I Heart You: Show Love With Proactive Pet Safety

When you share your life with animals, every day is full of love and happiness. But when Valentine’s Day rears its flowery, chocolate-scented head, an otherwise firm grip on pet safety can easily fly out the window.

This big-hearted holiday is a wonderful opportunity to show your nearest and dearest how much you care, but it also ranks toward the top for pet poisoning risks. With our tried and true tips, your pet will (safely) enjoy the extra doses of snuggles and kisses galore!

Presenting: V-Day Disasters!

Unfortunately, the same items that make Valentine’s Day special for us have the potential to place your pet in danger. In fact, the Pet Poison Helpline and emergency clinics (like our own 24-hour facility) repeatedly prepare for one of the busiest days of the year. Not surprisingly, the most common patients turn out to be curious (or hungry) family dogs.

The Cocoa Craze

Cats don’t come equipped with taste receptors for sweet things, so they’re at a lower-risk than dogs when it comes to accidental chocolate poisoning. That being said, however, all chocolate (even white chocolate and cocoa powder) should be securely stored away from all temptation.

The alkaline ingredients naturally occurring in chocolate are extremely toxic to pets. Theobromine and caffeine can cause life-threatening symptoms that, depending on your pet’s size and the type of chocolate consumed, emerge within a short period of time. Dark chocolate and baker’s chocolate are considered the most dangerous.


Wrapped candies or chocolates give the impression that they’re safe from your pet’s sniffer, but those shiny coverings present their own risks. Foil, cellophane, plastic, and any strings, ribbons, or tape can cause painful gastrointestinal obstructions that may require surgery.

Other Confections

You probably got the hint already that all Valentine’s Day treats should be kept out of your pet’s reach, but it’s absolutely crucial regarding Xylitol-sweetened goodies. This artificial sweetener has great health benefits for people but is highly poisonous to pets.

Similarly, pet safety rules dictate that treats made with raisins or macadamia nuts should never be offered to pets or left out for them to taste.

Cheers and Fears

Whatever you use to toast your sweetheart, make sure you clean up any spills of champagne, beer, liquor, or wine before your pet has a chance to lap up a sample.

Mood Lighting

Have you seen those flameless, flickering LED candles? They look so real, and they provide a top-notch alternative to live flames. Likewise, lit candles are huge fire hazards near the wag-zone or a jumping cat.

Flora and Pet Safety

Roses are ubiquitous on Valentine’s Day, but their petals can cause stomach irritation. If thorns are eaten or stepped on, you might be looking at an emergency room visit for your pet.

Special holiday bouquets can also include lilies, azaleas, and tulips. Either remove these from your arrangement or leave them outside the home.

Always Here

We’re always here for your pet! However, we hope to not see him or her during an emergency visit on Valentine’s Day.

Please let us know if you have any questions about pet safety on this lovely, heart-filled holiday!