.
- Get crafty: Pets can join in on Valentine’s Day crafts, too! Make homemade cards from your pet to your loved ones by stamping their paw print inside with non-toxic ink (just make sure to wash their paw afterward!). You can also use clay to create a keepsake cast of their paw print that you’ll cherish for years to come.
- Share useful gifts: If you want to shower your pet with gifts on Valentine’s Day, skip the treat bags and opt for useable items. New toys that encourage your pet to stay active can be great fun, and a new collar or harness will help make your pet look handsome while also keeping them safe outside.
- Donate to a shelter: Not all pets have loved ones to celebrate with on Valentine’s Day. You and your pet can share the love to furry friends awaiting adoption by donating your time and volunteering, or by making a donation in your pet’s name! Shelters often need things like blankets, towels, cleaning supplies and new bags of food. Contact your local shelter and ask what they need to make their furry friends feel loved, too.
By being mindful of potential dangers and treating your pet to some special attention, you and your furry friend are sure to have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!