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A Love Affair: Pets and Valentine’s Day 

A dog lying with all of their Valentine's Day gifts including a pet friendly snack bag. Image by Photo by Jamie Street via Unsplash

Valentine’s Day is celebrated worldwide, and the holiday is not only celebrated between couples but has broadened to celebrate love in all capacities. As pet owners, we may feel enticed to celebrate our beloved pets on this day, as we should every day. I write this article to give you some inspiration to celebrate your furry friend and offer some guidance to keep your pet safe around all the chocolates, wines, and flowers. 

Ways To Celebrate Your Pet On Valentine’s Day

As pet enthusiasts, we probably don’t need a special day to celebrate our furry friends, but why not go the extra mile and share the love with them? You can make your pets feel extra loved this Valentine’s Day with some of the following ideas.

Do Something They Love

If your dog loves going for longer walks, rather take them on a long walk as opposed to a short walk around the block. For the social dogs, take your dog to the doggy park and give them the chance to find some Valentine’s Day love in the park. Perhaps you have a water baby dog, take them to your nearby dam and let them splash around. You could even take a coffee flask with you and have a picnic there. 

A couple taking their dog for a walk in nature. One of the activities you could do this Valentine's Day. Image by MabelAmber on Pixabay
A couple taking their dog for a walk in nature. One of the activities you could do this Valentine’s Day. Image by MabelAmber on Pixabay

For the cat owners, if your cat is harness trained and loves a walk get them out and about. If your cats are like mine and are not harnessed trained, perhaps gift them a new scratch post or a fun toy. 

Make Them A Pet Safe Tasty Treat

With all the chocolate and sweet treats surrounding Valentine’s Day you may be treated to share some with your furry friend. Keep in mind that animals cannot safely consume many ‘human foods’. Sugar and alcohol can be highly toxic to your animals so be sure to store them far away from their reach! In our article with Dr. Rous we looked into a dietary dog guide and foods that are safe for them.

We all love a treat on this day, so why not share the joy of indulgence (within moderation) with your furry companion. Have a look at your local pet store for pet-safe treats or perhaps offer them a wet food option with their dinner as opposed to their regular kibble. Bear in mind that feeding your pet a different food or too many rich treats can result in an upset stomach, so be aware that moderation is key. 

A dog enjoying their treats! You can give your dog pet safe treats to share some extra love this Valentine's Day. Image by Nicooografie on Pixabay.
A dog enjoying their treats! You can give your dog pet safe treats to share some extra love this Valentine’s Day. Image by Nicooografie on Pixabay.

Things To Look Out For

As much as this article encourages you to spoil your pets and loved ones, bare in mind some of the foods, drinks, and flowers that are in abundance on this day are often dangerous to your furry friend. 

Sweets and Chocolates

Sugar can be extremely dangerous to pets! Be sure to place any Valentine’s Day gifts in a place that your pet cannot get to. Either on a high counter or kitchen table, also be sure not to leave the sweet treats open which may tempt them to have a taste. 

Chocolates being left out on Valentine's Day. Be sure to keep these well out of reach from your pets! Image by Debby Hudson via Unsplash
Chocolates being left out on Valentine’s Day. Be sure to keep these well out of reach from your pets! Image by Debby Hudson via Unsplash

Flowers

Be sure to remove spikey thorns from flowers. Additionally, flowers can be toxic to pets, especially the pollen in flowers like lilies and tulips. Zoetis has provided a list here highlighting some toxic plants to pets. However, this list is not exhaustive so be sure to check if the flowers are pet safe, or if in serious doubt, perhaps ask advice from your veterinarian on your next visit so you are well informed. 

A photo of a cat lying with red roses, a popular Valentine's Day flower choice. Be sure to cut the thorns off! Image by Nils via Unsplash.
A photo of a cat lying with red roses, a popular Valentine’s Day flower choice. Be sure to cut the thorns off! Image by Nils via Unsplash.

Balloons and Wrappers

With the tradition of gift-giving on this day, there may be more wrappers, balloons, string, plastic, and many other foreign objects around the house. Animals are notoriously curious and could end up ingesting these. Anything foreign to an animal can risk causing a blockage in their gut and be seriously harmful to your pet! Be sure to pack these things far away from your pet to keep them safe. Check out our article where we interviewed Dr. Rous on addressing the dangers of foreign bodies in your pets.

A dog and its owner celebrating love on Valentine's Day. Be sure to pack the decorations away after the fun! Image by Ron Lach via Pexels.
A dog and its owner celebrating love on Valentine’s Day. Be sure to pack the decorations away after the fun! Image by Ron Lach via Pexels.

To Wrap It Up

There are many creative was to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your furry friends and other loved ones so go and get creative! I hope some of the points mentioned above will help guide you to enjoying the day of love safely with your pets. 

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