How to celebrate Valentine’s Day safely with your pet
Consider these Valentine's Day pet safety tips when you celebrate the season of love with your cat or dog.
We don’t need to play cupid when it comes to you and your furry best friend. Your loyal companion keeps you company in the bathroom, scares away the mail carrier every day and still loves you when you come home smelling like another pet. Your four-legged sweetie already stole your heart a long time ago… And maybe your socks, too.
With Valentine’s Day fast-approaching, you may already have plans with your human valentine — but don’t forget about your cat or dog valentine, too! They’re easy to shop for and you get to eat all the chocolate. What’s not to love?!
Safely ever after
Before you start making Valentine’s Day plans with your canine or feline boo, check out these Valentine’s Day safety tips. Sweets for your sweetie aren’t so sweet for your pet, so here are some common Valentine’s Day dangers that every pet parent should be aware of.
- Chocolate — One of the most common pet medical insurance claims around Valentine’s Day is chocolate ingestion. Every year, Trupanion sees an increase in chocolate toxicity claims during the season of love, and the average claim amount for chocolate toxicity is $2201. Signs of chocolate poisoning in pets can include excessive thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, agitation or hyperactivity and seizures.
- Flower bouquets — Many popular flower bouquets include lilies, carnations and roses which can be toxic to pets. Curious pets who ingest parts of the flower or even drink water from the vase could be putting themselves at risk.
- Alcohol — That Valentine’s Day cocktail or glass of wine might look tasty to your pet, but a little bit of alcohol can cause serious harm to pets, so keep it out of paws’ reach.
- Gift wrap & ribbon — That pretty gift all wrapped up with a bow will surely be a hit, but keep ribbons away from your pet to avoid a dangerous obstruction in their stomach.
- Sugar-free treats — These treats (and even some brands of peanut butter) are often sweetened with Xylitol, a substance that’s toxic to pets.
- Candles — Surprising your love with a romantic candle-lit dinner? Never leave lit candles unsupervised, especially with curious pets in the house. Candles are one of the leading causes of house fires, but by taking the right precautions, you can keep your home and your family safe.
If you suspect that your pet might’ve eaten something toxic or dangerous, contact your veterinarian right away.
7 ways to celebrate the real love of your life on Valentine’s Day
Your pet deserves to be pampered and spoiled all year long, but especially so on Valentine’s Day. To help show your best pal how much you love them, here are some ways to celebrate your cat or dog this Valentine’s Day.
1. Bake your pet a special treat
The best gifts are made with love, so consider making your own homemade dog or cat treats! From baked peanut butter cookies to frozen banana pops, there are thousands of scrumptious recipes available online that’ll give your pet a major case of the happy zoomies. Just be sure to practice good pet poison prevention and avoid any toxic ingredients while you’re in the kitchen.
2. Enjoy a dinner for two
The fastest way to any pet’s heart is through their stomach. If you want to earn yourself a stinky kiss at the end of the night, treat your sweetheart to a fancy Lady and the Tramp-style dinner! Cook an entire pet-friendly, multicourse meal or simply swap your pet’s normal kibble for a fresher option. Consider mixing it with their current food to help avoid an upset stomach, and be mindful of any allergies or sensitivities your pet may have.
3. Invest in pet health insurance
If you really want to show your BFF how much you love them, look no further than pet health insurance. Not only will pet health insurance help protect your cat or dog from the unexpected, it’ll also help reduce the financial strain of any veterinary expenses that may come your way.
Even if your pet is young and healthy, the truth is that nobody can predict when or if an injury or illness will happen. And if you don’t believe us, 90% of Trupanion members say Trupanion’s comprehensive coverage saved their pet’s life!1
The right time to enroll in pet health insurance is sooner rather than later. Your pet will appreciate the early Valentine’s Day gift!
Learn more about pet insurance for dogs and cats and how it can help today.
4. Stay in and watch a movie
If you don’t normally allow your pet on the couch, Valentine’s Day might be a good occasion to bend the rules. How else are you going to snuggle up with your pet under a blanket and watch your favorite romcom?
In case you need a science-backed reason to be convinced, the love-hormone oxytocin increases in humans and pets when they engage positively with each other (for example, when snuggling on the couch). So, there’s no better time to feel the puppy love than on Valentine’s Day!
5. Buy an interactive toy
Bust your pet’s boredom once and for all with an interactive toy! Interactive toys provide crucial mental stimulation and can combat stress, anxiety and boredom in your pet. Most interactive toys can also be filled with treats, kibble and even peanut butter, so you can feed your pet’s mind and belly at the same time! From puzzle feeders to snuffle mats, the possibilities are endless.
Got dinner plans with your human boo on Valentine’s Day? If your pet suffers from separation anxiety, an interactive toy can help ease their anxiety while you’re away.
6. Give the gift of sniffing
There’s a reason your pet gives you a sniff inspection when you come home — they want to see what you’ve been up to! Cats and dogs have far more powerful senses of smell than us humans, and using their nose allows them to see and engage with the world.
For dogs, sniff walks are a great option. On a sniff walk, let your dog set the pace and give them the freedom to stop and sniff whatever they please. You might spend 30 minutes simply walking down the block, but sniffing is actually twice as tiring as physical exercise.
Sniff walks might not be an option for our feline friends, but catnip comes in a variety of forms and can be used in many ways. Grab a handful of catnip, crush it between your fingers to release more of the aroma and either give it to your cat directly or sprinkle some over a toy. You can also “marinate” a plush toy by sealing it in a bag with dried catnip!
If your cat doesn’t respond to catnip, try a variety that’s blended with Silvervine. Cats are more likely to respond to catnip when Silvervine is included in the blend.
7. Donate to an animal shelter or rescue
For a truly meaningful gift, celebrate the love you and your pet share with a donation to a local shelter or rescue. You’ll brighten the day of another pet waiting for their forever home, and there’s no better feeling than that.
No matter how you choose to spend Valentine’s Day, we wish you and your best friend lots of love and plenty of snuggles!
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1Based on a 2022 Trupanion member survey