dog licking wine glass

While Jack Frost may be nipping at our toes, February also brings with it the sweet scent of love in the air. We are, of course, referring to Valentine’s Day. Whether you are coupled or not, chances are there is at least one love in your life to snuggle with this Valentine’s Day: your pet. 

From kitten purrs to playful pups, your pets’ paw prints have likely made a lasting impression on your heart. For this reason, and so many others, the staff at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital knows how heartbreaking it would be, should your sweet pet fall victim to the dangers this day can bring. 

From chocolates and flowers to candles and feasts, perils and pitfalls for pets abound come the days surrounding February 14, which is why understanding the finer points of Valentine’s Day pet safety is a must for people and their pets. 

Valentine’s Day Pet Safety

Many of the traditional trappings of Valentine’s Day can pose serious threats to your pets’ health. We hope you’ll take the following tips to heart:

  • Chocolates and Sweet Treats – As many of you know, chocolate is toxic to dogs and, unfortunately, the darker the chocolate, the greater the risk. Be mindful of leaving those heart-shaped boxes somewhere your snuffleupagus can find them! Likewise, Xylitol, an artificial sweetener commonly found in mints, gums, and sugar-free sweets, is lethal to dogs, even in the smallest amounts. Be sure to check labels for this ingredient and either avoid it all together or keep it well away from your pet!
  • Flowers – While roses are not particularly toxic to cats and dogs, they can cause tummy trouble and all the not-so-romantic smells that come along with it. Likewise, the thorns on roses can cause problems for the mouth and gums, as well as the gut. Lilies are, of course, toxic to cats, and many common cut-flowers and houseplants can be harmful as well. Do your homework before buying that bouquet!
  • Candles – Have you ever smelled singed cat fur? Or watched in slow-motion horror as their tail twitched too close to the flame? Enough said.
  • Fancy Feasts – Many of our favorite holiday foods can cause GI upset in pets, or worse – pancreatitis. Be mindful to clear the table and clean-up the kitchen a bit before getting swept away by your sweetie (or Netflix). Likewise, don’t over indulge your pet with table scraps or tasty morsels. 
  • Cheers! – Many, if not all intoxicants are harmful to pets. This includes alcohol, marijuana, and any other celebratory substance you might enjoy. It’s also worth mentioning that many personal lubricants and other personal items can be toxic to pets or cause GI upset or obstructions, so be sure to check your labels and keep these items out of your pets’ reach. 
  • Lonely Hearts – If you are planning on going out this Valentine’s Day, be mindful of setting the stage before you go, especially with the items above, as a bored pet can be destructive. If you are taking a long weekend, be sure to consider your pet’s well-being while away. In lieu of hiring a housesitter, we encourage you to make a reservation at our pet hotel for some pampering. 

Your Funny Valentine

However you celebrate this Valentine’s Day, we sincerely hope you spend some special time with your sweet pet in celebration of the love you share. Whether it’s a long walk or making a batch of DIY pet treats, your pet will appreciate the time you spend together. 

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions, or – heaven forbid – if you are having a pet emergency