Valentine’s Day is the day when we shower our loved ones with candy, flowers, and red hearts. According to CBS News more than 18 BILLION dollars will be spent on cards and gifts, with l0 billion spent for someone close, 3 billion spent on friends and acquaintances, and more than 5 billion spent on pets. It’s great to make this special day as much fun for pets as it is for humans, but there are some items that need to be kept out of paws’ reach. Poison control experts see a rise in animal emergencies every year, many involving chocolate and lilies which are extremely toxic to animals, so please heed their advice and don’t leave goodies lying around.
- A small amount of alcohol can do a lot of harm, and fatal respiratory failure can occur if a large enough amount is ingested.
- Gum, candy and other treats that contain xylitol can result in a sudden drop of blood sugar and can cause your animal to suffer loss of coordination and seizures.
- Flowers are beautiful, but don’t let pets chew on lilies or any plants or flowers, especially those with thorns…Biting, stepping on, or swallowing thorns can cause serious infection if a puncture occurs.
- Although candles are romantic, nosey pooches can burn themselves or cause a fire by knocking over unattended candles.
As you make every effort to show that special someone just how much he/she is appreciated, take a moment to reflect on why we do special things for our dogs. Keegan Baur offers this list:
Is excited to see me every time I come home (even if I have only been gone an hour).
Is always in the mood to cuddle or play
Enjoys long walks to anywhere
Never complains about his food
Helps me clean up spills in the kitchen
Doesn’t care what TV program we watch
Shares my belief that any time is a good time for a nap
Loves me unconditionally…absolutely…positively…no matter what
ALWAYS appreciates a treat…
Speaking of treats!
There are very few healthy commercial treats (check the ingredient list!), so here’s a guaranteed-to-please recipe for homemade:
Gourmet Salmon Crunches
- 1 – 14 ounce can of salmon. DO NOT DRAIN
- 1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- ¼ cup shredded cheese
- ¼ cup water
- Mix thoroughly and drop by SMALL spoonfuls on greased baking sheet. (Dough will be sticky). For training size treats, you can get 30 on the average baking sheet.
- Bake for about 12 minutes. (For extra crunchy, leave in for a minute or two longer)
- Cool completely before you let your dog indulge! (These freeze well!)
Sweet Potato Chews:
- Raw Yam or Sweet Potato
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
- Scrub the sweet potato or yam…no need to peel.
- Cut into thin slices (the thinner the slice, the shorter the cooking time) and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet in a single layer.
- Bake for about 3 hours for slightly chewy treats or bake longer to get them crunchy. (If you have a dehydrator, pop them in there instead of the oven.)
Happy Valentine’s Day furbabies and humans alike!