3 Essential Valentine Tips To Show Your Pet You Really Care

Sweets for your human sweetie happen to be not so sweet for your pets.

One of the most common pet medical insurance claims around Valentine’s Day is chocolate ingestion. In fact, According to Trupanion, a leader in medical insurance for cats and dogs, chocolate made up 70% of toxicity-related claims in the weeks surrounding Valentine’s Day over the last five years.

No pet owner wants the stress of a sick pet on Valentine’s Day. So, here are 3 essential tips on how to make this Valentine’s a sweet (and safe) day for you and your favorite four-legged friend. 

1) Keep the chocolate for yourself

The number one danger for pets on Valentine’s Day is chocolate – here’s what you need to know from Dr. Sarah Nold, staff veterinarian at Trupanion:

“Chocolate contains a naturally occurring stimulant called theobromine, which is similar to caffeine. If enough theobromine is ingested it can be toxic to dogs and cats.”

Theobromine and caffeine—the two ingredients in chocolate that are toxic to pets— are found in greater concentrations in dark chocolate, but any kind of chocolate can be dangerous to our furry friends. Signs of chocolate poisoning in pets can include vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, increased urination, panting or rapid breathing, muscle tremors, and seizures.

2) Make sure you are the only one admiring your bouquet of flowers  

Valentine bouquets are sweet, but lilies and other toxic flowers can cause kidney disease in curious cats who ingest parts of the flower, or even drink the water from the vase.

Lilies are incredibly dangerous to our feline friends. In fact, lily toxicity is one of Trupanion’s most common and one of the most expensive toxicity claims, with an average claim cost of nearly $800. 

3) Share some wine with a loved one (if you imbibe), as long as it’s not your pet

Alcohol and pets don’t mix. Keep the wine and any other type of alcohol away from your pet.  Alcohol effects the liver just as it does humans, but it can do a lot more damage and quickly.