While poor planning may find many in the “doghouse” this Valentine’s Day, and despite the flurry of romance we have come to associate with this holiday, one cannot forget that special friendships should not be overlooked. As any pet owner knows, the purest and most unconditional love often comes walking into our lives on four legs.

 

While not to delegitimize the importance of any of pet, for many, the ubiquitous dog is the domesticated diva of choice.  They come in all shapes and sizes, and retailers not have overlooked that reality. One might even argue that Valentine’s Day has in many ways, gone to the dogs.

 

According to the National Retail Federation, spending on pets is projected to reflect a 27 percent increase this year, totaling $751 million dollars spent on the pooches we love.

 

 

While the Federation also finds that, “Millennials are the largest generation of pet owners”, they are not the only devoted parents. Retailers like PetSmart have created Valentine’s Day themed shops for the special pet in your life, with Amazon spending millions in advertising themed merchandise for this day filled with love.

 

 

*For those with a special pet in their life, here are a few easy guidelines to keep in mind when shopping for your furry “Bestie” to show them your affection on this special day and all year long:

  1. Sharing is caring: Let it melt in your mouth not theirs. Most people know chocolate causes abnormally high heart rhythms in dogs, but not everyone is aware that baking chocolate is especially toxic. A stray M&M probably will not do any harm, but since you love them, keep all chocolates out of your pet’s reach.
  2. Sugar Free is not danger free: Sugar-free candies and gums often contain large amounts of xylitol, a sweetener that is toxic to pets, especially dogs. If ingested, it may cause vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures, and in severe cases, liver failure.
  3. Heart Healthy: Should your dog or cat ingest large amounts of chocolate, gum, or candy, they may go into cardiac arrest. Be prepared by learning the proper methods for CPR.
  4. A Rose is just a… bad idea as it can h urt your pet. The aroma from a floral arrangement may be too much to resist and it only takes a nibble to cause a severe reaction. Be extremely careful if your arrangement contains lilies, as these lovely flowers are fatal to some pets.
  5. Love is the gift that keeps on giving: Just like are any romance, true love and companionship are reflected in mutual caring and respect all year long. One of the best gifts you can give your pet is a healthy diet. Feeding our pets is one of the easiest ways to show how much we love them,” said Andy Van Ark, CESAR® Brand Manager at Mars Petcare. “At CESAR we believe in creating special moments with our dogs, especially around mealtime. That’s why we offer a variety of recipes inspired by human meals, so you and your pooch can enjoy the same dishes together.”

 

 

 

There may never be a more loving and steadfast companion than the family pet, and this Valentine’s Day, show your appreciation and love but do so as a responsible and loving partner.

 

*Many thanks to PetMD for their help with this article

 

 

 

 

 

 

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