Many people give stuffed animals, floral bouquets, and chocolates to their loved ones on Valentine's Day to show their affection. For pet owners, this tradition may also include making the day special for their beloved canine companions. After all, the Day of Hearts deserves to be celebrated with loved ones, including the furry and four-legged.
If you’re a dog owner and you want to express your appreciation for your pup on Valentine’s Day, here are some pet-safe ways to celebrate the special day together:
Give Them Pet-Appropriate Gifts
Valentine’s Day is a prime day for gift-giving. However, traditional gifts like chocolates, flowers, and teddy bears aren’t safe for pets. Chocolates and flowers like peonies and tulips are toxic for dogs, while regular stuffed toys might not be durable enough for a playful pup. The toy might break apart easily and expose the stuffing, which your dog can accidentally ingest and get sick from. If you want to give a toy to match the occasion, consider giving a fun wine bottle dog toy that’s both durable and adorable. Specially-designed dog toys are made to withstand canine playtimes but are soft enough so your pet’s jaw doesn’t get hurt when they carry the toy around.
Other fantastic gifts to give your pet are a new dog bed and a dog blanket. These accessories will help your pet have a more comfortable place to rest and sleep in. Also, adding new pet furniture is a great way to spruce up your space.
Have a Date Night at Home
With most restaurants fully booked for the holiday, a date night at home can be more fun for your four-legged friend. You can have a relaxing evening snuggled up on the couch and watching a good movie. Consider picking films with dogs as main characters, and your pet will certainly be glued to the screen.
Alternatively, you can enjoy a pet-friendly game night. Give your pup a fun puzzle toy in which you hide tasty treats. Then, let your dog have a go at it. Pet puzzle toys will help stimulate your pet’s brain and senses. It also gives them the chance to have pet-safe treats, since Valentine’s Day candies are generally bad for dogs.
Take Your Dog for a Long Walk
When it comes to having quality bonding time with your dog, you can’t go wrong with taking a nice long walk around the neighborhood together. If you want to put a twist into your usual routine, consider doing a scent walk. Generally, a scent walk is a supervised walk that allows your pet to sniff around as much as they like and go where they want to. For your pet, this activity is fun and a way for them to discover the world around them. Let your dog have a good time by satisfying their curiosity through their sense of smell. Follow them and see the places they will take you.
While letting your dog explore their surroundings, keep them safe by using a sturdy collar and leash to keep them secure. Also, be mindful of the area your dog is exploring. Stay away from traffic and other animals that may be aggressive toward your pet.
Teach Your Pet New Tricks
Another fun way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your dog is to teach them new tricks. It’s a great bonding activity that can also stimulate your pet’s mind. Consider teaching new commands like “shake hands”, “crawl”, or “kiss”. The additional training won’t just make good party tricks the next time you show off your pet; it will also help your pet become a more behaved dog.
Since the most effective way for your dog to learn is by positive reinforcement training, offer them treats every time they do a good job. Pack these rewards in a dog treat bag to keep them handy during the training sessions.
Get Your Dog Groomed
Pamper your dog with a professional dog grooming session. It’s a great way to spoil your pet, and you’ll certainly want to kiss and cuddle them more when they smell good. If your dog isn’t comfortable with visiting a groomer, an at-home grooming session can be a special treat too. Give your dog a good brushing and a quick bath. Remember to have an absorbent dog towel ready so you can easily dry off your pet’s fur.
Dress Your Pup Up for a Photoshoot
Apart from showering your pet with plenty of toys and fun activities, make your Valentine’s Day celebration more special by dressing your dog up for a photoshoot. You can go for something casual like a dog T-shirt or get fancy with a suit and matching tie. If you are taking photos together, consider getting matching outfits. Dressing up and having your photos taken will make for a great souvenir that you can keep for years to come.
If you want to include your dog in your Valentine’s Day celebrations, make sure to do so with their safety in mind. You can arrange activities and give presents that are pet-safe for your dog to appreciate.