One of the best ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day is to spending it with your best friend – your dog. Here’s how to make the day memorable for you both.
Valentine’s Day is usually reserved for spending time with one’s sweetheart. It’s the occasion to celebrate the love you and your significant other have for one another. Coming in the middle of winter, it can be a welcome reprieve to share a nice dinner, enjoy a yummy box of chocolates, or receive a beautiful bouquet of flowers.
Whether or not you have a sweetie to mark Valentine’s Day with, there’s another loved one deserving of some extra time and affection. Your canine companion gives you so much, so this is the perfect opportunity to give a little more back.
Just think about those big adoring eyes your pooch looks at you with, and the way they greet you when you come in the front door – it’s like they haven’t seen you in years! There’s nowhere they’d rather be than right by your side.
So, why not dream up a wonderful way to pass some hours with your best bud? Following are eight terrific suggestions to honor the relationship you have with your dog on Valentine’s Day.
Ways to Spend Valentine’s Day with Your Best Fur Friend
There are many delightful ideas for making memorable moments with your doggo on Valentine’s Day. Actually, some of them are not too far removed from how you might mark the occasion with a human loved one.
Watch a Movie Together
Who doesn’t appreciate a good flick? If your typical evening routine includes a few hours relaxing in the living room watching TV, your dog is likely right there with you already. It could be that they have a comfortable dog bed in the corner of the room they curl up in, or a spot they like on the couch.
Make it that much cozier by spreading out a nice blanket for them beside you on the sofa, or invite them to snuggle up close to you under the quilt you use. You could also make the arrangement more welcoming for your dog by allowing them to bring their best chew toy along. The name of the game is comfort and togetherness.
What’s more, having your pet on the couch with you allows you to give them some extra attention during commercial breaks. A cuddle, ear rub or even a gentle massage of their back and legs will be welcomed and make the two of you feel closer.
It may not surprise you to know that dogs enjoy TV watching just as much as we do. Have you ever seen Snoopy barking at a dog on the screen or following the moves of a tennis ball or hockey puck? There’s all the proof that you need.
When it comes to choosing a film, select something that your pooch will also want to see. A movie featuring dogs or other animals will probably go over quite well. Understandably, when you’re a pet parent, these types of motion pictures are certain to be quite high on your list as well. A Dog’s Purpose is one recommendation.
Whatever you do, don’t choose something with scary scenes or thunderstorms that might have your canine friend quickly diving under their blanket.
Of course, a TV night is incomplete without snacks. When you’re making yourself that big bowl of popcorn, don’t forget that Charlie wants a treat too. That’s where our homemade doggie cookie recipes below will come in handy.
Spoil Them With a Homemade Treat
One of your ‘go to’ ways to show your dog that you care is more than likely offering them tasty treats. After all, the way to any loved one’s heart is often through their stomach – right?
Your dog is no different than your human companions in this respect. Try out one of these recipes for tempting doggie delicacies. They’re made with peanut butter, pumpkin, coconut oil, and other ingredients that are safe and nutritious for your dog.
No Bake Pumpkin Peanut Butter Coconut Cookies
19 oz. can of pumpkin puree
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
¾ cup coconut milk
4 cups rolled oats
Mix the first three ingredients together well in a large bowl. Add rolled oats to the mixture gradually and combine thoroughly. Roll mixture out on a lightly floured board until it’s about ¼ inch thickness. Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter, or whatever shape you prefer, to cut out cookies. Lay them out on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and chill in the refrigerator for an hour or until they’re firm.
No Bake Peanut Butter Coconut Balls
1/2 cup coconut oil
6 tablespoons of peanut butter
3 cups of rolled oats
½ cup of shredded coconut
Mix the first three ingredients together in a large bowl. Spoon out small amounts and shape them into balls with your hands. Shake out the coconut onto a large plate and roll each ball in the coconut until it’s evenly coated. Arrange balls on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes or until they’re firm.
1 cup of pureed blueberries (use baby food or puree blueberries in a food processor)
2 cups whole wheat flour
Mix ingredients and work into a dough consistency. Roll mixture out on a lightly floured board until it’s about ¼ inch thickness. Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter, or whatever shape you prefer, to cut out cookies. Place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, or lightly greased. Bake for about 20 minutes in an oven preheated to 350 degrees.
However, if baking is not your forte, you should have no trouble at all finding homemade dog biscuits and other delicious items for sale. Your pet food store is a natural place to look, and your groomer or dog sitter might also know where to find some.
Donate to Your Favorite Shelter in Your Dog’s Name
Maybe you first fell in love with your pup at a particular animal shelter. If so, you could consider making a monetary donation to the organization in the name of your pooch.
And, if Rover or Rosie came into your life another way, you’re no doubt aware of the number of needy animals at your local Humane Society, SPCA, or independent dog rescue. For these essential organizations, every dollar counts!
Giving a donation to one of these causes is a unique way to honor your pet that can have an incredible impact.
Let Them Pick Out a New Toy
Of course, one of your dog’s favorite car rides will be a trip to the local pet store. The tantalizing smells and sights, not to mention the attention they receive from the staff there, gets their tail wagging furiously
They’re quite aware that this place caters to them and carries all things canine-related. How many times have you seen them head right over to the doggie bone section or have a good sniff at the display of dog toys on the wall?
Helping your pet select a new ball or squeaky toy will tell them that it’s a special day.
Arrange a Playdate
Does your fur baby have a four-legged friend that they really get along with? It could be another dog that they met at the community dog park, or one of their companions they play with at doggie daycare. Then again, you may come from a family of dog owners or have a close friend with a dog of their own.
Scheduling a playdate for your dog with another pooch is a really nice way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. It’s important to think about the logistics ahead of time and what activity you and the other pet owner want to set up.
You might want to take a hike along a scenic trail or simply let your dogs chase one another around the back yard. If the dogs relish spending time with one another, it really doesn’t matter what type of playdate you arrange.
A word here about supervision. Even if your dog and their buddy are fast friends, you don’t want to leave them to their own devices. Play can become a bit too exuberant, toys might be fought over and disputes can easily lead to a scratch or bite. Plus, this is to be a Valentine’s Day event for both the dogs and humans involved.
Do Something They Love
If you’ve owned your pet for a while, it may not be too hard to figure out what they love doing above all else. A romp on a beach where they can dig in the sand and chase a few waves might be just the thing.
Perhaps your furry friend loves playing catch with a ball in the neighborhood park, or gets excited when you throw a frisbee. Many dogs take absolute pleasure in a long drive with an open car window where they can stick their head out.
On the other hand, the greatest way to spend an afternoon for your pet might be to join you on a run or a bicycle ride. Remember, if you’re out and about with your dog, take along enough water for them.
Go For an Extra Walk
Just as we need to exercise to stay fit and healthy, our dogs do too. Taking them for walks is one helpful way to care for your animal. Your doggo will be accustomed to going for walks at the usual times of the day and will look forward to this.
This activity is not only for exercise, it’s an important aspect of socializing your pet and assisting them to be comfortable in their environment.
Dogs have a very strong sense of smell, so let them ‘stop and smell the roses’ so to speak. They should be allotted enough time to pause and sniff frequently during their walk. As you may know, this is how they get the daily news. It tells them which of their doggie friends have just had their walk, or if a new pooch has left their mark on a tree on their usual route.
What better way to note Valentine’s Day than with an extra walk! Your dog will know that something special is underway, and they’ll love you for the additional opportunity to stretch their legs and see what’s going on outside.
Have a Themed Photoshoot
Here’s a spectacular thought for marking Valentine’s Day with your doggie friend. There are many skilled photographers who can take outstanding professional photos of your pooch.
Having beautiful photos of your pet for years to come will help you remember them for their character and what you love about them. A professional can really bring out your dog’s best features and present you with some marvelous pics to choose from.
Make it a themed event for Valentine’s Day for even more amusement. Some dogs are natural comics and enjoy dressing up. Determine how you want the February 14th holiday to be represented in the pictures.
Do you want your dog sitting pretty in a red sweater, or lounging in their heart-motif pajamas? An action shot playing with their new red ball or quietly posing with a heart-shaped box of doggie cookies are other options.
Take a look through the studio’s examples of previous work and spend some time sorting out the kind of photographic representation of your pooch that you’d like.
Our Final Thoughts
Granted, it doesn’t take too much imagination to decide how to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your dog. You’re already well aware of their favorite pastimes. Having said that, try out a few of our ideas anyway. One or two of them may lead to a meaningful new tradition for your and your fur baby!