If you’re like us, your Valentine is your dog. Even if you have a significant other, a spouse, or someone you’ve been texting, when it comes to celebrating love, your dog comes first.
But this Day of Love is also a day of potentially dangerous hazards for your one true love. We’ve compiled a quick list of no-no’s to keep your pup happy and healthy this Valentine’s Day.
Don’t leave any sweets lying around. Sugar-free sweets contain Xylitol, which is as bad it sounds. This artificial sweetener causes dogs to experience a big insulin release, followed by a sudden dip in blood sugar, which can lead to death. So don’t give them candy. No matter how much they beg. No matter how tight their sad puppy eyes game is.
Chocolate is especially toxic to dogs, due to the presence of the alkaloid theobromine. Dark chocolate contains the most theobromine, but all chocolate presents a risk.
Most dog owners are aware of how horrible alcohol is for a pup, and if you’re like me, you’re already drinking all your wine in one sitting. (Ya know, to keep the dog safe.)
Even mere ounces of alcohol can be problematic for a 30-pound dog. If you notice anything unusual — sluggishness, excitement, depression — consult a vet immediately just in case they managed to sneak a few sips. But be careful and keep your hooch away from that pooch. Try a dog-friendly alternative instead.
You might be surprised by this, but a number of houseplants and flowers are toxic to dogs. So make sure you get a pretty bouquet, just be careful what’s in it. Consult this helpful list from the ASPCA to learn which are safe and which are toxic.
Also, keep in mind that florists often pack beautiful bouquets with preservatives, many of which are harmful to your pup. Instead, mix lemon-lime soda (not diet) with three parts water to keep your flowers fresh. Or just let them die a noble natural death, like I do.
Fire can harm anybody, m’kay? But candles pose a unique risk, especially if you’ve got a curious pup running around. Not all dogs know how to safely and effectively extinguish a flame like this one.
If you simply MUST have romantic candles lit in order to feel loved on Valentine’s Day, be smart about it. Keep them out of reach of your dog’s paws (and wagging tail — it’s more powerful than you think) and always blow ’em out when leaving the room.