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Valentine’s Day Treats

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

We love our pets for so many reasons.  We love them for greeting us at the door with a happy tail. For the soft purr that means “I love you”. When they understand when we don’t feel well. And, for simply just being our couch buddy. This list could go on and on. But how do we share our Valentine’s Day with them to show appreciation for all of the joy they bring to our life?

Selecting appropriate treats for our pets to enjoy can be as simple as a trip to the local grocery store, but avoid flowers and chocolates for your pets!

Chocolate is highly toxic to dogs and should not be given – even in small amounts.

Lilies, chrysanthemums, tulips and daffodils are toxic to cats.

What sweets can we safely choose?

Fruits and vegetables are usually safe choices, however there are some to avoid. Raisins/Grapes can cause problems for pets. Additionally, pits from various stone fruits (apricots, cherries) can be dangerous. Avocado, while not a sweet, is deadly to birds.

Instead, consider treating them with a few pieces of cantaloupe or honeydew melon. If feeling especially festive, you can even go so far as to cut them out in special shapes using a small heart shaped cookie cutter.

Carrots can be a favorite – and will make an excellent substitute for a chew toy! Dogs love the crunch and chew of carrots. Other veggies to choose from include broccoli, cauliflower, sugar snap peas and celery.

Dogs love peanut butter – in moderation – however, did you know that some peanut butters contain Xylitol? Xylitol is highly toxic to your pets – and can be found in reduced calorie candies (gums/mints), and even baked goods. Check the label carefully before treating your pet with any product that says “reduced calorie” or “diet”.

Do you brush your dog’s teeth?

After the sweets, why not take a moment to focus on your pet’s teeth? Using pet toothpaste and a gauze pad wrapped around your finger you can quickly and efficiently clean your pet’s teeth. There are also enzyme sprays that can help keep their teeth from building plaque too quickly.

Remember, never use toothpaste made for humans – it can contain that dreaded Xylitol or other artificial sweetener that can cause major health problems for pets.

Wishing you a very Happy Valentine’s Day – and a joyful day with the furry ones you love!

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