Valentine’s Day: Pet-Friendly Practices

Valentine’s Day: Pet-Friendly Practices

A box of chocolate, a bouquet of flowers, and a candlelit dinner sounds like a romantic Valentine’s Day, but these have the potential to turn into a trip to the emergency room with your pet. From chocolate or flower toxicity to a singed tail, many Valentine’s Day norms pose risks to your furry friend’s health.

With that being said, we encourage making pet-friendly decisions on this special day of love. Read further as we delve into what exactly this means!


Be careful to avoid purchasing a bouquet of flowers that are toxic to your or your Valentine’s pets. For example, cats are at risk of high toxicity and life-threatening kidney failure from lilies. Other flowers that are toxic to pets include tulips, ranunculus, chrysanthemums, gardenias, amaryllis, and carnations. While roses are non-toxic, their thorns can wind up harming a curious pet’s mouth and paws.

Some pet-friendly flower alternatives include gerbera daisies, petunias, sunflowers, moth orchids, and African violets. Research whatever flowers you are buying and confirm they do not pose a threat to your pets.

Gift Wrap & Ribbons

Don’t wrap up your Valentine’s gifts with string or ribbon, which pets (especially cats) might swallow. They could end up choking on them and get them lodged in their throat or digestive tract, which would then require emergency surgery to remove. Steer clear of any potential dangers by promptly disposing of any gift wrap and bows!

Stuffed Animals

Is your or your Valentine’s pet a chewer? Avoid giving any stuffed animals with plastic eyes or noses, or even plushies with small accessories. These can cause a choking hazard to pets, as they oftentimes can easily be removed. Instead, get your Valentine’s pet a pet-specific toy. Trust us, your Valentine will understand! What greater gift than showing your care for their pet?

Edible Arrangements

So, how about that box of chocolates? Avoid it, especially if their pet has been known to make their way into food. Chocolate is toxic to cats and dogs alike, with Baker’s chocolate and dark chocolate being the most harmful. Remember that the more dark and bitter the chocolate, the more dangerous it is to your pet.

Furthermore, avoid coffee beans, chocolate-covered raisins, macadamia nuts, and xylitol due to their extra toxicity levels. Xylitol, a sugarless sweetener, is very toxic to pets and can cause a drop in blood sugar and liver failure in dogs.

Make sure whatever edible arrangement you get for your Valentine is out of reach from pets! Even if the sweet treats aren’t toxic, pets can be at an increased risk of pancreatitis and obesity from eating fatty, sugary foods. As an alternative, buy gourmet biscuits or treats specifically made for pets! At A.W. Brown’s, we carry an extensive (and adorable) line of pet-friendly treats that pets love.


Although this isn’t just practice for Valentine’s Day, never leave a lit candle unattended and never leave a pet around open-flame candles. Curious paws, whiskers, and wagging tails can easily get burned or start a fire. Opt for battery-operated candles that don’t use a real flame! If you do use open-flame candles, safely keep pets out of the room.

If any pets experience an emergency on Valentine’s Day, be sure to know of a nearby ER that is open, preferably 24/7. Keep your furry friends in mind on the romantic holiday, and if you need assistance in pet safety practices or want Valentine-themed pet treats, call us now or come down to A.W. Brown’s!

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