Valentine’s Day isn’t just a time to show your love for your significant other, family, friends, and Sigma Kappa sisters. Don’t forget your four-legged family members. When you are giving and enjoying the many gifts this holiday brings, keep in mind some of the hazards they may pose to your pets so you can keep them safe.

  • Chocolate – Chocolate is the classic symbol of showing someone you love them on Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately, chocolate is life-threatening to many animals. It contains methylxanthines, a caffeine-like stimulant that can affect your pets neurologic, cardiac, and gastrointestinal functions. Not to mention, the high fat content can lead to an inflammation of the pancreas which can be fatal if not caught by your vet in time. Make sure to keep that chocolate heart away from Fido.
  • Roses – One of my dogs learned his lesson the hard way this past summer. He decided to stick his face in a rose bush and was jabbed by several thorns. To this day, he thinks that bush was out to get him and growls as we pass by it on our walks.  If a pet steps on a rose thorn, swallows it, or even bites into one, it can lead to a serious infection and a costly trip to the vet. This means you need to make sure to dethorn your roses far away from your pet.
  • Alcohol – To a pet, spilled wine or a half drunk cocktail is a great treat to lap up. However, the alcohol affects cats and dogs similar to humans – it depresses the central nervous system. Since animals are typically smaller than us, a small amount of alcohol can have a great effect, causing harm and leading to respiratory issues.
  • Fire – Lighting candles is a romantic way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Seeing your cat rub up against a candle and catch on fire, not so much. So make sure to always have shields on any candles you light. Also, never leave candles unattended.  A curious pooch can knock off a candle and start a house fire in a few seconds.
  • Wrapping paper – My cats seem to love to chew on bows and wrapping paper string. Unfortunately, if these are swallowed, they can get stuck in their digestive track and cause them to choke.

Now that you have pet-proofed your Valentine’s Day celebration, don’t forget to show your love to your pets as well. Pick them up something special for Valentine’s Day too like a treat or a new toy. Most importantly though, spending quality time with them is the best Valentine’s gift you can give your four-legged family members.


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