Valentine’s Day is coming up quickly and for some people, sweethearts do not only stand on two legs. Some stand on four.
While gift-giving from person to person is popular, so is treating that special pet who is as loyal a companion as anyone.
Unfortunately, the ASPCA reports that every year their poison control center sees an increase in cases around Valentine’s Day – a time that is supposed to be about love and appreciation.
While it may seem harmless at the time, leaving candy, flowers, and other gifts unattended around the house can cause a multitude of problems if a curious pet happens to get ahold of them.
The ASPCA offers some simple guidelines to ensure you don’t end up calling an emergency pet hotline:
- Watch flowers: Some flowers may be toxic if an animal eats them. In fact, all types of lilies are fatal to cats. In addition, thorns can cause internal damage if ingested.
- Keep chocolate stored away: All chocolate is harmful to dogs and potentially life-threatening.
- Be careful with alcohol: Even a little bit of alcohol can harm a pet because of their small size.
- Look for the ingredient xylitol: Xylitol can be found in gum, candies, and other treats and can cause hypoglycemia in pets.
- Throw away wrapping paper and present décor: Tape, bows, and balloons are all objects a pet can choke on. Make sure these items are immediately thrown or put away.
After taking these points into consideration, what can you treat your dog with? Such a holiday surely calls for more than the usual, bland dog bones.
To begin, you could take a simple dog treat recipe and use heart-shaped cookie cutters to give them a little of that Valentine’s Day flair:
Peanut Butter Dog Cookies – the recipe for which can be found at: http://gardenmama.typepad.com/my_weblog/heart-shaped-dog-cookies/
If you want to get a bit more festive, red-velvet cupcakes are a popular (and extremely tasty) commodity for people and there is a doggie version as well – frosting and all!:
Red Velvet Pupcakes – the recipe for which can be found at: http://recipes.kaboose.com/red-velvet-pupcakes.html
Keep in mind that pets often have sensitive digestive systems, so it would be wise to consult your veterinarian before trying these recipes if you have any concerns.
If cooking isn’t your forte, a new ball or chew toy for your valued companion might just do the trick. Regardless, showing love to your pet is bound to bring you love in return and Valentine’s Day is just another day to recognize it.
About the Author: Alyssa Zandi is an undergraduate psychology student, avid crafter, lifetime dog lover, and contributing blogger for http://www.silverliningherbs.com