February 14 is coming up, and if you’re lucky enough to share your life with a dog or cat, you already have the best valentine around. Even if you have a human valentine (or not), your pup has always been there through your best and worst days, and also deserve to feel the love. So why not dedicate this Valentine’s Days to the love of your life? There’s no need to get them chocolates, and they have no use for flowers. In fact, these gift are actually dangerous for them. But do you know why?
Here are five great tips that help will keep your pets safe this Valentine’s Day.
1. Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Theirs
Everyone knows that chocolate causes abnormally high heart rhythms in dogs, among other problems. But not everyone is aware that baking chocolate is especially toxic. While an M&M or two may not do any harm, a dog or cat that snatches a large chunk of baking chocolate from the counter may end up in the ER. It is essential to keep all chocolates out of your pets’ reach. See Pet MD’s chocolate toxicity meter for a place to start. Although it is just better/safer to not let dogs near the chocolate—yes, even that last raspberry-filled nugget from the assorted box of chocolates no one ever seems to want to eat.
2. Skip the Candygram
Sugar-free candies and gums often contain large amounts of xylitol, a sweetener that is toxic to pets, especially dogs. If ingested it may cause vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures, and in severe cases, liver failure.
3. Restart the Heart
If your dog or cat should ingest large amounts of chocolate, gum, or candy, it may go into cardiac arrest. Be prepared by learning the proper methods for artificial respiration and cardiopulmonary respiration (CPR), both of which can be found in pet MD’s emergency section.
4. A Rose is Just a Rose
But then again, it can also be something that hurts your pets. They aroma from your floral arrangement may be too enticing for your dog or cat, and it only takes a nibble to cause a severe reaction. Even small amounts may lead to cases of upset stomachs or vomiting, particularly if the plant or flower is toxic. Be extremely careful if your arrangement contains lilies, as these lovely flowers are fatally poisonous to cats.
5. To Give or Not to Give
Are you planning to gift a loved one a new puppy or kitten for Valentine’s Day? You may want to reconsider. Mull it over and do your homework—animals are not disposable, nor can they easily be repackaged, regifted, or returned if they recipient is not pleased.