Valentine’s Day Pet Safety

Spending Valentine’s Day with your special someone? If they’re a pet parent, there are a few things you should leave out of your romantic evening: 

Toxic flowers and plants

Roses are a Valentine’s Day staple, but they can cause stomach upset in pets, and their thorns can be dangerous if swallowed. Tulips are also toxic to cats, dogs, and even horses. Lilies are extremely toxic to cats, and it’s not just the flower – the entire plant is toxic. Ingesting the pollen, chewing on the leaves, or even just drinking water from their vase can cause kidney failure and death within 72 hours. If you believe your pet has ingested a toxic flower or plant, contact a veterinarian immediately. 

Chocolate and candy

Keep those heart-shaped boxes of treats out of reach of your pets – chocolate is toxic to cats, dogs, and critters (such as rabbits and hamsters). Dark chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate, but both can cause vomiting, diarrhea, racing heart rate, and in some cases, seizures and heart failure. Certain candy, such as conversation hearts, can be dangerous as well – many contain the artificial sweetener Xylitol, which can cause hypoglycemia and even death in dogs. If you believe your pet may have eaten chocolate or candy, contact your veterinarian, an emergency vet, or the Animal Poison Control Hotline. 


If you’re setting the mood with romantic lighting, don’t leave candles unattended. Curious cats and dogs are at risk of having their whiskers or fur singed by a lit flame. Instead, opt for flameless candles or a dimmer switch. 

Here are three alternative gifts to get the pet parent in your life for Valentine’s Day: 

Non-toxic plants and flowers

Orchids, sunflowers, daisies and many other flowers are safer options to keep around pets. But keep in mind that even non-toxic plants can still cause stomach upset if ingested. Always keep plants out of reach, especially if you notice pets nibbling on them. 

Cat grass and catnip 

Cat grass and catnip are made specifically for kitties (plus, dogs and rabbits can enjoy cat grass as well). You can purchase already grown cat grass or catnip from your local pet store – or you can get seeds, dirt, and a decorative pot and enjoy an afternoon of pet-safe gardening with your valentine. 

A “bouquet” of pet toys or treats

Pick up a few PURRfect Bouncer Toys, Oxbow Enriched Life Magic Timothy Wands, or Bully Sticks and tie a decorative ribbon around them. Don’t forget to remove the ribbon before giving them to pets. 

You can pick up other thoughtful pet items, as well as some gifts for humans, in our Shelter Shop. Happy Valentine’s Day!