Valentine’s Day is all about sharing the love with friends and family, and that includes your fur family! From gifts to pet treats to snuggles on the sofa, there are plenty of ways to safely shower your pet with extra love and affection this Valentine’s Day.
The Paw-fect Gift
Everyone loves receiving thoughtful gifts from loved ones, so your pets probably will too. Here are a few ideas to get their tails wagging: an XOXO bandana or bow, a red collar with a heart-shaped ID tag, a heart-shaped squeaky toy, or a pink and red ball. You could also make Valentine’s Day cards for your pet’s playmates that say “Best Friends Furever” or “You Are Purrfect.”
If you happen to receive flowers as a gift from someone special, remember to check if they could be poisonous to your pets. Roses are nontoxic, but other flowers such as true lilies, tulips and daffodils could be harmful to them. Be sure to check out ASPCA’s toxic and nontoxic plant list and Pet Poison Helpline’s poisons database, if you aren’t sure of a flower’s toxicity.
Special Treats for Pets So Sweet
Receiving candy and chocolate can be one of the best parts of Valentine’s Day for people, but make sure you hide that heart-shaped box from your pets. It would be heart-breaking to have to take a trip to the vet because your pet ate some of your chocolate or sugarless (xylitol) candy. Instead, spoil them with some veterinarian-approved treats. For a fun twist, you could place the treats in a heart shape on the floor or make XOXOs. Your pet might not know why there’s a heart shape, but it’s the thought that counts.
You could also use them for a Valentine’s Day game of hide and seek.
Kiss, Kiss… (or Not?)
Kisses and Valentine’s Day go in hand-in-hand, but is a lick from your pet bringing you more than just some love? If you think about what other activities the average dog uses their mouths for — raiding the litter box, grooming all their body parts, eating whatever that was they found in the backyard — maybe a kiss on the face isn’t the best idea. Plus, it is a myth that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s. Under the right conditions, the bacteria in dogs’ mouths can cause disease in humans, so it may be best to avoid kisses on your face, on an open wound, or if you are immune-compromised.
Cuddles on the Couch
Perhaps the best way to celebrate Valentine’s Day is the simplest: snuggles on the couch. Appropriate for Valentine’s Day, interacting with your pet can increase oxytocin, which is your “cuddle” or “love” hormone. Oxytocin is a natural stress reliever, so grab a blanket and settle in on the couch for some well-deserved cuddles with your dog or cat.
Valentine’s Day is a great reason to shower your pet with some extra love, treats and maybe some new toys as well. Just be sure that the day is celebrated safely. Maybe you will even get an “I ruff you.”
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