This blog post appears on the “Acadia Antlers” website:
Love is in the air! The most romantic day of the year is approaching and it’s that time when we spoil our loved ones with cards, flowers, and chocolate. But do you include your dog in your Valentine’s Day celebrations? If you do you’re not alone…
According to the National Retail Federation, people are projected to spend $21.8 billion on their loved ones this year – despite the Pandemic (maybe even because of it). Last year they reported that $1.7 billion of it was spent on their pets with over one in four people spending money on them – the highest figure in the history of their survey.
Yikes, this is serious business! And it proves just how much we all love our pets.
If you’re part of the one in four, what are you planning on doing for your fur baby this year? And what things should you most definitely avoid? Let’s take a look at some of them…
The Way to Your Dog’s Heart on Valentine’s Day
- One wonderful way to spoil your dog is to give him a special treat – moose antlers, bully sticks, a nice raw, meaty bone, or even one of those luxurious dog cookies that you buy in boutique dog stores that look so good you’re tempted to eat one yourself!
- You can even make him a treat! Your dog can’t eat your February 14th goodies so why not take the time to make him some of his own? Click here to find lots of yummy homemade dog treat recipes just for Valentine’s Day.
- While a couples massage might be the perfect treat for humans on this romantic holiday, your pet probably HATES going to a doggie spa – aka THE GROOMER! But did you know there’s a wonderful way to massage your dog yourself that would be his perfect treat? Linda Tellington-Jones created the “TTouch” method to improve your relationship with your dog and to even solve issues such as anxiety, barking, chewing, jumping, and more. Click here to read dog expert Karen Pryor’s introduction to TTouch and give it a go! And click here to learn more about it and how to become an expert from Linda.
- February is a cold month so treat your pup to a new outfit that will keep him warm while he’s outside at the dog park, running around the back yard, or on a walk.
- Throw a canine party and invite your dog’s best friends. You can prepare them special food and treats and enjoy playing games with them. Don’t forget to include some Acadia moose antler chews!
- But the most important gift of all, says every dog out there, is you spending quality time with them. We lead such busy lives and often forget to find time to devote to our pets. So take them on a nice long walk, cuddle with them on the sofa while you watch TV or read, teach them a new trick, or get out their favorite toys and play with them. They’ll be soooooo happy!
How to Avoid a Broken Heart
While it’s fun to celebrate Valentine’s Day doing special things with our pets, there are some holiday hazards we need to be aware of to keep them safe. What are they?
You might want all the Hershey’s Kisses you can get but your dog doesn’t need them! Chocolate and chocolate products should be avoided at all costs. The ASPCA says that in their Top 10 list of pet poison culprits the number three and four reported cases of poisoning came from food sources – with chocolate being in a category all of its own at number four! Wowza!
Be especially aware of sugar-free candies as they could be sweetened with xylitol. While chocolate can harm your dog…xylitol can kill! This natural sweetener that humans can consume without any problem can also be found in baked goods, sugar-free gum and toothpaste, and even peanut butter.
Where there’s chocolate there’s usually nuts, too. They could be in the chocolate or out in a dish to go with pre-dinner drinks. Macadamia nuts are the most toxic to dogs and avoid almonds. While it’s best to never offer nuts to dogs, a few unsalted cashews and peanuts are ok but high in fat so not to be given as treats regularly.
In February Spring is approaching fast and many florists and supermarkets display tempting bouquets of our seasonal favorites. If you choose to buy any of these flowers for Valentine’s Day it’s important to know that daffodils, tulips, crocuses, and hyacinths are toxic to pets.
Several species of lilies are, too. Avoid all of them just to make sure.
Other flowers to watch out for:
And two problematic plants that are often included in bouquets: English ivy and baby’s breath.
Don’t forget that the ribbons and bows that come with flowers and balloons pose a threat to animals if they are ingested. Dispose of them as soon as you can.
With the Pandemic still in place, a lot of people will be choosing to stay in and cook a special meal at home this year instead of going to their favorite restaurant. Alcohol will most likely be involved! Don’t leave drinks lying around where your pets can get to them.
If you do indulge, and possibly overdo it, pain-relieving medicines such as ibuprofen can enter the picture. Most of them are harmful to pets. Ibuprofen is one of the worst. Great for curing headaches…bad for your pet!
Help Is at Hand – but Let’s Hope You Don’t Need It!
Accidents can happen even for the most aware pet parents. Keep these numbers handy – such as on the fridge door – in case your pet gets into something he shouldn’t. Someone is always there to give you guidance in an emergency.
- Pet Poison Helpline: 855-764-7661
- ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center: 888-426-4435
Celebrating Valentine’s Day this year is even more important than ever as we try to cheer ourselves up in these strange times that we are living in. Including our dog in that will make it even better. If you enjoyed this article, please share, share, share so others can benefit from it, too. Thanks!