Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, which means the stores or adorned in everything heart-shaped in shades of red and pink. And while this time of year can be a stark reminder of your single status or a socially-induced kick up the behind to show your significant other how much they mean to you, it’s also a great time to spoil the real MVP in your life – your pet.
Let’s face it; our pets provide us with unconditional love every day of the year. They love and adore us and provide constant companionship and a steady source of laughter and affection.
Here are some ways to show your pawfect pet how much you love them this Valentine’s Day.
- Host a paw-ty
- Dress up
- Bake them a love-themed treat
- Make Valentine’s Day art
- Get them a fantastic gift
- Final thought
Host a paw-ty
Social events and gatherings are excellent ideas for a fun celebration for your canine companion. If your friends have well-socialized dogs, throw a puppy pawty where you can all get together with your doggos and have a good time. The humans can chat while the doggos play.
It’s up to you how all-out you go with the décor and the treats, but the sky’s really the limit here. Make doggie-friendly cupcakes and cookies. Have a photo/selfie wall set up where everyone can take pics of their pawsome pets. Give out fun toys and tasty treats as party favors.
It’s probably less likely that cats would be up for something this sociable, but that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy a celebration. If a pawty isn’t an option for whatever reason, why not plan a sensory day for your best pal? For dogs, this could mean a day out in a new setting with new sights and smells to explore, or you could plan a spa day of manicures (we’re looking at you, little kitty murder mittens) and grooming and massages.
If you’re the owner of a very … erm … independent cat who might not be keen on anything like this, why not plan a movie day where you can cuddle up and watch some cat tv together? Youtube has endless videos of birds and fish, and other small creatures that will have even the most aloof of cats enthralled and tuned in.
A cool way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your pet can be to plan a fun dress-up. You don’t need to risk life and limb wrestling your poor feline into an uncomfortable and restrictive cat Valentine costume – in fact, we’d caution you not to do this.
When we say dress up, we mean Valentine’s dog collars with a bowtie, maybe some cute headwear, or perhaps Valentine’s dog sweater or even pajamas for those dogs and cats that don’t mind them.
Why not plan a little photo shoot of the two of you all dressed up in matching outfits? A great way to capture the special love you share to look back on for years to come.
An important note on dressing up animals – if your pet is showing resistance, don’t force it. There’s no sense in traumatizing your best pal for a few Insta likes. Yes, dressing your pet up can be a harmless bit of fun, but not all pets will enjoy the process. According to vet research, it’s super important to pay attention to your pet’s body language and stop if you see they’re becoming agitated or stressed.
Read more: Understanding Dog Emotions
Always ensure that what you’re putting on your animal is safe for them – they must still be able to move naturally and breathe properly. Make sure the costume isn’t too thick, heavy, or hot. Ensure the outfit doesn’t contain any safety hazards, like small parts or things that can hook or trap the animal. Never leave an animal in costume unsupervised.
If your pet is not one for suffering the indignity of dressing up, let them enjoy their Valentine’s Day in the nude – as nature intended.
Bake them a love-themed treat
Decadent treats are a mainstay on Valentine’s Day, and you can treat your precious pet to something tasty, too. Common Valentine’s Day chocolate and wine are obviously not suitable at all for your cat or dog, but you can make or buy pet-friendly Valentine’s Day treats to spoil them with. You can even order pet-friendly wine to mark the occasion.
If you’re looking to make something yourself, good ol’ Pinterest has a wide range of recipes for everything from homemade frozen treats to elaborate baked goodies that are pawfect for your cat or dog to enjoy.
If you’re going to be making something yourself, double-check all the ingredients to make sure that they are safe for your pet. Remember, not all human foods are safe for cats and dogs, and some can be extremely dangerous. Xylitol is one household ingredient – an artificial sweetener – that can be extremely dangerous to dogs if mistakenly added to your Valentine’s Day dog treats.
Make Valentine’s Day art
Why not immortalize your love for your paw-pal using your creativity? Make special memories with your pet this Valentine’s Day by getting creative together. Make paw-print art together – a painting or a clay ornament with your best pal’s paw print. Or you could leave it to the professionals and commission a pet portrait of your cat or dog for Valentine’s Day.
Get them a fantastic gift
Skip the roses and jewelry, and shower your best pal with a gift this Valentine’s Day to show them how much you love and adore them. These are some of our favorite pet Valentine’s Day gift ideas:
a. Petcube Cam
It’s a sad fact of life that your pet sometimes has to stay at home alone. There’s now an easy way to keep in touch with your dog or cat while you’re out – Cam by Petcube.
This nifty little camera allows you to check in on your pal while you’re out. Not only that, but it allows for two-way communication so that you can hear them, and they can hear you. Some models even allow you to throw treats for your dog or cat or play with them using a fun laser toy.
b. A new puzzle toy
A new puzzle toy is an excellent gift for both cats and dogs. Lick mats are a great way for cats and dogs to enjoy their favorite tasty treat and, at the same time, get a hit of endorphins from the licking that makes them feel calm and happy.
The great thing about puzzles is that they aren’t just fun for your pet but provide the necessary mental stimulation that pets need to keep their minds healthy too.
c. A fancy new bed
Pet beds have come a LONG way in recent years. The newer fabrics are softer, snugglier, and more breathable than ever, and they come in a crazy range of designs to suit every personality.
Whether your pet likes to burrow and cuddle up in a little cosy cave, or if they prefer a fancy hammock, or even something a little more regal, like a chaise – there’s a fun pet bed to spoil your pet this Valentine’s Day.
d. Donate to an animal shelter or rescue center
Your pet is the love of your life and gets thoroughly spoiled every day of the year. Why not use Valentine’s Day to spoil other animals and instead donate to a local animal shelter or rescue center?
These organizations rely heavily on assistance from the public, and every little bit helps. They usually need basics like cat litter, blankets, and food, but you can always give them a call and ask how best to assist them.
Read more: ABC of Pet Shelters and How to Help Them
Valentine’s Day is about love and celebrating that special someone in your life. And who could be more special than the four-footed floof that fills your days with joy, your nights with snuggles, and your heart with ALL of the feels?
Any pet parent will tell you that romantic love is a beautiful thing, but the love between a pet and their pawrent is the purest kind of love you could possibly imagine. However you choose to spend Valentine’s Day this year with your pet, we hope it’s a day filled with snoot boops, purrs, tail wags, and head bonks.
Happy Valentine’s Day, cat and dog lovers everywhere!
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” – Anatole France.