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Valentine’s Day is Going to the Dogs, Literally

Puppy on Valentines Day

Pet Owners Love their Pets on Valentine’s Day

Pets are a part of Valentine’s Day now more than ever. According to the National Retail Federation, Americans expected to spend $18.9 billion on Valentine’s Day last year with $703 million of that sum spent on pets.

As pet lovers, we weren’t surprised, but we decided to take it a little further. We asked pet owners about their Valentine’s Day plans, and this is what we found:

  • 40% of respondents would rather spend Valentine’s Day with their dog or cat than their significant other.
  • 45% of respondents plan to include their pet in their Valentine’s Day by buying them a gift. The most popular choice for gifts were toys and treats.
  • Of those pet owners who plan to buy a gift for their pet, 47% plan to spend at least $25, but a few (2%) expect to spend $75 or more on their cats and dogs.

Pet owners who don’t plan to get their pets a gift this year should also take note—many pets who aren’t directly involved in Valentine’s Day plans find other ways to participate. We looked into our database and found that some cats and dogs are getting far more involved in Valentine’s Day than their owners might hope. Every year, pets are responsible for ingesting Valentine’s gifts of chocolates, earrings, flowers, and even ladies underwear.

Chocolate is the biggest target of Valentine’s-related heists. Canines can’t resist the opportunity to snag some human food, and they don’t realize how toxic it can be. Last February, Trupanion received 56 chocolate ingestion and toxicity claims— that’s 2 per day—and paid more than $20,000 on chocolate toxicity alone. Dogs have accounted for 99% of chocolate ingestion claims since 2013.

Trupanion’s Valentine’s Claims

Here are Trupanion’s 3 most quirky Valentines-related claims:

  • In North Carolina, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy with some expensive taste ate a pearl earring. Trupanion paid $1,077.66 for the x-ray, surgery, and follow up treatments.
  • A pet owner in Washington was concerned her Pomapoo may have swallowed a pair of ladies underwear. An x-ray and exploratory surgery later, veterinarians extracted a medium-sized pair of undies. Trupanion paid $1,111.06.
  • A Labrador Retriever in British Columbia was rushed to the vet when she collapsed after eating two pounds of fudge and a couple milk chocolate lollipops. The high amount of sugar irritated a stomach ulcer in her gut and Trupanion covered $3,696.20 toward her diagnosis and treatments.

Whether or not you plan to involve your pets in Valentine’s Day gifting plans this year, you should keep them in mind. For more details on pets’ Valentine’s Day mischief, go here.

About Kathryn @

Kathryn works at Trupanion alongside her little sidekick, a rescued Papillion mix named Modie. She loves all animals big and small but is a dog enthusiast at heart. By the third grade, she had memorized every dog breed and their characteristics and dreamed of being an agility dog trainer or the next Steve Irwin. When not at Trupanion, Kathryn spends her time playing soccer, baking cookies, and exploring the Pacific Northwest with her little sidekick.

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