How to Keep Your Dog or Cat Safe on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is just a few short weeks away. Will you be spending the day with that special someone? Remember to keep your pet’s safety in mind so that your romantic evening doesn’t turn disastrous! Here, your Niwot, CO vet tells you how to avoid the most common Valentine’s Day pet hazards.


Don’t let your pet anywhere near the heart-shaped box of chocolates. Chocolate, as you probably know, is very bad for our animal companions! All types—dark, milk, white, semi-sweet, baking chocolate, etc.—can cause serious symptoms like drooling, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, and worse if enough is ingested.


Candy is another sweet-treat danger that poses a common threat on this romantic holiday. Candies, as well as sugar-free gum, toothpaste, and other products, often contain xylitol. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that can poison pets even in very small amounts—avoid dangerous symptoms like lethargy, vomiting, and even seizures by restricting your pet’s access to any and all sweet treats.


Have you received a bouquet of flowers this holiday? Make sure to check it for any poisonous varieties to make sure that your pet can’t chow down on something he shouldn’t. Lilies are particularly dangerous to our feline friends, although they may be able to harm dogs as well. Tulips are also potentially toxic. Roses, while not poisonous, may hurt your pet with their sharp thorns. It’s best to keep pets away!

For a full list of toxic flowers and plants, visit the ASPCA’s site.


Small decorative items like ribbons and bows don’t seem particularly harmful. However, these items might look like fun playthings to your cat or dog. If pieces of string, ribbon, or bows are swallowed, intestinal blockage and other serious problems can result! You don’t want to have to deal with an emergency surgery this holiday; when opening gifts, it’s safest to place all small items somewhere that pets can’t reach.


It’s common to light candles to set a romantic mood on Valentine’s Day. Do so with caution if you have rambunctious pets—it’s all too easy for a pet to knock over a lit candle, potentially burning themselves or even starting a fire. Reconsider decorating the dining room in dozens of lit candles if your pet can gain access!

Would you like more great tips for keeping your pet safe? We’re here to help. Contact your Niwot, CO veterinary clinic today.

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