Valentine Safety Tips for You & Your Pet

City of Great Falls Montana


DATE:  February 13, 2013
CONTACT: Jennifer Reichelt, Deputy City Manager – 455-8417


GREAT FALLS, Montana – Valentine’s Day is the perfect day of the year to show your love with the perfect gift, but sometimes, we forget how dangerous and poisonous those items may be to our pets. According to the ASCPA, each year their poison control experts see a rise in cases around February 14, many involving chocolate and lilies, a flower that’s potentially fatal to cats. This Valentine’s Day, even if Fido is fetching for a treat, keep in mind that not everything you eat and have around the house may be pet friendly.  Remember to keep dangerous foods, plants and other items out of pets reach.

Tips for a safe Valentine’s Day:

• Flowers – Remember that all species of lilies are potentially fatal to cats. Many other flowers and plants can also be toxic to pets, so it is best to keep bouquets away from prying paws and hungry and curious pets.

• Chocolate – Keep chocolate away from your pet. While this candy may seem innocent enough (who doesn’t love chocolate), all versions of this life-threatening candy (baker’s, semi-sweet, milk and dark) can cause problems for your pet ranging from hyperactivity, tremors, racing heartbeat, and seizures. Damage to the liver can also occur.

• Alcohol – It is never a good idea to give alcohol to your pet or to leave a glass unattended. Pets are much smaller than humans, so alcohol can cause much harm to their systems including vomiting/diarrhea, lack of coordination, central nervous system depression, tremors, difficulty breathing, and even coma.

• Candlelit Dinner – Don’t turn off the romance, just use precaution when using candles around your pets. Make sure candles aren’t in close proximity of wagging tails or noses – or placed where they can be knocked over. And always remember to extinguish candles when leaving a room.

When the festivities come to a close, remember to gather up cellophane, ribbons, balloons, and other wrappings or decorations and dispose of them – all of these items can be ingested and cause complications or death for your pet.

Keeping safety in mind doesn’t mean you can’t make Valentine’s Day special for your Furry Valentine. One of the best ways to keep your pets content and out of trouble is to give them a special treat of their own. Retailers have plenty of Valentine-themed goodies for pets from treats, to heart-shaped toys and bones. If you still have questions or need additional information about Valentine’s safety tips contact, the Great Falls Animal Shelter at 454-2276.