We love spoiling our pets, that’s obvious. But with Valentine’s Day coming up, it’s a great excuse to show our favorite animals just how much we love them.
We asked Dr. Jennifer Lopez, a Vetster veterinarian, what she’d include if she were to design the perfect gift for her pet for Valentine's day. Dr. Lopez gave us a very useful and fun list but made it clear that quality time is the best way to show your pet love. So whether you have a hairy Golden, a wrinkly Sphynx, or a camouflaging lizard, here are some ways to show your pet how much you love them.
1. Go on an adorable date
We’re not trying to be mushy or state the obvious, but your pet likely really likes you. Treats aside, the number one way to show your pet love is by spending time with them. Go for an extra long walk or give them cuddles (yes, that goes for reptiles, too), but waste no time showing them how much you care.
2. Get crafty with treats and toys
You probably already know this, but treats and toys are always appreciated. But why not make them fit the Valentine’s theme. Maybe arrange your Collie’s kibble into a heart shape or pick up a food puzzle to keep them stimulated. Or get your Himalayan a heart-shaped cat scratcher. Heart-shaped toys are everywhere this time of year. And while the heart shapes may be more for the pet parent than the pet, your critter will love the gesture either way.
3. Go for a classic
Dr. Lopez wouldn’t hesitate to give her dog a synthetic, food-grade, chewable bone like Nylabones. “The edible and plastic ones have nubbins that they can chew. They’re great for dental care and stress and anxiety relief,” says Dr. Lopez. And they’re not choking hazards like real bones can be.
4. Bake your way to their hearts
Dr. Lopez blends peanut butter, dog food kibble, and water and bakes her pups some homemade treats. You can do the same for your little kitty with salmon, eggs, and flour. (Of course, always keep in mind your pet’s dietary restrictions and which human foods are safe for them).
5. Make the perfect paw print
Whether you have a paw, a hand, or maybe even a claw, making a paw-print can be a fun way to stamp a lovely Valentine’s memory. Grab non-toxic ink or paint, so it’s safe for pets and kids, and a canvas to create a cute keepsake. Look for red or pink inks, but really the sky’s the limit. And your kids will probably love getting in on the fun!
6. Dress them to the nines
Dr. Lopez shares that dressing your pups for the winter is a good idea. So, when you’re spending some outside time with your doggos, dress them up in a cozy coat and warm boots. There are some nice inside festive options too, like a nice heart sweater or fancy bow tie. You can even try fitting your kitty into one of these cute options.
7. Set the mood with some aromatherapy
Feliway and Adaptil mimic anxiety-reducing pheromones, so your dogs and cats can feel calm during stressful situations. It might not seem as exciting as toys or treats, but a breath of fresh calmness and tranquility can really work some magic.
8. Go on a double-date
Inviting a friend and their pup on a walk is a win-win. Your dog gets to walk and see a friend. And so do you!. This Valentine’s activity is great for any year, but especially in the midst of a pandemic that may limit indoor playtime.
9. Show love to all animals
You’re reading this article, which means your pet is super lucky to have you; other pets may not be as lucky. Donating to animal shelters supports animals in finding their forever home. Though your dog may not be as visually excited about this gesture as much as a treat, they’ll appreciate that you’re supporting a puppy from another mommy.
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