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5 Valentine's Day Rules for Pet Owners

Who says that pets can't enjoy Valentine's Day? But how much fun is too much fun for your furry friend?

Editor's Note: This article was originally featured for Valentine's Day 2011 but seemed worth re-featuring. We think it's safe to say pet safety hasn't dramatically changed in the past year.

Valentine’s Day is a day to show everyone around you how much you love them.

Valentine’s Day is a holiday created by the greeting card companies to make money.

Valentine’s Day is a day used to remember Saint Valentine, a Christian martyr.

Whatever your feelings are regarding Valentine’s Day, over 64 percent of Americans will celebrate the holiday, according to Business Wire, and those Americans will spend over $15 billion in total.

With that in mind, whether you like it or not, some form of a valentine may be entering your home. So, it’s time to take some notes to make sure your pet has a happy Feb. 14 and beyond.

1)  Your little one shouldn’t eat any candy on this chocolate-filled holiday.

Do not allow your pet to have any candy on this chocolate filled holiday. If you suspect your pet has consumed some chocolate goodies  or even candy carrying the sugar xylitol watch for signs: vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst or even seizures. Also remember that the is available 24 hours a day. You can reach the E.R. at 631-369-4513.

2) Watch out for those flowers!

Although it may seem really sweet that you received flowers on Valentine’s Day, to your pet, flowers look like a yummy treat.  Unfortunately, like candy, flowers and plants can be harmful to your pet as well. The ASPCA has compiled a list of which flowers/plants are toxic to different animals. Check out the list to make sure your four legged friend is safe this holiday. If you are unsure whether or not your little one has eaten a toxic plant, again, watch for signs of an upset stomach as a warning.

3) Don’t let your romantic dinner turn into your pet’s first fire.

It’s Valentine’s Day and you’ve planned a romantic candle-lit dinner, but your cat feels left out.  He wants some attention, so he decides to jump from your floor to the counter top, knocking over a lit candle in the process. This is definitely a situation you want to avoid, so if you love your pet (and your house) don’t put too many candles around.  If you must have them, try to put them in a hard to reach place and never leave them burning unattended.

4) A pet should not be a gift.

It may seem sweet to re-live the charm of Lady in the Tramp, when the cocker spaniel Lady pokes her head out of the top of the box under the Christmas tree. She was presented as the perfect Christmas gift in the classic Disney film. But pets shouldn’t be used as gifts. Pets are a commitment that can last up to twenty years or more. A potential pet owner should have time to consider this commitment, and more importantly, a chance to see which pet he or she wants to adopt. Not every pet is for every person, and a potential pet owner needs to establish a bond with their future companion before making a purchase. That’s something they can’t do if they receive the pet as a gift.

5) Make Valentine’s day fun for your furry friend!

Let your pet join in the festivities by giving them their own Valentine's Day gift. Plush Valentine’s Day hearts to play with and red and pink pet treats are just a couple of the myriad of Valentine’s pet gifts on the market.Give your little one something of their very own. With that, maybe they’ll be less interested in taking what you just received.

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