Valentine’s Day is traditionally reserved for romance, declarations of love and sending and receiving gifts. But between the boxed chocolates, roses and cards, it can be easy to forget about your furry family members and spend the day with your two-legged loved ones instead.
Your pooch is your biggest fan and an important member of the family. So this February 14th, show you care with these fun-filled tips for celebrating Valentine’s Day canine style.
1. Arrange a playdate
Playdates are a lot of fun and hugely beneficial for your dog. They help pups socialise and learn from more mature dogs. Plus, they give pets a chance to exercise and burn off excess energy.
You’ve probably made a few canine companions on your trips to the park – these are the perfect guests to invite on your playdate. But if your dog hasn’t made any chums yet, arranging a playdate on Valentine’s Day is a fantastic way to introduce your dog to some new friends.
Organising a successful playdate takes a lot of planning, so don’t attempt to arrange one on the fly. Instead, think carefully about your dog’s likes and dislikes, their temperament and what the other dogs you wish to invite are like. This will help you matchmake your pet and give you a better idea of how things will pan out.
2. Give your dog a massage
Dogs love a good scratch behind the ears, but you might be surprised to learn that they also love being massaged. Massage holds a number of benefits for dogs, from alleviating stress and anxiety to reducing swelling and boosting circulation.
Massaging your dog doesn’t require investing in classes or body oils. But it does mean being aware of your dog’s body and knowing where he or she likes to be petted. Some parts of a dog are more sensitive than others, so pay close attention to their body language to make sure they’re comfortable.
Before getting started, make sure you and your dog are somewhere cosy. Pet them as usual and then once you’re both relaxed, use your fingertips to apply a gentle pressure to their head, neck and body, being careful never to apply too much pressure and looking out for any signs of discomfort. Once you’re done, your dog should look calm and relaxed and ready to catch some Zs.
3. Groom your pooch
It’s not unusual for pups to run and hide at the first sign of a rubber duck. But that doesn’t mean you should avoid grooming your dog, especially if they have a double coat. Regularly grooming your pup also makes them more pleasant to be around and gives you the chance to inspect their skin and fur.
To make sure your doggie date is smelling their best, run a comb through their coat before shepherding them upstairs. Then wash them with lukewarm water and a dog-friendly shampoo, before spritzing them with your favourite dog perfume .
4. Donate to a dog charity (in your dog’s name)
While you and your beloved pet cosy up on Valentine’s Day, spend a moment thinking about the dogs who are yet to find their forever homes. There are hundreds of charities and rehoming centres across the UK that rely on the donations of animal lovers to support their work. And by making a donation, you can spread the love on Valentine’s Day and support those in need.
If you’re short on money (maybe because you’ve already emptied your bank accountlavishing your pup with presents), don’t worry. There are other ways to support local animal charities. One way is to volunteer. Take a look online to find out which opportunities and roles are available near you.
5. Surprise them with a new toy or treat
Giving chocolate to your dog on Valentine’s Day is obviously a big no-no, so skip the choccy box and surprise your pooch with some delicious dog treats or a new toy.
There are lots of different dog toys available. Some are designed to stretch your dog’s mental muscle, while others are better at encouraging exercise. Whichever one you choose, take a look online to see what other dog owners are saying. We think rope toys and treat dispensers are an excellent choice!
This article was provided by Naturediet, a family-run dog food manufacturer. Their all-natural dog food contains locally-sourced ingredients and comes in eco-friendly Tetra Pak cartons.