Happy Valentine’s Day! Will you be enjoying an elaborate day of festivities with your sweetie? Or will you be spending quality time with your family and friends? Or is it more of a treat yourself (self-care is important!) kind of day? No matter what your plans are for Valentine’s Day, remember to include your pets! Here are fourteen gifts for a paw-some February 14th with your furry Valentine:
1. The Gift of Rest
Is there anything better than the feeling of being well-rested and refreshed? Sleep in this Valentine’s Day! Press snooze or take a nap after work so you can spend a little extra time snuggling with your fur baby.
2. The Gift of Brunch
Try out a dog-friendly waffle recipe or scramble up some eggs so you can spoil your pooch with a small treat for second breakfast!
3. The Gift of Style
Find a cute Valentine’s Day outfit for your loving pet! Maybe your pet would love a festive sweater, bow-tie, accessory, harness, etc…
4. The Gift of Joy
Not into material gifts? Then give the gift of an experience! No box required! Consider a spa day, trip to doggy daycare, a free puppuccino at Starbucks, or whatever other adventure your pet would love!
5. The Gift of Treats
Give your pet a festive treat. Your pet will love it whether it’s homemade or store-bought. Just make sure the ingredients are pet-friendly!
6. The Gift of Not Visiting the Animal ER
The nose knows! Hide that box of chocolates for your human Valentine (or yourself). Don’t leave it out on the table or counter. We’ve seen our fair share of dogs snooping in the cabinets, pre-maturely unwrapping gifts not meant for them. If your pet does get into chocolate, we won’t mind if you bring the extras along to our animal ER. Though we prefer our chocolate without drool and not to be pre-chewed!
7. The Gift of Non-Toxic Flowers
Skip the roses (thorns hurt) and lilies (they are extremely toxic to cats and can cause fatal kidney failure). Instead, find something less traditional but a lot safer for your pets like sunflowers, petunias, or pansies. It’s possible for any plant to cause mild stomach/intestinal upset, but ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center has a great list of toxic and nontoxic plants so you’ll know what’s okay to bring into your home verses what needs to stay far away from your pets.
8. The Gift of Relaxation
Everyone loves a massage- including your pets! Skip the oils and lotions- just use gentle pressure. Interested in taking it to the next level? Schedule a massage appointment with a certified animal massage therapist. Some therapists even offer classes to teach you animal massage techniques to use at home.
9. The Gift of Health
Give the gift of physical and mental health by being active with your pet! Weather permitting, get outside and go for a walk, run, or hike. If you’re stuck inside for the day then start an indoor impromptu dance party, walk laps in the house, become the master of your staircase, etc…
10. The Gift of Spirits
Do you plan to celebrate with wine or make a few cocktails with your Galentines? Save the alcoholic drinks for the people, and keep the alcohol out of your pet’s reach! You can, however, get your pet alcohol-free pet beer or grape-free wine such as Malbark, ZinfanTAIL, CharDOGnay, Catbernet, Pinot Meow, and MosCATo. If your cat resolved to give up the empty calories and reduce the carbohydrates, you can get homemade catnip tea!
11. The Gift of Streaming
Have to work this Valentine’s Day? Don’t want your furry Valentine to feel lonely? Play some music to keep your pet relaxed. A study conducted at an animal shelter with the Scottish ASPCA showed that dogs showed less stress behaviors when they listened to soft rock or reggae. You could also set up videos made for cats or DOGTV for visual stimulation and enrichment.
12. The Gift of a Ring
Do you plan to propose this Valentine’s Day? Include your pet in the plans! Let your pet’s other special human find the ring on the collar or get a custom sign or outfit for your pet that says “Will you marry my hooman?”
13. The Gift of Gratitude
Unless your pet is a scholar, a Valentine’s Day card may be thoughtful, but probably not the best idea. Instead, turn off all the screens and spend some quality time with your favorite Valentine. Give your pet at least 15 minutes of your undivided attention and let them know why you love them so much!
14. The Gift of Learning
Pay it forward, without spending a dime! Pets are great teachers. They teach us to be mindful, to enjoy the little things, and to play every day. They teach us kindness and love. Let’s learn from our pets and put those teachings to practice! Be kind to those around you!
We know that most people would prefer not to spend Valentine’s Day with us in the ER, but if your pet does experience an emergency or gets into one of these Valentine’s Day pet dangers, both our Oakdale and St. Paul clinics are open 24/7. Our team is ready to help!