Nothing says “I Love You” like a new leopard-print raincoat or a homemade, beef-and-peanut butter biscuit on your pillow. Including our pets in holiday celebrations shows we value them as part of our family. So read on for some fun and thoughtful ways to celebrate your love for your canine companion this Valentine’s Day.
1. What dog doesn’t love a treat? Fabulous treats are available to order online, from cakes and cookies to “doggie wine” (broth in a bottle). Or find some recipes and bake treats right in your kitchen (your dog will most likely be right there with you, waiting). Make sure these items are made in the U.S.A.
2. Surprise him with an extra walk, or a trip to his favorite dog park or trail — especially if you haven’t been there for a while.
4. Does he need a new coat to keep warm this winter, or a nice new collar or bandana? Add a pretty charm to his collar, and while you’re at it, check his tags to make sure they are still readable and reflect your current contact info.
5. Healthy teeth and gums help keep your whole dog healthy. Consider a dental check-up with your vet, and have her show you how to brush your dog’s teeth. Be sure to get the special paste made for dogs (human toothpaste is toxic to pets). February is National Pet Dental Health Month, after all.
6. How about a day at the spa to make him feel special? Many options are available, like do-it-yourself facilities in pet stores, specialty salons, and even mobile grooming vans that come right to your house.
7. Get him a new toy, make a big deal of opening it, and then play with him. Lots of Valentine-themed toys are available, or buy a new Kong, fill it with peanut butter, and watch the happiness unfold. By the way, when you buy Kong, get the special cleaning brush that goes with it; otherwise you’ll never get that peanut butter residue out.
8. Many pet owners forget to check their pet’s beds when doing laundry. He might need his bed washed before putting that new toy or treat on it, and he’ll love it if the washing and drying fluffs it up a bit.
9. Leave a legacy by making a donation in his name to an animal rescue group or shelter. Check around and find the organization that feels right to the two of you.
10. Many pet-oriented websites have opportunities for you to post a photo or story about your pet. Consider posting something to share the love you have for your special friend with all the world. Happy Valentine’s Day!