Web Exclusive: Have a pet-friendly Valentine’s Day

Posted by on Feb 4, 2013. Filed under H&F.

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, Eckerd pet owners are reminded that some foods and flowers traditionally associated with this day can be dangerous to animals.

According to the ASPCA, all species of lily are potentially fatal to cats. Even the smallest amounts of lily can cause them severe kidney damage and should not be brought into living areas shared with them.

And it’s not just cats you need to worry about. Before bringing any flowers or plants into your living space—or giving them to someone else who owns a pet—you should check to confirm they’re pet-friendly.

The ASPCA warns that the sago palm, especially the seeds or nuts, contain toxins and can be dangerous to all animals. Other dangerous species include tulip/narcissus bulbs, azalea, rhododendron, oleander, cyclamen, kalanchoe, yew, amaryllis, autumn crocus, chrysanthemum, english ivy, pothos and schefflera.

Roses are not usually considered toxic to animals, but their thorns can cut or become embedded in paws or throats if swallowed, so it is advisable to de-thorn them before your pet shows any interest.

Chocolate is also a risk. Remember, chocolate can be life-threatening to your furry friends—whether it is milk chocolate, semi sweet, or dark—so although you may enjoy it, keep it out of reach of your animals.

If you want to pamper your pet on Valentine’s Day, stick with treats or toys that have been made with the safety of your pet in mind. If you can’t afford to buy them anything, don’t despair; you can spend extra time with your pet or provide a “pet friendly” gift that you make yourself.

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