As Valentine’s Day approaches, you may be making extensive plans for a special day for your loved one. But, your furry friend may think the extra gifts and goodies are for her, leading her into mischief and a potential emergency veterinary hospital visit. Avoid holiday mishaps by recognizing these Valentine’s Day pitfalls.

#1: Flowers

A lavish arrangement of bright blooms is a wonderful way to show your special someone you care, but choose carefully, and ensure your bouquet is pet-friendly. All lilies are extremely toxic to cats, and some species can cause kidney failure if your cat contacts only the pollen. If you’re planning on gifting roses, remove their sharp thorns in case your four-legged friend decides to smell the roses. Also, ensure you put the vase where wandering paws cannot knock it to the floor and shatter the glass.

#2: Chocolate

Most people know chocolate is dangerous for pets, and special care should be taken during this season of heart-shaped boxes of assorted chocolates. While the chocolates themselves pose a health hazard to your pet, the wrapping foil and paper can also create problems if your pet eats a chocolate she failed to unwrap. The wrappers can lead to an intestinal obstruction, which may require emergency surgery. 

#3: Stuffed animals

Giant plush teddy bears, puppies, and other adorable stuffed animals are often gifted on Valentine’s Day. Ensure your pet doesn’t consider the animal her perfect chew toy, because bows, ribbons, or glass eyes, or some cotton stuffing that she gnaws off and swallows, may require surgical removal. If your pup is prone to destroying her stuffed toys, keep these Valentine’s gifts well away.

#4: Candles

The soft glow of candlelight is perfect for creating romantic Valentine’s Day settings, but your curious pet may investigate the dancing flame. While you focus your attention on your loved one, your pet may wander too close to an unattended candle, singing her whiskers or fur, or knocking over the candle and causing a house fire. If your Valentine’s plans include candles, ensure you place them out of your pet’s reach, or use battery-operated candles. 

#5: Cocktails

Lounging in front of the fire with a glass of wine or cocktail is the perfect way to end a Valentine’s Day celebration, but your pet may sneak a sip as you gaze lovingly into your partner’s eyes. Cats are usually too smart to drink alcohol, but not your dog, who cannot hold her liquor, and kidney damage may result.

#6: Home-baked goods

What better way to show your love than with home-baked treats? However, your pet may join in on a taste test, and the chocolate, yeast, sugar, and xylitol can all sicken your furry pal. Entice her out of the kitchen with a pet-friendly snack.

#7: Dinner leftovers

If you did not finish your steak dinner, because you wanted to save room for chocolate-covered strawberries, avoid sharing your leftovers with your pet. Steak fat, buttery mashed potatoes, and other foods high in fat or calories can cause vomiting and diarrhea, or potentially life-threatening pancreatitis, in your pet.

#8: Potpourri, diffusers, and wax warmers

Creating a romantic mood with the delightful scents of potpourri, oil diffusers, or wax warmers may cover up lingering doggy or kitty odors, but scent-emitting products can attract pets, who may nibble them, and get covered in hot wax. 

#9: Wrapping paper and ribbon

As you fling aside the wrapping paper and ribbon when you open your gifts, ensure your pet doesn’t find her own gift in the trash pile. Cats especially are enthralled with ribbons and strings, which can create a life-threatening, linear foreign-body obstruction.

#10: Proposing with pets

Nothing could be less romantic than searching through your pet’s feces for a not-so-shiny engagement ring, chasing a ring-bearing pet down the street, or finding a home for an unwanted puppy or kitten. If you’re planning to propose by tying a ring to your pet’s collar, or gifting a puppy or kitten—don’t. Obviously, the best-case scenario would be your loved one saying “Yes” to you and the new pet, but too many negative outcomes are possible. 

Did your Valentine’s Day plans go awry? Give us a call if you need help for your pet who got into mischief and ruined your holiday proposal.