Valentine’s Day can be a lot of fun for humans, but it can also be anything but fun for your pets if certain precautions aren’t taken during celebrations. In fact, on this love-filled holiday, animal poison control and emergency vets see a huge rise in pet health emergencies both on Valentine’s Day and in the week leading up to Valentine’s Day. Veterinarians say this is because people simply don’t realize that a lot of the treats and holiday gifts that are given can be very harmful to pets.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t still enjoy the bountiful treats of Valentine’s Day. You can still give and enjoy chocolates, home baked goods and other fun gifts. It just means that you need to be a little extra cautious about what you bring into the house around your pets. That means keeping toxic foods and other items away from your dogs and cats on Valentine’s Day. And, if you’re unsure of what other precautions you should take, here are some tips to help you have a safe and pet-friendly Valentine’s Day:
- Pet Proof the House – Put away all cooking supplies and ingredients, any toxic plants or foods, and clean up after your meal.
- Keep Poison Control’s Number Nearby – All sorts of things can go wrong during a celebration, so keep emergency numbers close by just in case.
- Make Sure Flowers Are Pet Safe – All flower bouquets and plants that you bring into your home should be non-toxic to pets.
- Keep Chocolate Out of Reach – Chocolates are highly toxic to pets, so keep them far, far out of reach.
- Avoid Sharing Baked Goods with Pets – Baked treats (the human kind, that is) can have chocolate, nuts, lots of sugar and all sorts of other harmful ingredients in them. So, keep those to yourself.
- Watch Out for Thorns – Roses are beautiful, but the thorns can pierce paws and get stuck.
- Be Careful with Candles – Candles are romantic, but they are dangerous around free roaming pets.
- Dispose of Wrappings – Ribbons, wrapping paper and tape left out can become choking hazards.
- Don’t Gift Live Animals – Kittens, puppies, chicks, rabbits and other animals are cute, yes, but they are not meant to be gifts.
- Prep Your Pet First Aid Kit – Be sure you take the time to update your pet first aid kit.
- Keep an Eye on Those Cocktails – Keep all liquor capped and locked up or on a high shelf where your pet can’t get ahold of it.
- Consider Sharing the Love with Pet Safe Treats – Buy only treats that are safe for your pet.
- Skip the Balloons – Balloons are loud when they pop and can scare or even hurt your pet and become choking hazards.
- Keep Stuffed Animals Away from Pets – If you receive any stuffed toys as presents, keep them out of reach. To your pet, these look like chew toys, but they can also become choking hazards.
- Keep Valentine Treats to Yourself – Most Valentine’s treats will have chocolate in them, so keep them away from your pet.
Finally, know where the closest emergency vet hospital is. Sometimes, things just go wrong no matter how much we prepare. So, use common sense when celebrating around pets, and everyone will enjoy a happy Valentine’s Day!